The Antiquities Act of 1906

Since its passage in 1906, the Antiquities Act has ensured that U.S. presidents have the ability to protect fragile and special places from commercial exploitation with the speed not found in the ordinary legislative process. Over the past century, presidents have used the Act to respond to public concerns about the preservation of places that are keystones to our national memory.

Recently, the merits of the Antiquities Act have been scrutinized as Congress debates and votes on HR 1459. Introduced on April 10, 2013 and passed by the House of Representatives on March 26, 2014, HR 1459 will prohibit the president from designating more than one monument in a state during any four-year term of office without an act of Congress. This would hamper future presidents from acting as Theodore Roosevelt did in 1908 when he designated 808,120 acres in northern Arizona as the Grand Canyon National Monument. The Act has been used more than a hundred times since its passage.

The full text of the bill can be found here: https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/113/hr1459/text

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