OIA Opposes Bishop Bill Gutting 1906 Antiquities Act

Ask your representatives in Washington to protect healthy communities, healthy economies, and our national heritage by standing up for the Antiquities Act and voting NO on H.R. 3990.

By Alex Boian October 11, 2017

UPDATED: OCTOBER 11, 2017; 4:30 p.m. MT

The House Natural Resources Committee has voted along party lines to pass Chairman Rob Bishop’s, “National Monument Creation and Protection Act,” referring it to the House. The legislation is an attack on the Antiquities Act and undermines the protection and enjoyment of our nation’s public lands and waters.

The legislation was hastily introduced this past Monday and was voted out of committee 48 hours later. This kind of “fast-tracking” is unusual and concerning.

Ask your representative to vote NO on H.R. 3990.

Adding to our concern, the legislation:

  • changes the very definition of antiquities to specifically exclude protection for America’s iconic lands, water, and wildlife habitat;
  • allows energy and mineral development on public lands and waters that are designated for protection;
  • requires the approval of county commissioners, the state legislature, and the governor before the president can act to protect certain monuments; and 
  • acknowledges that the president currently lacks the authority to reduce or revoke national monuments, but the bill would provide the president new authority to do just that.

In short, Bishop’s bill will undermine a legacy established more than 100 years ago and used by 16 presidents, Republican and Democratic alike, to designate 157 national monuments, dozens of which eventually became our national parks, across the country.

Since 1906, the Antiquities Act has been used to protect America’s iconic landscapes, waterways, wildlife sanctuaries, culturally and historically significant places, and areas of monumental beauty. The Antiquities Act ensures these places remain uncorrupted and accessible for the enjoyment of every American today and into the future. These emblematic places have become outdoor recreation destinations and catalysts for positive job creation and sustainable economies in communities across the nation.

As OIA’s public lands designation policy states, we believe that local input and well-vetted legislation should be the first course of action whenever designating federal lands for protection. We also believe that the Antiquities Act is a foundational law that protects outdoor recreation on federal lands and must be preserved.

OIA calls on outdoor industry business leaders and every friend of outdoor recreation to call their representativeand ask them to stop this dangerous legislation and the harm it will cause to the lands and waters on which we hike, hunt, bike, camp, climb, boat, and fish. Ask your representatives in Washington to protect  healthy communities, healthy economies, and our national heritage by standing up for the Antiquities Act and voting NO on H.R. 3990.