By Sutherland Staff
Published on October 13, 2017

SALT LAKE CITY—Sutherland Institute announced today its support for the National Monument Creation and Protection Act (NMCPA). HR 3990 was introduced by Rep. Rob Bishop and passed out of the House Committee on Natural Resources Wednesday.

The following article, written by Matt Anderson, director of the Coalition for Self-Government in the West (a project of Sutherland Institute), was published Thursday in The Hill:

Last week, House Democrats pushed forward a resolution demanding the Trump administration be more transparent about its review of national monuments. Their allegations of a “hidden process” sound eerily familiar: This time last year, Utah’s Congressional delegation joined local Navajos in making almost identical accusations about the developments surrounding then-President Barack Obama’s impending designation of the Bears Ears National Monument.

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All that separates these two groups is time — and the individual who occupies the Oval Office. Instead of shouting past one another, it’s time both sides see through ideological and partisan differences to transform the designation and reduction of national monuments into a transparent process.

Neither side seems to question the pure intentions of the Antiquities Act. It was the first federal action taken to establish cultural and historical areas as important public resources and instructs federal land managers to protect archaeological sites from grave robbers, looters and acts of vandalism.

Yet for all its foresight, the law has a glaring flaw. The law rejected the American system of checks and balances and vested total power in one individual to either designate or reduce national monuments. Thus presidents of both parties were given the ability to — with the stroke of a pen — disregard those most impacted by land management decisions in favor of an agenda often focused on ideological and self-centered goals. When partisan politics and shortsighted agendas are in play, transparency is rarely a consideration.

It’s time both sides draw on their shared love of our national treasures and realize that a faulty process and a lack of transparency — not a lack of values — are largely creating the divide.

Earlier this week, Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah) introduced the National Monument Creation and Protection Act (NMCPA), which would limit the president’s unilateral authority under the Antiquities Act and make the national monument designation process more transparent.

Two provisions in particular stand out. … Read more.

You can also hear Anderson discuss this new legislation on KSL Newsradio’s Doug Wright Show.

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