Utah’s congressional delegation has urged the Trump administration to revoke significant national monument designations in the state and implement a new approach that considers the perspectives and requirements of affected communities.
Republican Senators Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee, along with Representatives Rob Bishop, Chris Stewart, Jason Chaffetz, and Mia Love, wrote a letter to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke on May 25, asserting that Utah has been subject to the “overreaching use of the Antiquities Act.”
They argue that the law has been wielded more as a tool for political advocacy rather than serving the public interest.
In the beginning of May, Secretary Zinke conducted a tour of national monuments in Utah, aligning with an executive order issued on April 26.
The order directed the Secretary to review large-scale national monument designations made since 1996 to assess the adequacy of public and stakeholder outreach.
Simultaneously, the Interior Department has been soliciting public comments on monument designations.
In their recent letter, the Utah delegation advocated for an approach to monument designations that takes into account the needs of local communities.
This stance mirrors the perspectives shared by various state officials during a House committee hearing on the Antiquities Act earlier in the month.
“Restoring the legitimacy of Antiquities Act authority in the eyes of the public requires a responsible and collaborative approach to monument designations—an approach that takes into account the needs of local communities and restores trust between states and the federal government,” the lawmakers wrote.
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