Tell Congress: Reject the “No More National Parks” Bill
For more than 100 years, the Antiquities Act has allowed presidents to use their executive authority to protect America’s public lands by designating national monuments. It’s why we have national treasures like the Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona and Chimney Rock National Monument in Colorado.
It’s a presidential privilege that has literally shaped America’s landscape and its history, but Republicans in Congress now think it’s time to end all of that.
Last month, Republican Congressman Rep. Don Young introduced a bill that would strip the President of this authority. The MAST Act would overhaul the Antiquities Act, requiring any presidential designations to go through a crippling process of congressional approval making it nearly impossible for presidents to designate new national monuments . It’s a cynical attempt to forever block the President’s ability to protect lands from drilling and mining companies that want to exploit these lands for profit.
Sign the petition: Stop Republicans from blocking new national parks.
The way the law works now, presidents can quickly set aside public lands for protection and conservation through proclamations, instead of going through the more complicated Congressional process of creating a National Park. In fact, it’s often the first step to creating a National Park – the Grand Canyon was first designated a monument under the Antiquities Act by Theodore Roosevelt.
Here’s what’s really ironic: Rep. Don Young, the sponsor of the bill, features a photo of Denali National Park and Preserve, which was originally declared a monument under the Antiquities Act in 1978, as the background on his own congressional website.
Protecting the Antiquities Act and stopping this bill isn’t just about safeguarding America’s environment and historical heritage – it’s also an economic issue. National Monuments generate tourism and economic activity in places that wouldn’t receive it otherwise.
If we don’t stop the MAST Act, it could be a big win for the Republican Congress’s right-wing agenda. We can’t allow that to happen.
Thank you for your activism.