Tipton Votes to Allow Americans a Voice in Designation of National Monuments
WASHINGTON—Congressman Scott Tipton (R-CO) voted to pass legislation to provide Americans with a voice in the Monument designation process. The Ensuring Public Involvement in the Creation of National Monuments Act, which passed the House with bipartisan support on March 26, 2014, requires the application of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) whenever the President uses the Antiquities Act to unilaterally establish a national monument over 5,000 acres.
“By requiring the same NEPA analysis for monuments designated by the President as those created by an act of Congress, this commonsense legislation adds needed transparency to the monument designation process and will allow Americans to voice their opinions, ideas and concerns on a potential designation,” said Tipton. “I am a firm believer that public lands designations should be driven by the local communities most affected through a bottom-up process. When the President designates a monument under the Antiquities Act, as the law currently stands, not only is this a top-down decision, but Americans aren’t even able to comment on the designation. This legislation would level the playing field and ensure that all national monument designations receive equal environmental analysis and public input.”
Background courtesy of the House Natural Resources Committee:
This legislation would ensure public participation before a presidentiallyâ€declared National Monument is made official by requiring the application of NEPA; allows the President to make temporary “emergency” designations for areas 5,000 acres or less if there is an imminent threat to an American antiquity; and prevents the inclusion of private property in monument declarations without the prior approval of property owners. The bill also requires a feasibility study and cost estimate within one year of a declaration, which would include any loss of federal and state revenue.