Natural Resources Committee Advances Bill to Reform Antiquities Act

Oct 11, 2017
Press Release

(Washington, DC) – Congressman Doug LaMalfa (R-Richvale) issued the following statement after H.R. 3990, the National Monument Creation and Protection Act, passed the Natural Resources Committee.

LaMalfa said: “This legislation establishes an appropriate precedent for the creation of new National Monuments under the often-abused Antiquities Act. No longer will a President have the authority to suddenly and unilaterally snatch large swaths of land away from public use without local input. In the case of the Cascade-Siskiyou Monument, President Obama expanded the monument over the direct objections of the counties in which it is located and included tens of thousands of acres of private property. Under this much-needed reform, any sizeable area of land to be considered as a national monument would be subject to state and local input, as well as Congressional approval. I fully support this legislation to return this power back to Congress, the people, and local communities.”

Background via the Natural Resources Committee:

This bill retains Presidential authority to designate National Monuments up to 640 acres, allowing the President to rapidly protect objects of antiquity in imminent danger, restoring the original intent of the Antiquities Act. New monument designations between 640 acres and 10,000 acres will now require review under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) prior to being finalized. Proposed new monument designations between 5,000 and 10,000 acres must be reviewed under an environmental assessment or environmental impact statement.

The bill empowers State and local voices by requiring approval of all county commissions, state legislatures, and governors impacted by a national monument for any designation between 10,000 acres and 85,000 acres. Any monument designation larger than 85,000 acres would require an act of Congress. This bill also creates a new Presidential authority to designate “Emergency National Monuments” for up to one year, to protect areas of any size in times of emergency, as determined by the President. After invoking this authority, the President may never designate any of the effected lands as a future National Monument.

Congressman Doug LaMalfa is a lifelong farmer representing California’s First Congressional District, including Butte, Glenn, Lassen, Modoc, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou and Tehama Counties.