Rep. Scott Tipton claims that he supports public lands. He brags of his role in creating Chimney Rock National Monument through the “appropriate” use of the 1906 Antiquities Act.
However, on Oct. 11, he voted in favor of the National Monument Creation and Protection Act (HR 3990), which guts the Antiquities Act, used for decades by eight Republican and eight Democrat presidents, alike.
The Antiquities Act allowed the protection of such pristine landscapes and ecosystems as Black Canyon of the Gunnison, Great Sand Dunes, Dinosaur and Canyons of the Ancients.
This bill imposes arbitrary size limitations for monuments – no areas larger than 85,000 acres. The bill requires that monuments be 50 miles apart, and if larger than 10,000 acres, to be approved by the governor and local county and legislature.
The bill prohibits national monuments that would protect ecosystems, sacred landscapes and ocean resources. The bill gives the president authority to reduce and eliminate large acreages of established national monuments which the president cannot currently do.
Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke has recommended that huge areas of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments be reduced in size.
This proposal is quite detailed, so please research it. Then let Rep. Tipton and Sens. Michael Bennet and Cory Gardner know that Coloradans cherish their public lands and want to keep the Antiquities Act as it is.
Jane C. Anderson