The Student Conservation Association's Online Community
Thanks to NPS Academy member Molly for sharing this link from the Climate Progress website: http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/03/20/3416916/house-no-more-n....
Turns out that the House isn't voting on ending all national parks just ones created by the President using the Antiquities Act of 1906, which allows for parks to be created without the approval of Congress. The vote comes in reaction to President Obama's creation of a new national monument along California's coast. The Antiquities Act was also been used recently to establish a monument honoring Harriet Tubman and other sites that honor groups currently underrepresented among national parks and monuments.
What do you think - should the president be able to protect public lands without Congressional approval? Can the National Park Service tell the stories of all Americans if the process of creating parks is a political?
The ability for the President to protect public lands without Congressional approval is absolutely necessary as it is, at times, the only means of preventing imminent destruction of cultural and natural resources. Initially, it seems as though the sponsors of this bill want to ensure that future national monuments are designated in a conscious manner, both fiscally and environmentally. However, the exact procedures recommended would lock up all designations in the NEPA review process, which could take anywhere between three to twelve months, depending on the complexity of the EIS. The power of the Antiquities Act is in its speed and this necessity has been proven numerous times over during both collaborative and uncooperative sessions of Congress.
If Representative Bishop and Steward are truly concerned about the inclusion of the public in developmental planning, prevention of degrading sensitive resources by monument designation, and economic prudence then perhaps they should introduce a bill which proposes these elements be completed during the period when Congress determines the monument’s establishing legislation, management programs, and budgetary funding.