The only immanent threats mentioned in this article are mining and possibly oil & gas drilling.
Do you need a National Monument designation to protect this area from these two uses?
The answer is NO!
If the administration truly felt the resource warranted protection from these uses, they can implement an administrative withdrawal from all forms of mining and energy leasing using their authority in Section 204 [43 U.S.C. 1714] of FLPMA. This can provide protection for up to twenty years.
For permanent protection Congress can pass a legislative withdrawal from all forms of mining and energy leasing.
Under either scenario, the lands are protected, while the surface uses remain the same.
Federal land managers typically allow existing mines, timber harvests and grazing allotments to continue on monuments, but ban any new projects from starting up.This is written as if the land managers have flexibility in making these choices. They don't. They must comply with the management language in the Presidential Proclamation. One person, the President, determines whether mining, timber harvests, grazing, roads, etc. will continue, and if so, under what guidelines and conditions.
The Antiquities Act allows existing allotments to be grandfathered in, but local ranchers simply don't trust the government to honor that agreement.That is not correct. The Antiquities Act does not even mention livestock grazing. Again, whether livestock grazing is banned, limited or continues as currently practiced is completely up to the President and whatever language he chooses to insert in the Presidential Proclamation creating the monument. The land managers then implement that language. And, the grazing language can vary widely from one proclamation to the next. Look at the different grazing languages in these two recent proclamations by President Obama, here and here. See my comments on the differences in these grazing languages here. Also see my comments on livestock grazing language in National Monument designation here and here.
And remember, the Presidential Proclamation is not put out as a draft inviting public comment. What one person - the President - says is determined without public hearings or input and is final.