Connecticut Trust For Historic Preservation

2/3/2016: “CT Trust Urges Senators Blumenthal and Murphy to Reject Weakening of Federal Antiquities

Re: Support the Antiquities Act! Reject Amendments 3023 and 3126 to the Energy Policy Modernization Act (S. 2012).

Dear Senator Bluementhal:

As a supporter of protection our nation's rich heritage, I urge you to support the Antiquities Act by rejecting Amendments 3023 and 3126 to the Energy Policy Modernization Act (S. 2012). A vote on this legislation is expected this week.

For more than a century, the Antiquities Act has enabled eight Republican and eight Democratic presidents to decisively save more than 130 historic, cultural and natural sites across America. Many of our most cherished public places began as national monuments under the Antiquities Act, including the Statue of Liberty; Grand Canyon, Acadia, and Zion National Parks; and Chaco Canyon National Historical Site. These and other places not only protect natural and historic treasures, but also stir our imaginations, broaden our understanding of our history, sustain local economies, enhance quality of life and protect sites of national significance for the enjoyment and education of future generations.

Proposed Senate Amendments 3023 and 3126 to the Energy Policy Modernization Act would essentially gut the Antiquities Act by making future National Monument designations subject to approval by Congress and the state legislature in states where such designations are proposed. These amendments  completely undercut the intent and purpose of the Act--to enable presidents to act swiftly to protect places that belong to all Americans--and ignores the already robust process in place to collaborate with local stakeholders on designation boundaries and management.

Your opposition to these amendments and reaffirmed support for the Antiquities Act would show your continued commitment to the preservation of our nation's historical, cultural and natural resources. 

I urge you to reject Senate Amendments 3023 and 3126 as they threaten the ongoing protection of our lands and history.

Sincerely,

Daniel Mackay

Executive Director

Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation

940 Whitney Avenue

Hamden, CT 06492

dmackay@cttrust.org