Preservation Action, Legislative Update
Volume 17, Number 13, March 28, 2014 →
Thanks for Urging Congress to Preserve Presidential Power to Protect Public Lands
Preservation Action joined a coalition of preservationists, conservationists, and environmentalists to urge Congress to oppose H.R. 1459, the “Ensuring Public Involvement in the Creation of National Monuments Act.” Despite objections from preservationists, the House of Representatives voted Wednesday, March 26 on H.R. 1459 to pass the bill by a vote of 222-201.
The bill is being called anti-parks and monuments. H.R. 1459 blocks a President’s ability to act quickly to preserve lands of public interest. It places limits on the number of monuments a President can designate using the Antiquities Act. The bill, for the first time, requires Congress to approve monument designations. It essentially restricts a President of the United States to designating one National Monument within a term.
Many of today’s National Parks were first protected by Presidents as National Monuments under the Antiquities Act. The Antiquities Act has been used by Democratic and Republican Presidents from Teddy Roosevelt to Barack Obama to preserve and protect cultural and historic places such as the Grand Canyon, Statue of Liberty, Acadia, Zion, Grand Teton, and Olympic National Parks.
When the bill goes to the Senate, preservationists will continue opposition. Preservation Action members should let their Senators know that the “Ensuring Public Involvement in the Creation of National Monuments Act” is an ill-conceived bill that does not protect or preserve public lands.
The Preservation Action network called members in their Capitol Hill and District offices. Rep. Jared Huffman spoke in favor of maintaining the Presidential authority.
News and Analysis
Antiquities Alerts from Our Partners
National Trust Responds to House of Representatives’ Vote to Restrict the Antiquities Act
National Trust for Historic Preservation
Save The Antiquities Act!
Coalition of National Park Service Retirees
Preservationists Continue Push for HPF Funding with Calls, Emails, and Social Media
As House and Senate appropriators begin FY 2015 budget considerations, Preservation Action joined NCSHPO and partners in Tweeting, Facebooking, emailing, and calling for members of Congress to sign on to Dear Colleague letters that urge support for historic preservation funding.
The House letter was spearheaded by Congressional Historic Preservation Caucus Co-chairs Representatives Mike Turner (R-OH) and Rush Holt (D-NJ). To sign-on, offices should contact: Vince Erfe with Rep. Turner (R-OH) at 202-225-6465 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Alicia Siani with Rep. Holt (D-NJ) at 202-225-5801 or email@example.com. The signing deadline is Friday, March 28.
The Senate “Dear Colleague” letter is spearheaded by Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Ben Cardin (D-MD). Please continue to reach out to your Senators and request they sign-on to the Senate “Dear Colleague.” To sign, offices should contact Jon Cardinal in Senator Gillibrand’s (D-NY) office at 202-224-4451 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Ann Jacobs in Senator Cardin’s office (D-MD) at 202-224-4524 or email@example.com. The deadline is Monday, April 7.
Secretary Jewell Testifies before Congress on Interior Appropriations
Interior Department Secretary, Sally Jewell, testified on March 26th before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment & Related Agencies. The Secretary made the case that Interior Department programs help create jobs and contribute economic development. The President’s budget request for the Department of Interior proposed $11.9 billion for FY 2015.