Responding to President Obama’s decision last week to protect a stretch of California’s Coast near Point Arena as a new national monument, the House of Representatives is planning to vote next week to overturn a 108 year-old law that presidents of both parties have used to protect iconic American places, including the Grand Canyon, the Statue of Liberty, and Arches National Park.After 108 years of presidents using the Antiquities Act to save some of the nation's most critical natural areas, Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT) says that the creation of this new national monument was an egregious overreach by President Obama. Of course.
The bill, H.R. 1459, aims to block presidents from using the Antiquities Act of 1906 to establish new national monuments by putting caps on how many times it can be used, requiring congressional review of proposed monuments, and forcing local communities to engage in an ironic exercise of reviewing the environmental impacts of protecting lands for future generations.
This is after the Republican government shutdown cost the National Parks 7.88 million visits during the 16-day shutdown, resulting in a total loss of $414 million in the communities around the parks.
Republican hostility toward parks isn't anything new—they see them as great big government barriers to what should be happening on that land: drilling and fracking and logging and mining. But this is the first time they've actually voted specifically on ending them forever.