Setting the record straight on the Antiquities Act

Ironwood Forest National Monument. Courtesy BLM.

We recently told you about an internal memo from the Department of Interior that was leaked and is now being used by some members of Congress to accuse the Obama administration of backroom deals and of leaving the American people out of a discussion about our public lands. This has resulted in efforts by a small group of congressman to limit the President’s authority under the Antiquities Act. This is one of the nation’s most important tools for conservation and talk of limiting use of this tool is ill-informed and inappropriate.

In response, The Wilderness Society recently led an effort to let the Administration know that there is broad national support for the Antiquities Act and the important tool it provides for.

More than 60 national, regional, and local conservation, preservation, recreation and other organizations recently signed a letter to President Obama outlining our strong support for the Antiquities Act. Spearheaded by The Wilderness Society and the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the letter encourages defense of the Act in the face of these legislative efforts and also encourages appropriate use of the Act to protect the nation’s important public land values.

You can read for yourself what we had to say to the President. We hope that by uniting against the misinformation that is out there we can protect the Administration’s right, when appropriate, to take the necessary steps to protect our lands. Stay tuned as we work to ensure legislation that limits the President’s power is scrapped. There may be a chance we’ll need you to speak out soon as well.  

photo: Ironwood Forest National Monument. Courtesy BLM.