On Wednesday, June 21, as part of its ongoing webinar series, Preservation Leadership Forum hosted “National Monuments Under Review: A Look at the Trump Administration’s Executive Order on the Antiquities Act.”
This webinar examined the Trump administration’s review of certain national monuments that had been designated under the Antiquities Act since 1996. These include the Bears Ears National Monument in southeast Utah, which the National Trust named a National Treasure in 2013 and listed among America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places in 2016. The Trust has long worked to protect cultural landscapes on our public lands, many of which have been designated national monuments under the Antiquities Act.
National Trust Senior Vice President of Field Services Barb Pahl kicked off the webinar with an overview of cultural resource protection on our public lands and of President Trump’s executive order. Robert Rosenbaum—a retired partner with the law firm Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP and author of this recent Washington Post opinion piece—provided a fascinating legal discussion of the Antiquities Act, the president’s authority to designate monuments, and the lack of presidential authority to reduce or rescind prior monument designations. Josh Ewing, executive director of the nonprofit Friends of Cedar Mesa in Bluff, Utah, then discussed the tremendous cultural resources and landscape protected by the Bears Ears National Monument, and provided stunning photographs. Finally, National Trust staff offered tips for making your voice heard as the Department of the Interior reviews Bears Ears and other national monuments.
Watch the webinar, and check out these additional resources about the Antiquities Act and Bears Ears:
Submit comments about the national monuments under review to the Department of the Interior using our tool or directly to regulations.gov using the Docket ID DOI-2017-0002.
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Janelle DiLuccia is the associate director of public lands policy at the National Trust for Historic Preservation.