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Main | Bears Ears and Gold Butte National Monument Designations: Statement by Bonner Cohen »
Friday
Dec302016

Repeal the Antiquities Act of 1906

RJ SmithR.J. Smith

As people in Utah and Nevada (and other places!) can tell you, it's too bad Congress is so bad at taking advice.

With President Obama's new designations of the Bears Ears National Monument in Utah and the Gold Butte National Monument in Nevada, millions more acres of land are now being locked up by the federal government. This is only possible because Congress never repealed or reformed the 1906 Antiquities Act after Presidents of both parties started misusing it.

Congress could have. At the very least, it could have tried -- sent a bill to the Preisdent's desk and taken the debate to the American people.

But no.

In this paper, issued in September 2016, National Center Senior Fellow R.J. Smith explains what the Antiquities Act was designed to do and why it matters greatly that it is now being misused. He explains in clear English how Congress can fix it, and why it is important that it do so immediately.

And although the paper does not cover the Bears Ears National Monument in Utah and the Gold Butte National Monument in Nevada, as they had yet to be designated, any new legislation must give future Presidents the clear authority to remove or trim past designations such as these.

The Antiquities Act was not intended to permit the federal government to control large parts of the country. Read R.J.'s paper and get the truth the Obama White House isn't telling you.

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