An outrageous House bill threatens to severely undermine the Antiquities Act, which was first signed into law by Theodore Roosevelt to protect special places as national monuments.
Congress is all but ignoring its duty to protect America's natural and historical treasures. In fact, they have barely protected any new public land since 2009, a streak that ended only after they voted to protect Michigan’s Sleeping Bear Dunes earlier this year.
Thanks to the Antiquities Act, the president has the ability to step in at times like this and get the job done, using the authority exercised by previous administrations on both sides of the aisle. President Obama promised to protect more of our pristine federal lands for future generation in his State of the Union address, and since then he as taken the bold step of designating New Mexico's Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks area as a national monument and adding the Point Arena-Stornetta Public Lands to the California Coastal National Monument.
However, the "Preventing New Parks" bill would undermine the president’s authority to act, putting us right back where we started: with public lands conservation measures languishing in Congress, and natural and historical landmarks cherished by ordinary Americans left vulnerable to senseless development and prolonged neglect.
Demand that your member of Congress vote NO on H.R. 1459.
To whom it may concern:
I am writing to ask that you to VOTE NO on H.R. 1459.
The Antiquities Act was created to allow the president to move swiftly to protect public lands that are vital to our American heritage. This tool has been used by Republican and Democratic presidents alike to protect places with important natural, cultural and historic value such as the Grand Canyon and Statue of Liberty.
Almost half of all national parks began as national monuments. Dismantling the Antiquities Act, as H.R. 1459 proposes, would weaken an important land protection tool at a time when Congress is struggling to move land protection bills.
National monuments and other public lands are an essential part of state economies. Outdoor recreation fuels $646 billion into the U.S. economy and supports more than 6 million jobs.
For these reasons and many more, I hope you will vote NO on H.R. 1459.
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