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Calendar No. 477
106th Congress Report
2d Session 106-250
ANTIQUITIES ACT OF 1906
March 28, 2000.--Ordered to be printed
Mr. Murkowski, from the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources,
submitted the following
R E P O R T
[To accompany H.R. 1487]
The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, to which was
referred the Act (H.R. 1487) to provide for public
participation in the declaration of national monuments under
the Act popularly known as the Antiquities Act of 1906, having
considered the same, reports favorably thereon without
amendment and recommends that the Act do pass.
Purpose of the Measure
The purpose of H.R. 1487 is to provide for public
participation in the declaration of national monuments under
the Act popularly known as the Antiquities Act of 1906.
Background and Need
In 1906 Congress passed the Antiquities Act (16 U.S.C.
431). The Act was designed to respond to an urgent need to
protect the Nation's historic landmarks, historic and
prehistoric structures and other objects of historic or
scientific interest located on lands owned by the Government of
the United States.
Since 1906, 105 national monuments have been established by
presidential proclamation. When established, these monuments
comprised almost 63 million acres. Of the 105 monuments, 89
(comprising approximately 7 million acres) were established
before passage of either the National Environmental Policy Act
of 1969, or the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976.
In December 1978, 15 additional monuments, covering 54 million
acres, were established in Alaska. The most recent use of the
Antiquities Act occurred in September 1996, when 1.7 million
acres in southern Utah were designated as the Grand Staircase-
Escalante National Monument.
Since the passage of the Antiquities Act in 1906 many laws
have been enacted which provide for increased public
participation in the management of federal lands. While the
Antiquities Act confers presidential authority to designate new
monuments, it contains no requirements for public participation
prior to any such designation.
H.R. 1487 amends the Antiquities Act to require the
President to solicit public participation and comment in
development of a monument declaration, and to consult with the
Governor and congressional delegation within the affected State
prior to declaration to the extent such public participation
and congressional consultation is consistent with the
protection of the resources to be included in the monument. The
bill also requires that any management plan developed
subsequent to a monument declaration be in compliance with the
procedural requirements of the National Environmental Policy
Act of 1969.
While H.R. 1487 does not diminish the authority of the
President to protect public lands and resources, it provides
for increased public participation and in the designation of
national monuments, consistent with other recent laws
pertaining to the management of public lands.
H.R. 1487 was introduced on April 22, 1999, by Congressman
Hansen. An amended version of the bill passed the House of
Representatives on September 24, 1999 by a vote of 408to 2 and
was referred to the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources on
September 27, 1999. On July 20, 1999, the Subcommittee on Forests and
Public Land Management held a hearing on a related Senate measure, S.
729, introduced by Senator Craig and others. At its business meeting on
October 20, 1999, the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources ordered
H.R. 1487 reported favorably without amendment.
Committee Recommendations and Tabulation of Votes
The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, in
open business session on October 20, 1999, by a majority vote
of a quorum present recommends that the Senate pass H.R. 1487
The rollcall vote on reporting the measure was 12 yeas, 8
nays as follows:
Mr. Murkowski Mr. Domenici
Mr. Nickles Mr. Craig
Mr. Gorton Mr. Campbell \1\
Mr. Bingaman Mr. Thomas
Mr. Akaka Mr. Smith \1\
Mr. Dorgan Mr. Bunning
Mr. Graham \1\ Mr. Fitzgerald
Mr. Wyden \1\ Mr. Burns
Mr. Bayh \1\
\1\ Indicates vote by proxy.
Section 1 amends section 2 of the Act of June 8, 1906,
popularly known as the Antiquities Act to require the
President, to the extend consistent with the protection of the
resources to be designated, to:
(1) Solicit public participation and comment in the
development of a monument declaration, and
(2) To consult with the Governor and congressional
delegation of the State or territory in which the
movement will be located at least 60 days prior to the
declaration of such monument.
(3) Before issuing a monument declaration the
President must consider information available in
existing management plans, including any public
comments, that may have been offered.
Subsection 2(c) as amended, requires that any management
plan that is developed for a national monument after its
declaration shall comply with the procedural requirements of
the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969.
Section 2 states that nothing in this Act or any amendment
made by this Act should be construed to enlarge, diminish or
modify the authority of the President to protect public land
Cost and Budgetary Considerations
The following estimate of costs of this measure has been
provided by the Congressional Budget Office:
Congressional Budget Office,
Washington, DC, November 2, 1999.
Hon. Frank H. Murkowski,
Chairman, Committee on Energy and Natural Resources,
U.S. Senate, Washington, DC.
Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 1487, an act to
provide for public participation in the declaration of national
monuments under the act popularly known as the Antiquities Act
If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Megan
Barry B. Anderson
(For Dan L. Crippen, Director).
H.R. 1487--An act to provide for public participation in the
declaration of national monuments under the act popularly known
as the Antiquities Act of 1906
The Antiquities Act of 1906 authorizes the President to
declare landmarks, structures, and other objects of historic or
scientific interest that are on federal land to be national
monuments. H.R. 1487 would amend this act to require that the
President solicit public participation and comment and consider
information available from existing management plans and
programs in the development of national monument declarations.
H.R. 1487 also would require that future management plans for
national monuments developed subsequent to a declaration made
under H.R. 1487 comply with the procedural requirements of the
National Environmental Policy Act of 1969.
CBO estimates that implementing this legislation would not
have a significant impact on the federal budget. The act would
not affect direct spending or receipts; therefore, pay-as-you-
go procedures would not apply. H.R. 1487 contains no
intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as defined in the
Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and would impose no costs on
state, local, or tribal governments.
