The Antiquities Act of 1906 is one of the most important tools available for the preservation of public, federal lands and historical sites for all Americans to enjoy.
On April 26, 2017 President Trump signed an executive order directing the Interior Department to conduct a review of approximately 25 national monuments, going back to 1996 designations, to recommend potential changes. This order targets the Antiquities Act, which permits presidents to declare federal lands, already owned by all Americans, as monuments in order to protect their historical, cultural or scientific value and overall national significance.
The law is essential to maintain the integrity of critical national and cultural resources including:
- Muir Woods National Monument: Designated in 1908 by Theodore Roosevelt due to its “extensive growth of redwood trees” and threats from old growth forest logging.
- Grand Canyon National Park: Designated in 1908 by Theodore Roosevelt and later expanded under Antiquities Act proclamation by Herbert Hoover and Franklin Roosevelt.
- Statue of Liberty National Monument: Designated in 1924 by Calvin Coolidge, with later expansions to include Ellis Island by Franklin Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson as a symbol of the role of the United States as a land of freedom and opportunity.
For over one hundred years the Antiquities Act has been used as a bi-partisan conservation tool. With the exception of the Organic Act of 1916, no law has had more influence over the development of the modern National Park System and our other public lands than the Antiquities Act. NPCA is opposed to proposals that would restrict presidential authority to proclaim national monuments.
More Than 1,000 Sent Letters to Congress
NPCA supporters urged Congress to oppose amendments to the House Interior Appropriations bill that would dismantle the Antiquities Act.
More than 18,000 Take Action
Park advocates urged Congress to oppose anti-environmental policy provisions and to preserve the laws that allow parks and their environment to thrive in their second century.
1,700 Speak Up to Protect the Antiquities Act
Park advocates sent messages to Congress urging them to oppose any bills or amendments that intend to undermine the Antiquities Act, or prevent the preservation of areas designated under the Antiquities Act.
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