June 1, 2017
Today 29 different organizations jointly asked President Donald Trump to reduce and/or rescind egregious national monuments where local support exists to do so. In a letter drafted by Sutherland Institute and delivered Thursday to Trump, the undersigned stated in part:
National monuments are no longer about protecting specific historical and cultural sites. Instead, political gamesmanship, outdoor recreation, climate change, and other motivations inconsistent with the original intent of the Antiquities Act rule the designation process.
These ulterior motives have led to national monuments well beyond “the smallest area compatible” with protecting archaeological sites. According to National Park Service data, newly designated monuments averaged just 15,573 acres in 1906, when the Antiquities Act was passed. National monuments designated last year averaged 739,645 acres – more than 47 times the size of those created 110 years ago.
Expansive national monuments restrict access, weaken local economies, corrode rural communities and put the very archaeological resources they are supposed to protect at increased risk. Our communities, our country, and our national treasures deserve better.
Mr. President, your executive order was a good start – but it is just a start. You have an opportunity to return power to the people, right the wrongs of the past, and set a precedent that the designations of future presidents will be subject to review. We, the undersigned, support utilizing the criteria set forth in your executive order to reduce and rescind egregious national monuments where local support exists to do so.
This formal request comes from various think tanks and nonprofit groups across the United States. Each is listed below. The full letter is attached here.
· Sutherland Institute
· The Coalition for Self-Government in the West
· Competitive Enterprise Institute
· Spark Freedom
· Strata Policy
· MacIver Institute
· American Energy Alliance
· Idaho Freedom Foundation
· FIRM Country
· American Lands Council
· Freedom Works
· American Legislative Exchange Council
· ALEC Action
· Fin & Feather Club of Maine
· Stewards of San Juan County
· Eagle Forum
· Heritage Action for America
· Americans for Prosperity
· Citizens Against Government Waste
· Associated California Loggers
· Independent Institute
· Montana Policy Institute
· Taxpayers Protection Alliance
· Maine Woods Coalition
· Utah Farm Bureau
· Mississippi Center for Public Policy
· The James Madison Institute
· The Maine Heritage Policy Center
· Nevada Lands Council