Tuesday, May 02, 2017

House Republicans begin probe of monuments law

Top Republicans on the House Natural Resources Committee on Tuesday outlined potential reforms for the Antiquities Act as the Interior Department kicks off its review of the law. Rep. Tom McClintock (R-Calif.), the chair of the committee’s federal lands panel, said “ongoing abuses of the Antiquities Act are antithetical” to the committee’s goals of expanding public access to federal lands and managing them along with local governments. He proposed amending the law — which allows the president to unilaterally protect land or water owned by the federal government — to set acreage limits on monuments or require more input from local and state governments before allowing for such designations. Democrats have broadly supported maintaining the Antiquities Act. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D-Hawaii) predicted there would be “significant opposition from the American people” if Trump or his administration tried to roll back any of the Obama-era monument designations. “I actually think a review, if done in good faith, might actually teach us something about the board base of support for national monuments and the Antiquities Act,” she said...more

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