On July 16, 1999, CBO transmitted a cost estimate for H.R.
1487, as ordered reported by the House Committee on Resources
on June 30, 1999. The two versions of the legislation are
similar, and the cost estimates are the identical.
The CBO staff contact is Megan Carroll. This estimate was
approved by Peter H. Fontaine, Deputy Assistant Director for
Regulatory Impact Evaluation
In compliance with paragraph 11(b) of rule XXVI of the
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee makes the following
evaluation of the regulatory impact which would be incurred in
carrying out H.R. 1487.
The bill is not a regulatory measure in the sense of
imposing Government-established standards or significant
economic responsibilities on private individuals and
No personal information would be collected in administering
the program. Therefore, there would be no impact on personal
Little, if any, additional paperwork would result from the
enactment of H.R. 1487, as ordered reported.
Prior to the consideration of H.R. 1487 on the House floor,
the Administration issued the following Statement of
Administrative Policy on H.R. 1487:
Statement of Administration Policy
(This statement has been coordinated by OMB with the concerned
H.R. 1487--Antiquities Act Amendments (Hansen (R) UT and 10 cosponsors)
The Administration strongly opposes H.R. 1487, as reported
by the Committee on Resources, because the bill represents an
unwarranted incursion upon established presidential authority
to protect significant natural, prehistorical, historical, and
scientific resources on federal lands. If H.R. 1487 is
presented to the President, his senior advisers will recommend
that he veto the bill.
The Antiquities Act of 1906 authorizes the President, at
his discretion, to declare federal lands to be national
monuments. Over the course of this century, every President but
three has employed this authority to protect sites across this
country--from the Statue of Liberty, New York, to the coastal
redwood stands of Muir Woods, California--that now are
acknowledged to be the Nation's most treasured places.
Historically, Presidents have invoked the Act's authorities to
protect areas that faced imminent threat. While some of these
declarations have stirred local opposition--notably President
Theodore Roosevelt's declaration of the Grand Canyon National
Monument, Arizona--and others have caused Congress to consider
amending the 1906 Act--such as President Franklin Roosevelt's
declaration of Jackson Hole National Monument, Wyoming, now
part of Grant Teton National Park--history soundly refutes any
suggestion that this unique presidential authority has been
H.R. 1487 would impose procedural and notification
requirements and other limitations that would undermine the
President's authority to move decisively to protect and
preserve the Nation's treasures for future generations. Any
diminutions of the President's authority would be contrary to
the Act's spirit and protective purposes.
MINORITY VIEWS OF SENATORS LARRY E. CRAIG, PETE V. DOMENICI, BEN
NIGHTHORSE CAMPBELL, CRAIG THOMAS, GORDON SMITH, AND CONRAD BURNS
The designation of National Monuments under the Antiquities
Act of 1906 impacts the lives of numerous people--both those
who live adjacent to these areas and those who are located in
other geographic areas. It is because of such impacts that we
feel it is appropriate to look closely at the use of the
Antiquities Act on our federal lands.
H.R. 1487 takes a step in the right direction allowing
public participation in the designation of a monument; However,
we do not feel it goes far enough in ensuring such
participation take place at a time in the process when comments
from the public will be considered prior to such designation by
We feel that legislation changing the Act of 1906 must
allow for public and Congressional involvement beyond that of
``consultations'' prior to the designation for monument. To
simply require that the National Environmental Policy Act of
1969 be applied to the development of a management plan for a
designated monument rather than the underlying action of
monument designation is closing the barn door after the horses
have gotten out. We feel that Congress and the public must be
involved prior to the opening the barn door, prior to the
designation decision being made, and thus must respectfully
dissent with H.R. 1487.
Larry E. Craig.
Pete V. Domenici.
Ben Nighthorse Campbell.
Changes in Existing Law
In compliance with paragraph 12 of Rule XXVI of the
Standing Rules of the Senate, changes in existing law made by
the bill H.R. 1487 as ordered reported, are shown as follows
(existing law proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black
brackets, new matter is printed in italic, existing law in
which no change is proposed is shown in roman):
Section 2 of the Act of June 8, 1906 (Popularly Known as the
Antiquities Act of 1906)
CHAP. 3060.--An Act for the preservation of American antiquities.
* * * * * * *
[Sec.2. That the] Sec. 2 (a) The President of the United
States is hereby authorized, in his discretion, to declare by
public proclamation historic landmarks, historic and
prehistoric structures, and other objects of historic or
scientific interest that are situated upon the lands owned or
controlled by the Government of the United States to be
national monuments, and may reserve as a part there-of parcels
of land, the limits of which in all cases shall be confined to
the smallest area compatible with the proper care and
management of the objects to be protected: Provided, That when
such objects are situated upon a tract covered by a bona fide
unperfected claim or held in private ownership, the tract, or
so much thereof as may be necessary for the proper care and
management of the object, may be relinquished to the
Government, and the Secretary of the Interior is hereby
authorized to accept the relinquishment of such tracts in
behalf of the Government of the United States.
(b)(1) To the extent consistent with the protection of the
historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, and
other objects of historic or scientific interest located on the
public lands to be designated, the President shall--
(A) solicit public participation and comment in the
development of a monument declaration; and
(B) consult with the Governor and congressional
delegation of the State or territory in which such
lands are located, to the ex-tent practicable, at least
60 days prior to any national monument declaration.
(2) Before issuing a declaration under this section, the
President shall consider any information made available in the
development of existing plans and programs for the management
of the lands in question, including such public comments as may
have been offered.
(c) Any management plan for a national monument developed
subsequent to a declaration made under this section shall
comply with the procedural requirements of the National
Environmental Policy Act of 1969.