- First used by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1906 to designate Devils Tower National Monument in Wyoming, the authority of the Antiquities Act has been used by 16 presidents since 1906 to protect unique natural and historic features in America, such as the Grand Canyon, the Statue of Liberty, and Colorado's Canyons of the Ancients. On March 13, 1013, President Obama used his executive authority under the Antiquities Act to create Rio Grande del Norte National Monument in New Mexico; First State National Monument in Delaware; Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Monument in Maryland; Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument in Ohio; and San Juan Islands National Monument in Washington State. President Obama has previously designated four monuments using the Antiquities Act. These include the César E. Chávez National Monument in California; Fort Monroe National Monument in Virginia; Fort Ord National Monument in California; and Chimney Rock, which is located in the San Juan National Forest in southwestern Colorado.
Environmental groups, members of Congress in whose districts the monuments are located and many citizens in the local communities widely praised these designations, citing job creation and boosts to the local economies among other reasons. Still, many lawmakers and other groups are critical of the President's actions, claiming the law should be reserved for emergency situations. Critics state that use of the Act deprives citizens of the open, public process that Congress intends for federal land designations, and fails to take into account how these designations burden the federal budget. This panel will present a short history of the Antiquities Act and its use by previous presidents, and will debate the pros and cons of using the Act to place sites under federal control.
This brown bag program is sponsored by the Environment, Energy and Natural Resources Section, in cosponsorship with the Administrative Law and Agency Practice Section, Arts, Entertainment, Media and Sports Law Section, Courts, Lawyers and the Administration of Justice Section, Law Practice Management Section and Real Estate, Housing and Land Use Section.
700 13th Street, NW
(Metro Center Station)
Washington DC 20005
- Sections Office 202-626-3463
- Ted Boling, US Department of the Interior
- Molly Ross, Consultant to the National Park Service
- Paul Smyth, Lawyer, Perkins Coie
- Rachel Jacobson, Co-Chair EENR Steering Committee (Moderator)
- CLE Credit
Administrative Law and Agency Practice Section $20.00
Arts, Entertainment, Media and Sports Law Section $20.00
Courts, Lawyers and the Administration of Justice $20.00
Environment, Energy and Natural Resources Section $20.00
Government and Non-Profit Employee $10.00
Law Practice Management Section $20.00
Non-Section members $25.00
Real Estate, Housing and Land Use Section $20.00