The Antiquities Act of 1906 provides the President with authority to declare land of “historic or scientific interest” to be a National Monument. While this authority has been used less than 110 times in 100 years, vast amounts of land have been set aside in the process. The designation is consequential since it can lead to road closures for motorized recreation, among other activities. ORBA has called for a more collaborative approach to land-use decisions, including input from local citizens, elected leaders and other stakeholders.
In response to these concerns, ORBA-supported legislation (HR 1459) has been passed by the U.S. House of Representatives and sent to the Senate for consideration.
We Urge You to Contact Your U.S. Senators
Today to Urge Their Support for HR 1459
· HR 1459 ensures that local recreation enthusiasts are included in the decision-making process for any National Monument over 5,000 acres. The bill would require an environmental under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Monuments of smaller sizes would not require a NEPA review but would expire after 3 years if not ratified by Congress.
· Currently the President can designate monuments through Executive Order without input from the local community.
· HR 1459 limits the President to one monument designation per state, per four-year term. Any additional designations would be subject to approval by the U.S. Congress.
· HR 1459 ensures a more collaborate approach to land use decisions and takes into account the positive economic impact of motorized recreation activities, which accounts for over $257 million in annual economic impact nationwide.
· The issue is consequential. In 1996, President Clinton set aside 1.9 million acres of land in Southern Utah as the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. President Obama is now under pressure to establish a 1.4 million acres “Greater Canyonlands National Monument,” closing 1,050 of off-road vehicle trails and monitoring another 1,450 miles for future closure.
DON’T DELAY! Click here to contact your two U.S. Senators to request support for HR 1459.