President Trump has ordered a review of national monuments designated since 1996. The Antiquities Act, signed into law by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1906, allows presidents to designate “historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, and other objects of scientific interest.” The Antiquities Act was a careful compromise between the rights of government agencies to shelter vulnerable resources on federal land, the property rights of western landowners and industries, and the preservation concerns of historians and archaeologists. Nearly every U.S. President, beginning with Theodore Roosevelt and regardless of political party, has used this executive privilege to preserve cultural sites of the highest national importance.
The Department of the Interior is now soliciting public comment on our national monuments. You can read the notice and a list of monuments under review here. The Coalition for American Heritage has prepared draft comments that you can personalize to make your views known on the record. Submit your comments today here.