Rep. Gosar Spearheads House Effort to Prevent Presidential Abuse of Antiquities Act

Mar 23, 2016 Issues: Government Oversight and Regulatory Reform, Energy, Public Lands and Water

For Immediate Release

Date: March 22, 2016

Contact: Steven D. Smith


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S. (AZ-04) released the following statement after submitting a language request to the House Appropriations Committee asking it to include language that would prevent presidential abuse of the Antiquities Act:

“During his time in office, President Obama has abused the Antiquities Act to designate or expand 22 national monuments and lock up more than three million acres of land. Shamefully, the president recently designated three new national monuments in the California desert encompassing nearly 1.8 million acres. The president, regardless of political affiliation, should not have unilateral authority to designate millions of acres of land without local public input or proper analysis.

“Unilateral designations that circumvent Congress under the Antiquities Act typically result in devastating consequences for local communities that negatively affect their future economic prosperity.  These declarations often result in some of the most restrictive land-use regulations possible and also greatly impact hunting, fishing, OHV and other recreational activities. Grazing rights, water rights, wildfire prevention and other land management activities can also be negatively impacted. I will continue to do everything in my power to block presidential overreach and prevent abuse under this outdated 1906 law.”   



 The full letter sent to the House Appropriations Committee can be found HERE.

Congressman Gosar’s appropriations language request makes a number of reforms to the 1906 Antiquities Act.  This effort also explicitly prevents three misguided monument efforts in the Grand Canyon Watershed, the Sedona Verde Valley and in the Northwest Sonoran Desert from circumventing Congress, preventing public input and failing to comply with NEPA. 

31 members of the House signed and submitted Congressman Gosar’s appropriations language request including: Brian Babin, Dan Benishek, Rob Bishop, Dave Brat, Ken Buck, Jason Chaffetz, Paul Cook, Kevin Cramer, Jeff Duncan, Trent Franks, Paul Gosar, Cresent Hardy, Joe Heck, Tim Huelskamp, Walter Jones, Steve King, Raúl Labrador, Doug LaMalfa, Doug Lamborn, Cynthia Lummis, Martha McSally, Mark Meadows, Dan Newhouse, Steve Pearce, Bruce Poliquin, David Schweikert, Scott Tipton, Greg Walden, Bruce Westerman, Don Young and Ryan Zinke.

The language request was endorsed by: American Farm Bureau Federation, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, Public Lands Council, Motorcycle Industry Council, Specialty Vehicle Institute of America, Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle Association, Americans for Responsible Recreational Access.

In November of 2015, Congressman Gosar introduced legislation, H.R. 3946, the Protecting Local Communities from Executive Overreach Act, which updates the 1906 Antiquities Act in order to protect property rights, water rights and jobs from presidential abuse of the Antiquities Act. More information HERE.

H.R. 3946 is supported by all five Arizona Republicans and blocks two misguided monument efforts in the Grand Canyon Watershed and the Sedona Verde Valley, both of which have significant local opposition. The bill accomplishes this task by explicitly prohibiting declarations in Coconino, Mohave and Yavapai counties by executive fiat. 

Groups in opposition to the Grand Canyon Watershed Monument include: American Farm Bureau Federation, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association; Public Lands Council;  Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC); the Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle Association (ROHVA); Specialty Vehicle Institute of America (SVIA); Americans for Limited Government; Archery Trade Association; Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies; Boone and Crockett Club; Camp Fire Club of America; Council for Citizens Against Government Waste; Eagle Forum; Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation; Council to Advance Hunting and the Shooting Sports; Dallas Safari Club; Delta Waterfowl Foundation; Houston Safari Club; Masters of Foxhounds Association; Mule Deer Foundation; National Association of Forest Service Retirees; National Rifle Association; National Shooting Sports Foundation; National Wild Turkey Federation; North American Bear Foundation; Orion: The Hunter’s Institute; Quality Deer Management Association; Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation; Ruffed Grouse Society; Safari Club International, Tread Lightly!; Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership; Wildlife Management Institute; Wild Sheep Foundation; Whitetails Unlimited; U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance; Anglers United of Arizona; Arizona Antelope Foundation; Arizona Bass Federation Nation; Arizona Big Game Super Raffle; Arizona Cattle Feeders' Association; Arizona Cattle Growers' Association; Arizona Chapter National Wild Turkey Federation; Arizona Chapter Safari Club International; Arizona Deer Association; Arizona Desert Bighorn Sheep Society; Arizona Elk Society; Arizona Farm Bureau Federation; Arizona Flycasters Club; Arizona Game and Fish Commission; Arizona Houndsmen; Arizona Liberty; Arizona Mining Association; Arizona Outdoor Sports; Arizona Rock Products; Arizona Small Business Association; Arizona Sportsmen for Wildlife Conservation; Arizona Wildlife Federation; Bullhead Area Chamber of Commerce; the Mayor and City Council of Bullhead City; Catron County; City of Williams; Cochise /Graham Cattle Growers Association;  Coconino County Farm Bureau and Cattle Growers Association, Coconino Sportsmen; Concerned Citizens for America; Ellsworth Ranch; Gila County Cattle Growers Association; Grand Canyon State Electric Cooperative Association; Greenlee Cattle Growers Association; La Paz County Stockmen's Association; Livestock Market Digest Newspaper; Maricopa County Cattle Growers Association, Mohave County Board of Supervisors; Mohave Livestock Association, Mohave Sportsman Club; Navajo/Apache Cattle Growers Association; New Mexico Cattle Growers’ Association; New Mexico Wool Growers, Inc.; New Mexico Federal Lands Council; New Mexico Stockman magazine; Outdoor Experience 4 ALL; Prescott’s HWY69 Group; South Eastern Arizona Sportsmen; Southern Arizona Cattlemen's Protective Association; SRT Outdoors; Shake, Rattle and Troll Radio; The Bass Federation; Town of Fredonia; Veritas Research; Whitewater Cattle CO.; Xtreme Predator Callers; Yavapai Cattle Growers Association; 1.2.3.Go…; the AZ State House and Senate State, State Senator Sylvia Allen; Apache County Supervisor Barry Weller; Pinal County Supervisors Cheryl Chase, Stephen Miller and Anthony Smith; the Yavapai County Board of Supervisors and La Paz County Supervisor King Clapperton.