Salt Lake City, UT – Americans for Prosperity today commended President Trump and Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke’s announcement that the federal land seizures at Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments will be reduced. Under Presidents Obama and Clinton, millions of acres at these monuments were seized from the state of Utah under the Antiquities Act.
The Antiquities Act, created in 1906, allows the president to unilaterally designate national monuments without local or congressional approval. Both monuments were part of a comprehensive review by Secretary Zinke that examined national monument designations under previous administrations.
The Antiquities Act has been abused and misused in recent decades from its intended purpose of protecting “the smallest area possible compatible with proper care and management of the objects.” The first national monument designated by President Theodore Roosevelt under the Antiquities Act was just 1,200 acres; Bears Ears is 1.35 million acres and Grand Staircase-Escalante are 1.9 million. According to Secretary Zinke, Bears Ears will still be larger than, Zion and Bryce National Parks, Utah’s two national parks combined.
Americans for Prosperity Vice President of External Affairs, Chrissy Harbin released the following statement:
“Previous administrations abused their power under the Antiquities Act in order to keep land off limits. President Trump and Secretary Zinke’s actions in reviewing and resizing past administration’s monument designations is a welcome step in reducing government overreach. We will continue to work with lawmakers in Congress and the Department of Interior to prioritize conservation efforts, encourage sustainable economic development, and empower the voice of local communities.”
Americans for Prosperity-Utah’s State Director, Evelyn Everton released the following statement:
“President Trump’s decision to resize these national monuments after historic federal land seizures is a huge victory for the state of Utah. With over $18 billion of maintenance work needed on federal lands managed by federal agencies, the federal government has proven to be a poor caretaker of federal lands. We applaud the Trump administration’s actions in ensuring local economies that depend on the land’s resources will not be harmed and important historic objects and sites at national monuments will be protected. This will increase economic competitiveness, especially in rural parts of the state.”
For further information or an interview, reach Andres Malave at AMalave@afphq.org.
Americans for Prosperity (AFP) exists to recruit, educate, and mobilize citizens in support of the policies and goals of a free society at the local, state, and federal level, helping every American live their dream – especially the least fortunate. AFP has more than 3.2 million activists across the nation, a local infrastructure that includes 36 state chapters, and has received financial support from more than 100,000 Americans in all 50 states. For more information, visit www.AmericansForProsperity.org