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Another No Good, Very Bad Public Lands Bill

Another No Good, Very Bad Public Lands Bill

By: Eric Melson
Posted: October 12, 2017

The House Natural Resources Committee voted 23-17 yesterday to advance H.R. 3990, a bill deceptively named the “National Monument Creation and Protection Act.”

DON'T BE FOOLED.

This bill threatens the future of the Antiquities Act and of our public lands protected as National Monuments. The Antiquities Act is a core tool responsible for protecting some of our country’s most iconic outdoor recreation destinations, including popular mountain bike trails across the country. H.R. 3990 now heads to the House floor for a full vote. Please contact your representative and tell them to vote NO on this bad bill.

CONTACT YOUR REPRESENTATIVE

The details of this bill would end the availability of the Antiquities Act as a meaningful conservation tool in the future—a tool used to protect several mountain bike trails in special areas across the country, but also it would give the President new power to undo existing protections on public lands.

Among its provisions, it would:

  • Place new limits on what can be protected, drastically curtailing the Antiquities Act’s ability to protect landscapes we value for recreation;

  • Give county elected officials and others veto authority over decisions concerning national public lands;

  • Lock in place potentially incompatible uses of protected areas;

  • Give adjacent private property owners veto power over land management decisions on public lands; and

  • Give the President new authority to undo existing protections.

This bill is a textbook example of anti-public lands legislation, aimed at transferring control of your national public lands to small, non-public constituencies.

For the 100+ years that the Antiquities Act has been on the books, it has been instrumental in protecting iconic places for outdoor recreation, including mountain biking and mountain biking trails. From the Grand Canyon, to more recent examples like the Canyons of The Ancients, Berryessa Snow Mountain, and Katahdin Woods and Waters, mountain bikers have said time and time again that National Monuments are important, and worth defending.

Please take a moment to write your representative today and share your thoughts on this catastrophic bill.

Photo: Strawberry Peak loop in the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument, one of MTB project's highest rated rides in Southern California.

About the author
Image Eric Melson

Hatched in Colorado Springs but now calling Missoula, Montana home, Eric started riding bikes as a form of freedom and a way to explore the mountains in his backyard. Eric is focused on training and engaging members in advocacy. He has deep roots in both the conservation community and the…

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