May 19

Public Comment Period Now Open on National Monument Review

Editor’s note: the comment period has been extended to July 10th.

An executive order passed by the Trump Administration on April 26th instructed Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to review any national monument designated via the Antiquities Act since January 1, 1996, that spans at least 100,000 acres. 22 land-based monuments and five marine monuments are under review and now is the time to comment and make your voice heard.

Signed into law by Theodore Roosevelt in 1906, the Antiquities Act authorizes presidents to protect important archaeological, historic and scientific resources on public lands. The public comment period will be open until July 10.

Prehistoric Granary overlooks Cedar Mesa, Utah. Photographer: Josh Ewing

Those wishing to add comments can follow this link  to leave them online or send by mail to Monument Review, MS-1530, U.S. Department of the Interior, 1849 C Street NW, Washington, DC 20240. Before including your personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment may be made publicly available at any time.

Carrizo Plain Superbloom, California  Photo: BLM/croft.de

Comments can address economic benefits of public lands for tourism, protection of historic and sacred sites, personal experiences had in these monuments, the history of the Antiquities Act, the importance of protecting our public lands for future generations to enjoy, or any opinion you have on the Executive order to review these monuments.

The Wave, Vermilion Cliffs National Monument Photo: Sirena Dufault

Here are the monuments under review:

Basin and Range Nevada 2015
Bears Ears Utah 2016
Berryessa Snow Mountain California 2015
Canyons of the Ancients Colorado 2000
Carrizo Plain California 2001
Cascade Siskiyou Oregon 2000/2017
Craters of the Moon Idaho 1924/2000
Giant Sequoia California 2000
Gold Butte Nevada 2016
Grand Canyon-Parashant Arizona 2000
Grand Staircase-Escalante Utah 1996
Hanford Reach Washington 2000
Ironwood Forest Arizona 2000
Katahdin Woods and Waters Maine 2016
Mojave Trails California 2016
Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks New Mexico 2014
Rio Grande del Norte New Mexico 2013
Sand to Snow California 2016
San Gabriel Mountains California 2014
Sonoran Desert Arizona 2001
Upper Missouri River Breaks Montana 2001
Vermilion Cliffs Arizona 2000
Marine monuments:
Marianas Trench CNMI/Pacific Ocean 2009
Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Atlantic Ocean 2016
Pacific Remote Islands Pacific Ocean 2009
Papahanaumokuakea Hawaii/Pacific Ocean 2006/2016
Rose Atoll American Samoa/Pacific Ocean 2009
Katahdin Woods and Waters, Maine Photo: Jeremy Sheaffer

Here are the criteria for review, taken from the Interior Department’s website:

(i) the requirements and original objectives of the Act, including the Act’s requirement that reservations of land not exceed “the smallest area compatible with the proper care and management of the objects to be protected”;

(ii) whether designated lands are appropriately classified under the Act as “historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, [or] other objects of historic or scientific interest”;

(iii) the effects of a designation on the available uses of designated Federal lands, including consideration of the multiple-use policy of section 102(a)(7) of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (43 U.S.C. 1701(a)(7)), as well as the effects on the available uses of Federal lands beyond the monument boundaries;

(iv) the effects of a designation on the use and enjoyment of non-Federal lands within or beyond monument boundaries;

(v) concerns of State, tribal, and local governments affected by a designation, including the economic development and fiscal condition of affected States, tribes, and localities;

(vi) the availability of Federal resources to properly manage designated areas; and

(vii) such other factors as the Secretary deems appropriate.
82 FR 20429-20430 (May 1, 2017).

Be sure to get your public comment in by July 10 and make your voice heard!