Friday, September 16, 2016

Utah Senators Introduce Antiquities Act Amendment to Stop Bears Ears

Utah Senator Mike Lee along with Senator Orrin Hatch, have introduced a senate bill they refer to as the “Utah National Monument Parity Act.” The bill is the latest effort by Utah to derail what some consider the imminent declaration of another National Monument within the Beehive State. This latest move would provide a legislative roadblock to future efforts similar to another designation currently under consideration by the Obama administration. The most recent request for antiquities protection was made by a Native American tribal coalition which has petitioned the White House for the designation of the Bears Ears area in Utah’s San Juan County. The Antiquities Act, originally made law by Teddy Roosevelt in 1906, has been revised twice since its enactment as a remedy for similar looting and public vandalism at Mesa Verde in Colorado, less than 75 miles away from the proposed Utah site. Lee has been instrumentally involved with the state’s opposition to a monument declaration and seeks a reduction in power of the Antiquities Act similar to that issued for Wyoming in 1950. At that time, following the incorporation of Jackson Hole into the Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming secured an amendment requiring Congressional consent for any future creation or enlargement of National Monuments there. The Lee amendment would prohibit the further declaration of National Monuments in Utah without congressional approval in a similar manner...more

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