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Protect the Antiquities Act

Blog

Our favorite stories about public lands and opportunities for you to get involved in protecting your outdoor experiences.

 

Protect the Antiquities Act

Tania Lown-Hecht

The Grand Canyon, first designated as a National Monument using the Antiquities Act, is one of the most cherished and spectacular places in America.

The Grand Canyon, first designated as a National Monument using the Antiquities Act, is one of the most cherished and spectacular places in America.

UPDATE 3/31: Amendment 388 was withdrawn, thanks in part to the many voices that spoke out in opposition.

Since 1906, the Antiquities Act has protected some of America's most spectacular public lands, including the Grand Canyon, Joshua Tree, and Muir Woods. Most recently, the Antiquities Act has protected Browns Canyon in Colorado and the San Gabriel Mountains in California. The Antiquities Act enables the President to designate National Monuments, which provide additional protections for special places. Since Theodore Roosevelt passed it into law over a century ago, both Republican and Democratic presidents have used the Antiquities Act over 100 times. These days, national monuments are designated only when there is strong local input and support.

A recent amendment (No. 388) proposed by Senator Daines (R-MT) adds a budget measure that clears the way for attacks on the Antiquities Act. Many of the most spectacular hiking, climbing, paddling, and backcountry skiing in the country has benefitted from protections under the Antiquities Act. From paddling on Colorado’s Black Canyon to climbing at Devils Tower in Wyoming, the Antiquities Act has been invaluable for protecting superb recreational resources. When a monument is designated, local communities enjoy economic benefits. Having nearby recreation opportunities also improves property value and attracts businesses and talent. We all need places where we can run, ski, hike, climb, and play, and Amendment 338 threatens an important tool for protecting these valuable resources.

Read our letter about the Antiquities Act here.