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Rep. Chu Fights For National Monuments

March 26, 2014
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Judy Chu (D-CA) voted against H.R. 1459, legislation that would significantly restrict a President’s ability to designate National Monuments. Rep. Chu released the following statement:

“For more than 100 years, the authority to designate National Monuments has been used by nearly every President from both political parties,” said Rep. Chu. “Sites like the Grand Canyon, Statue of Liberty, and Arches National Park are protected and preserved thanks to this power. To undermine an authority that contributes so much to our national pride and identity is simply wrong, especially when done for cheap political points. I will continue to oppose any effort to weaken a President’s ability – Democratic or Republican – to designate National Monuments.”

H.R. 1459 would require the application of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) to designations over 5,000 acres and limiting the duration of designations under 5,000 to three years, unless designated by an act of Congress. 

In addition, H.R. 1459 limits Presidential declarations of National Monuments to one per state, per four-year presidential term,  requires written permission from land owners to include private property within the boundaries of a National Monument, and mandates a feasibility study to analyze the cost to the federal government.

Nearly half of America’s cherished national parks — like the Grand Canyon, Acadia, Olympic and the Grand Tetons— were first protected by the Antiquities Act, along with historic and cultural sites like the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Monument, the Cesar E. Chavez National Monument, and Native American sacred sites.