June 13, 2017

Don’t forget to comment on the Antiquities Act Monuments

Posted by Laura Guertin

One of the first tweets I saw Monday morning was this one:

This was an important tweet, as it reminded me that I had not yet voiced my support for our national monuments. Fortunately, the comment period has been extended until July 10th.

Back on April 26th, a Presidential Executive Order was issued for the Department of the Interior to review all designations of national monuments greater than 100,000 acres created since 1996 (see the text of the Executive Order and the list of monuments under review from the Department of Interior and a list with photos on the NPR website). The Executive Order calls attention to, “Monument designations that result from a lack of public outreach and proper coordination with State, tribal, and local officials and other relevant stakeholders may also create barriers to achieving energy independence, restrict public access to and use of Federal lands, burden State, tribal, and local governments, and otherwise curtail economic growth.” 

There is concern that the President may shrink or nullify these monuments established by a Presidential designation afforded by the Antiquities Act of 1906. Some are calling to question if this same Antiquities Act gives the President the authority to revoke or modify a monument. You can read more about the Antiquities Act from the National Park Service.

Everyone will have their own reasons for wanting to protect these public lands, from political to personal. The key is to not keep your passion for these national monuments to yourself or just among your family and friends. Our opinions need to be heard in DC, and several organizations have created very simple electronic interfaces for us to add our contact information (must be included to be counted – consider using your personal and not work/government email address) and content that can be edited and personalized.

Former Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell has weighed in with her opinion and is encouraging our participation.

So please take a moment to add your voice online through one of these incredibly simple interfaces, or visit regulations.gov directly to add your comment to the 157,000+ received already at their website. Remember, we have until July 10th for this current comment period to show our support for our national monuments at sea and on land.

Be sure to share these links and your participation on Twitter with the hashtag #MonumentsForAll.