Last week, the House Natural Resources Committee voted along party lines to pass Chairman Rob Bishop’s “National Monument Creation and Protection Act,” referring this legislation to the House of Representatives. Of concern, Bishop’s legislation was hastily introduced last Monday and was voted out of committee 48 hours later, an unusual use of “fast-tracking” uncommon within congressional committees. This rapid maneuver last week prevented dialogue on the crucial issue of national public land use. Sportsmen, scientists, outdoor industry, and conservationists alike oppose this extremist legislation because it neither creates nor protects national monuments, which is why it has quickly earned the reputation as the “No New Parks Act”.
So what is the National Monument and Creation Act?
The National Monument and Creation Act essentially changes the definition of antiquities to specifically exclude protection for many of the nation’s lands, water, and wildlife habitats. The bill would further allow energy and mineral development on public lands and waters that are currently designated for protection. In a striking change of protocol, this act also requires the approval of county commissioners, the state legislature, and the governor before an acting U.S. president can act to protect national monuments, and limits all new monument designations to an arbitrary 640 acres. This legislation would also drastically change historical precedent by allowing a sitting U.S president to reduce or revoke national monuments.
Overall, Bishop’s bill would drastically change the legacy of the Antiquities Act established in 1906 which has been used by 16 presidents, Republican and Democratic alike, to designate 157 national monuments, dozens of which eventually became our national parks. It would effectively make it impossible for new national monuments to be declared. In fact, had this bill been included in the original language of the Antiquities Act, Utah would not have four of its five national parks or seven of its eight national monuments.
CALL TO ACTION
- Tell your representative how you feel about HR 3990. CD-1 constituents, let Rob Bishop know that HR 3990 is extremist and antithetical to the wishes of the Utahns he represents. Not in CD-1? Ask your representative to vote NO on H.R. 3990.
- Call on our senators to oppose the National Monument Protection and Creation Act. The bill threatens America’s lands, waters, culturally and historically significant places, and the wildlife habitats that Utahns depend on and love.
- Share on social media:
Outside: “How Rob Bishop Plans to Gut the Antiquities Act”
Red Green and Blue op-ed: “Evangelicals oppose Congress’ gutting of Teddy Roosevelt’s Antiquities Act”
Backcountry Hunters & Anglers statement: “Sportsmen and Outdoor Leaders Denounce Antiquities Act Takedown”
Sen. Orrin Hatch (202) 224-5251 (DC) // (801) 524-4380 (SLC) // (801) 375-7881 (Provo) // (435) 634-1795 (St. George) // (801) 625-5672 (Ogden) // (435) 586-8435 (Cedar City)
Sen. Mike Lee 202-224-5444 (DC) // 801-524-5933 (SLC) // 435-628-5514 (St. George) // 801-392-9633 (Ogden)
Rep. Rob Bishop (Congressional District 1): 202-225-0453 (DC) // 801-625-0107 (Ogden)
Rep. Chris Stewart (Congressional District 2): 202-225-9730 (DC) // 801-364-5550 (SLC) // 435-627-1500 (St. George)
Rep. Mia Love (Congressional District 4): (202) 225-3011 (DC) // 801-996-8729 (West Jordan)
Not sure who your U.S. Representative is? Check here.
- Utahns do not want to alter the currently functioning definition of antiquities outlined in the Antiquities Act.
- Utahns oppose energy and mineral development on public lands designated for protection.
- This legislation would cause significant damage to Utah’s economy and create irreversible damage to Utah’s public lands.
- Oil & gas, a major industry contributor to Rob Bishop’s campaigns, is a significant backer of H.R. 3990 because of the power it would bring them to develop on public lands that are privatized for that purpose, yet only 24% of Utahns want to see more development of responsible oil & gas drilling or mining on our public lands.