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According to the internal Department of Interior documents labeled NOT FOR RELEASE, over 13 million acres of public lands are targeted for national monument designation. . The document was were leaked to a Utah congressman and indicates that 13 million plus acres are under consideration for becoming National Monuments without the approval Congress under the Antiquities Act. The Antiquities Act is generally used to protect specific historical landmarks. Under this particular act, the President can establish an area as a National Monument with no input from Congress or the public.

As outlined in a letter from Representatives Doc Hastings (R-WA), Ranking Member, House Committee on Natural Resources and Rob Bishop (R-UT), Ranking Member, House Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands, sweeping National Monument designations represent a serious threat to recreation including motorized access. Any OHV use would almost certainly be forever banned in areas designated as National Monuments, and riders would have no opportunity to formally weigh in on the process.

The areas under consideration for this act include, San Rafael Swell - UT, Montana’s Northern Prairie – MT, Lesser Praire Chicken Preserve – NM, Berryessa Snow Mountains – CA, Heart of the Great Basin – NV, Otero Mesa – NM, Northwest Sonoran Desert – AZ, Owyhee Desert – OR/NV, Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument (Expansion) – CA, Vermillion Basin - CO, Bodie Hills – CA, The Modoc Plateau – CA, Cedar Mesa region – UT, San Juan Islands – WA.

 

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