In Case You Missed It Americans for Responsible Recreational Access: Study Finds that 71.6% of Arizonans Oppose National Monument Designation in Northern Arizona

May 12, 2016 Issues: Government Oversight and Regulatory Reform, Energy, Public Lands and Water

For Immediate Release

Date: May 12, 2016

Contact: Steven D. Smith

(press release from Americans for Responsible Recreational Access)
Washington, D.C. – A recent poll conducted by Coleman Dahm and Associates found that 71.6% of Arizonans are opposed to the proposed Administrative designation of 1.7 million acres in Northern Arizona as a National Monument. While some special interest groups have claimed that support for a designation is much higher, this new poll makes it clear that Arizonans recognize that the area under consideration is already protected by current law and future management of the lands should be driven by collaborative processes including local stakeholders – not by Administrative fiat.

Americans for Responsible Recreational Access Executive Director, Larry Smith, said “This new poll underscores what we really already knew – the people of Arizona want to protect public lands, but they want to have a meaningful say in how the lands are protected. Unilateral action by the Administration takes away their voice and creates resentment. The Administration should listen to the people and work collaboratively with them to manage these lands instead of imposing draconian restrictions to appease a narrow group of interests.”

For more information about the poll click here.

As it stands, the Antiquities Act of 1906 grants the President the authority to designate “…historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, and other objects of historic or scientific interest that are situated upon the lands owned or controlled by the Government of the United States to be national monuments.” The Antiquities Act also holds that national monuments should be “…confined to the smallest area compatible with proper care and management of the objects to be protected…,” yet Presidents have inappropriately designated enormous swaths of public lands as national monuments.

Too often when widespread local and Congressional support to designate public lands as Wilderness cannot be established, Wilderness proponents turn to a strategy of calling for the President to achieve similar goals by administratively designating the area as a National Monument. It is no secret that those most affected by land use decisions are those who live, recreate and make their livelihoods on or near the public lands in question and should be meaningfully consulted before any designation is made.

Based in Washington, D.C., Americans for Responsible Recreational Access represents the interests of millions of Americans who enjoy the great outdoors and who believe public lands and waterways should remain open for recreational pursuits.