“Utahns know only too well the consequences of presidential administrations creating monuments without congressional approval or public input,” Hatch said. “This legislation opens up the process and gives those who are most impacted by monument designations their say on the matter. It also provides Congress with access to information on national monument proposals and to engage in the decision-making process.”
If the bill is enacted, it would require congressional approval within two years of a Presidential Executive Order seeking a national monument designation. If two years elapse without the approval, the land returns to its original status.
The legislation also calls for the President to provide Congress with information about the creation of a monument 30 days prior to any such designation. It further takes into account the public interest in the process, and calls for public hearings and sets land restrictions for the monument designations.
The Antiquities Act of 1906 granted authority to make executive decisions on national monuments.
Sens. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), James Risch (R-Idaho), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), John Ensign (R-Nev.), Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) joined Hatch in sponsoring the legislation.