“The ANTIQUITIES Act of 2018”
U.S. Senator Tom Udall (D-N.M.) has led a group of 18 Democratic senators in introducing legislation to enhance protections for national monuments against the Trump administration’s unprecedented attacks on public lands. The America’s Natural Treasures of Immeasurable Quality Unite, Inspire, and Together Improve the Economies of States (ANTIQUITIES) Act of 2018 reinforces Congress’ intent in the Antiquities Act of 1906: only Congress has the authority to modify a national monument designation. The bill also expands protection for the Bears Ears National Monument to over 1.9 million acres, directing that it be composed of the lands identified in the Bears Ears Tribal Coalition’s original proposal. In addition, it would designate over 249,000 acres of federal public lands in New Mexico as wilderness and add over 111,000 acres of wilderness in southern Nevada, building on the monument protections in these states.
What this legislation does:
S. 2354, the ANTIQUITIES Act of 2018, protects and enhances national monuments in three main provisions:
• It officially declares Congress’ support for the 51 national monuments established by presidents in both parties between January 1996 and April 2017 under their authority established by the Antiquities Act of 1906.
• It reinforces that existing law clearly states that presidential proclamations designating national monuments are valid and cannot be reduced or diminished, except by an act of Congress.
• It further enhances protections for the presidentially designated national monuments by 1) requiring that they be surveyed, mapped and that management plans be completed in two years—in the same manner as congressionally designated national monuments—and 2) that they receive additional resources to ensure that they will continue to meet their full potential of providing unmatched economic, recreational, and cultural benefits to their states and to the nation.
01/30/2018 Introduced in Senate