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Press Release Published: Mar 29, 2016

Committees Request Information on Conservation Land Designations by Obama Administration

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), along with Natural Resources Committee Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) and Appropriations Committee Chairman Harold Rogers (R-KY), sent letters to U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and Council on Environmental Quality Managing Director Christy Goldfuss regarding the White House’s designation of 1.8 million acres of land in California for conservation under the Antiquities Act of 1906.

Key excerpts from the letters:

The designation, which created three new national monuments in the California desert, nearly doubled the total amount of land set aside as national monuments by the President during his time in office. In fact, the President has used the Antiquities Act to unilaterally designate approximately 265 million acres of land and water as national monuments — far more than any previous President. 

 The broad and frequent application of the Antiquities Act raises questions about the lack of transparency and consultation with local stakeholders leading up to the President’s designation of national monuments. To help the Committees understand how and why certain areas are designated for conservation, please provide the following documents:

  1. All documents and communications referring or relating to the selection or designation of national monuments under the Antiquities Act of 1906 by the President from January 1, 2015, to the present.  

Click to view the full letters to Secretary Jewell and Managing Director Goldfuss.