The Antiquities Act is an important conservation tool used by almost every president since Theodore Roosevelt to protect threatened lands and waters. President Obama used the law to protect Cotoni-Coast Dairies in California and Bears Ears in Utah. But legislation has been introduced in Congress to curtail the Antiquities Act and make it harder to create national monuments.
The law has been instrumental in protecting some of nation’s most beloved landscapes. Can you imagine the Grand Canyon as a uranium mine, or Olympic National Park as a patchwork of clear-cuts instead of river valleys of old-growth rainforest? These national parks are some of the most iconic American landscapes that draw visitors from around the world. Both were initially protected under the Antiquities Act.
Congress's move is wildly out of step with Americans' values and priorities. For generations, the American people have consistently supported protecting some of our most beautiful and historically important lands for public use. In fact, many lands originally protected under the law were subsequently made National Parks in bipartisan acts of Congress. Without the Antiquities Act, the fruits of is shared value - the Grand Canyon, Zion National Park, Acadia National Park and more - may have already been ruined.
Tell your members of Congress to support keeping the Antiquities Act as is - a strong tool for conservation of our environment and our history.