Today, June 8th, is the anniversary of the 1906 Antiquities Act. Under this act, Presidents have the authority to designate national monuments, offering protection to a site more quickly than the full Congressional review needed to create a National Park. National monuments are created for a variety of reason. Some areas are protected because of important archaeological, cultural, historical, or scientific reasons. Others are simply beautifully wild natural sites that are at risk of exploitation.
In many cases, the creation of a national monument highlights the area and gives it a better chance of being considered for National Park status. Some examples of national monuments that later became National Parks include the Grand Canyon, Olympic National Park, Acadia National Park, Zion, and Arches.
This past month many protected areas of the United States have been under direct siege. On April 26, President Trump ordered the Secretary of the Interior to review over 50 national monuments created since 1996. The preliminary part of the review process includes a public comment period.
This is where you come in!
The public comment period closes this Saturday, June 10th. We all need to find a moment to share with the Department of the Interior that we value the preservation of the remaining natural spaces in the United States.
Share stories about your personal visit to a national monument.
Share thoughts about the effect of public lands on your nearby business.
Share ideas about how your local community supports and makes regular use of their nearest national monuments.
To make a comment, visit regulations.gov and search “DOI-2017-0002”
OR use this handy direct link.
To learn more about the Antiquities Act and the review process, visit the following sites:
Modern Hiker: How To Comment On Trump’s National Monument Review
U.S. Department of the Interior: Press Release List of Monuments Under Review
Congressional Research Services: National Monuments and the Antiquities Act
Bureau of Land Management: National Monuments
National Park Service: National Monuments