Our View: Antiquities Act matters for nation

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Posted: Wednesday, March 26, 2014 11:00 pm

For more than 100 years, Republican and Democratic presidents alike have used their authority under the Antiquities Act to preserve the greatest of America’s iconic lands and sites. Established by that superb conservationist, Republican President Teddy Roosevelt, the act has helped preserve such essential parts of the United States as the Grand Canyon, the Statue of Liberty — and more recently in Northern New Mexico, the Río Grande del Norte Monument.

It is ironic, then, that as New Mexico celebrates the one-year anniversary of the Río Grande del Norte Monument’s establishment, some in Congress want to strip away the power of presidents to preserve. That bill, HR 1459, narrowly passed the House of Representatives on Wednesday. With Democrats in power in the Senate, it will go nowhere — but it’s smart to pay attention.

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  • Gary Cascio posted at 8:20 am on Fri, Mar 28, 2014.

    garycascio Posts: 22

    Wow. Republicans calling for an environmental review…well slap me silly and call me Sally.
    Presidential Monument Designations
    George W. Bush.........214 million acres (mainly marine monuments)
    Jimmy Carter...............53.8 million acres
    Bill Clinton....................6.2 million acres
    Barack Obama..............0.276 million acres (to date)

  • Mike Palaima posted at 11:44 am on Thu, Mar 27, 2014.

    pressman Posts: 34

    Michael, I think our sitting president is far from a king, both in his supporters eyes and his. However, when presented with an obstructionist congress, what is the chief executive, duly elected, to do? President Obama is not using executive orders, but rather his legislated duties under the Antiquities act to establish national monuments. A small point perhaps, still, a point? It is, in some views, the loyal opposition, who is attempting to further a narrow political social agenda by limiting presidential powers in this matter. Their own narrow, self serving agenda. Meanwhile, due to President Obama's historical preservation thinking, gross receipts revenues are up in Taos, accordingly, and a piece of our history is preserved for all of us in NM and the rest of the country to share. Many of us serfs do like it. Probably has the chamber of commerce in Taos not knowing what to do, having to give credit to a D spawned program in any way, manner, shape, or form.

  • Michael Murray posted at 8:36 am on Thu, Mar 27, 2014.

    Mike M Posts: 62

    If "preservation" is a good idea let the state legislature do it, not a politician from DC who has never seen the thing to be preserved. Executive orders are all too often used to further a political / social agenda or to please a special interest group. Are we ruled by a King who can simply issue orders to the serfs? Apparently, and the serfs like it.


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