The Monument Creation and Protection Act was introduced into Congress on March 12, 2019. This bill would reform the Antiquities Act of 1906 by standardizing and setting limits to the president’s power in reshaping monuments. Under this bill, the President could reduce the size of any declared national monument: (1) by 85,000 acres or less; or (2) by more than 85,000 acres only if the reduction has been approved by each county and state within whose boundaries the monument will be located and reviewed by Interior or USDA under the National Environmental Policy Act.
On March 25, SJ20 was heard in the Senate Natural Resources Committee in the MT State Legislature. Introduced by J. Welborn (R-District 36), the resolution requests an interim study of certain Wilderness Study Areas in Montana and convene stakeholders, discuss options for disposition, and provide recommendations to Congress. This bill would affect the future of approximately 660,000 acres across seven Montana Wilderness Study Areas (WSAs).
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.