ASI Supports Antiquities Act Reform
January 13, 2017
In light of recent large tract monument designations under the Antiquities Act, the American Sheep Industry Association joined with the Public Lands Council, American Farm Bureau and 16 other land-use groups to urge the President-elect and Congress to reform the Antiquities Act. ASI President Burton Pfliger said misuse and abuse of the Antiquities Act has been an ongoing concern for sheep producers. View the letter at www.sheepusa.org/IssuesPrograms_Issues_PublicLands.
“While many administrations have been guilty of abusing the Antiquities Act, the current administration has proclaimed more national monuments than any other president in U.S. history,” said Pfliger. “Monument designations limit multiple-use on public lands and have a devastating impact on the local communities. These most recent designations are particularly egregious in their size and scope, and highlight the need for immediate reform.”
In late December, President Obama announced the designation of 1.65 million acres of public lands as monuments under the Act and just this week, he designated an additional 6,230 acres to the same cause. While the Act requires executive designations to reserve the “smallest area compatible with the proper care and management of the objects to be protected” the administration’s designations have been sweeping, encompassing millions of acres of land.
On Jan. 5, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) reintroduced the Improved National Monument Designation Process Act. The Act, co-sponsored by 26 Senators, would require an authorization from Congress, approval by the state legislature and compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act before future monuments could be declared on public land.
“Local input is a critical component missing under the Antiques Act and ASI urges the Senate to pass this much needed reform,” said Pfliger.
Acreage of National Monuments Designated by Past Presidents