Statement | Washington, DC | December 4, 2017

President’s Action is a Direct Attack on the Antiquities Act and America’s Public Lands

Statement from Stephanie Meeks, president and CEO of the National Trust for Historic Preservation

The following is a statement from Stephanie Meeks, president and CEO of the National Trust for Historic Preservation:

“President Trump’s dramatic reduction of the Bears Ears National Monument is a direct attack on the Antiquities Act and America’s public lands. We intend to challenge this action in federal court. Rolling back the designation of Bears Ears leaves thousands of extraordinary archaeological sites vulnerable to looting and vandalism. The President’s action also opens the remarkable Bears Ears’ landscape to incompatible oil and gas development.

“The Antiquities Act has long been one of the most powerful laws to preserve our nation’s heritage. Republican and Democratic presidents have used the Act more than 150 times to protect iconic American places. Since President Theodore Roosevelt first used the Act to protect Devils Tower in 1906, it has been used to protect the Grand Canyon, Zion, the Petrified Forest, and the Statue of Liberty. The Antiquities Act protects places that tell the stories of all Americans. Our national monuments reflect the history of our continent’s earliest inhabitants, the explorations of Lewis and Clark, the WWII battles of the Pacific and the Civil Rights Movement.

“Reducing the size of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments is both unlawful and a disservice to the millions of people who visit America’s public lands each year. We will work to oppose this action and ensure the protection of our national monuments and cultural landscapes across the country.”


The National Trust for Historic Preservation, a privately funded nonprofit organization, works to save America’s historic places. | @savingplaces

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