By Sutherland Staff
Published on October 3, 2017

Sutherland Institute and The Heritage Foundation are planning an event this Wednesday, “National Monuments and the Communities They Impact: Views Beyond the Beltway,” in Washington, D.C.

Speakers at the livestreamed event will include Senator Mike Lee, R-Utah, and Representative Rob Bishop, R-Utah.

Inaccurate information spread throughout the public and media after President Donald Trump’s order that the Department of the Interior review national monuments created since 1996 under the Antiquities Act. These inaccuracies have reached to even the basics of what a national monument designation entails and how it is different from a national park.

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Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke has delivered recommendations to the president regarding 26 national monuments and marine areas in 12 states and the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. Congress must engage even as the Trump administration considers next steps for these lands. As Zinke said in his review to the president, “The executive power under the act is not a substitute for a lack of congressional action on protective land designations.”

Please join Sutherland Institute and The Heritage Foundation for a half-day conference this Wednesday, Oct. 4, to discuss these issues and hear from members of Congress, their constituents who are directly impacted by national monument lands, and other leading experts. The event will be livestreamed here.

From Boyd Matheson, Sutherland Institute president:

“No one man should have the power and authority to unilaterally decide what happens to a sacred piece of America’s public lands,” Matheson said. “Until we the people, and our congressional representatives, work to reform the Antiquities Act and safeguard its original intent, Americans will suffer the consequences of partisan politics and politicians’ jockeying of national monument designations. I look forward to the elevated discussions that will take place at this event and express my appreciation to the Heritage Foundation for hosting us.”

From Jack Spencer, vice president for the Institute for Economic Freedom (The Heritage Foundation):

“At the heart of good environmental policy is a decision-making process that is site- and situation-specific, and prioritizes the people who have the most to gain or lose by those decisions,” Spencer said. “The Trump administration’s national monuments review is a good step in that direction.” 

From U.S. Senator Mike Lee:

“No president from either party should have the power to unilaterally dictate land management in any state,” Lee said. “It is far past time for the Antiquities Act to be amended so that consultation and democracy can be brought back to federal lands management.”

From U.S. Representative Rob Bishop:

“The Antiquities Act does not apply to the realities of our day,” Bishop said. “It was created over 100 years ago, before the Park Service and BLM (Bureau of Land Management) even existed. The act was intended to save actual archaeological items, thus the name Antiquities Act. Today it is used for political purposes to reward special interest groups. That’s not right. We need to reform the act and return it to its historical purposes.”

Event Details

*This event is open to the public and the media*

WHEN: Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2017 – 9 to 11:30 a.m. EST

WHERE:  The Heritage Foundation’s Allison Auditorium 


The Honorable Mike Lee (R-UT), United States senator

The Honorable Rob Bishop (R-UT), United States representative

Ryan Benally, member of the Navajo Nation

Bob Meyers, executive director, Maine Snowmobile Association

Grant Moore, president, Atlantic Offshore Lobstermen’s Association

Boyd Matheson, president, Sutherland Institute

Matthew Anderson, director, Coalition for Self-Government in the West, Sutherland Institute

Hannah Downey, research fellow, Property and Environment Research Center

Nick Loris (moderator), Herbert and Joyce Morgan Research Fellow in Energy and Environmental Policy, The Heritage Foundation


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