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Follow-up to Legislation to Limit Monument Designation Update

April 15, 2013 7:14 PM

Follow-up to Legislation to Limit Monument Designation Update - Last week (April 10) we blasted an update on the effort to do something about the ability of any U.S. President to unilaterally establish massive National Monuments without any input from the public or state and local governments. We reported that a Congressional hearing would be scheduled this week to consider some proposals. Today, the House Natural Resources Committee, Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation, announced that on Tuesday, April 16, 2013 it would review no les

Follow-up to Legislation to Limit Monument Designation Update

Dear BRC Action Alert Subscriber,

Last week (April 10) we blasted an update on the effort to do something about the ability of any U.S. President to unilaterally establish massive National Monuments without any input from the public or state and local governments.

We reported that a Congressional hearing would be scheduled this week to consider some proposals. Today, the House Natural Resources Committee, Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation, announced that on Tuesday, April 16, 2013 it would review no less than eight bills related to new National Monuments.

One of the bills was offered by Utah's Jason Chaffetz. That bill would require full public review and Congressional approval in any new Presidential National Monument designation. A bill from North Carolina's Virginia Foxx would mandate state approval for any new monument. A spokesman for Representative Foxx said: "Local citizens and state governments should have a voice in the process of designating new national monuments in their backyards. The Preserve Land Freedom for Americans Act' will ensure states have a say, instead of leaving the federal government to make those decisions unilaterally and without appropriate input."

Other bills simply prohibit new National Monuments, except those established by Congress, in Nevada, Utah, New Mexico, Montana and Idaho.

Finally, another bill by Utah's Rob Bishop seeks to use the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) to restore the intent of the Antiquities  Act, which is to protect objects of national significance using only the smallest area possible. Bishop's bill would not preclude any new National Monument. Rather, it would require a NEPA review so that the public and local governments could at least have a voice in any new National Monument over 5000 acres. Bishop also wants Congress to approve any Presidential proclamation within three years.

Bishop noted: "If these designations are worthy of implementation, then they should stand up on their own merits during the open and fair Congressional process, which prioritizes public input.  The use of the Antiquities Act cuts out public participation. There is a right way to designate federal lands, and there is a wrong way. Executive fiat is unquestionably the wrong way and is an abuse of executive privilege."

More on the Web:
FOX News: House bill increases hunter access to public lands LINK
 
Rep. Rob Bishop Shares Concerns over Antiquities Act and New National Monuments LINK
  
Bishop Opposes President Obama's Use of Antiquities Act LINK

The hearing will convene at 10:00 am in the Longworth House Office Building. We've pasted the formal announcement below. You can watch the hearing HERE. We'll have information on how you can support these efforts soon.

Thanks to all our members and contributors. And as always, if you have any questions or concerns, please contact BRC.

Brian Hawthorne
Public Lands Policy Director
BlueRibbon Coalition
208-237-1008 ext 102


NOTICE FROM HOUSE NATURAL RESOURCE COMMITTEE:

MEMORANDUM

To:            Members, Committee on Natural Resources,
                  Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation
From:       The Honorable Rob Bishop, Chairman
Subject:  Legislative Hearing - April 16, 2013

On Tuesday, April 16, 2013 at 10:00 a.m. in room 1324 Longworth House Office Building, the Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation will hold a legislative hearing on the following bills:

  • H.R. 250 (Chaffetz), To amend the Antiquities Act of 1906 to place additional requirements on the establishment of national monuments under that Act, and for other purposes.
  • H.R. 382 (Foxx), To provide for State approval of national monuments, and for other purposes. "Preserve land Freedom for Americans Act"
  • H.R. 432 (Amodei), To prohibit the further extension or establishment of national monuments in Nevada except by express authorization of Congress.
  • H.R 758 (Stewart), To prohibit the further extension or establishment of national monuments in Utah except by express authorization of Congress. "Utah Land Sovereignty Act"
  • H.R. 1512 (Pearce), To prohibit the further extension or establishment of national monuments in New Mexico except by express authorization of Congress. "New Mexico Land Sovereignty Act"
  • H.R. 1434 (Daines), To prohibit the further extension or establishment of national monuments in Montana, except by express authorization of Congress, and for other purposes. "Montana Land Sovereignty Act"
  • H.R. 1439 (Labrador), To prohibit the further extension or establishment of national monuments in Idaho, except by express authorization of Congress. "Idaho Land Sovereignty Act"
  • H.R. 1459 (Bishop), To ensure that the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 applies to the declaration of national monuments, and for other purposes. "Ensuring Public Involvement in the Creation of National Monuments Act"
  • H.R. 855 (Doggett), To expand the boundary of San Antonio Missions National Historical park, to conduct a study of potential land acquisitions, and for other purposes. "San Antonio Missions National Historical Park Boundary Expansion Act of 2013"

 


The BlueRibbon Coalition is a national recreation group that champions responsible recreation, and encourages individual environmental stewardship. With members in all 50 states, BRC is focused on building enthusiast involvement with organizational efforts through membership, outreach, education, and collaboration among recreationists. 1-800-BlueRib - www.sharetrails.org
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