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113th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 1st Session                                                    113-221

======================================================================



 
 ENSURING PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT IN THE CREATION OF NATIONAL MONUMENTS ACT

                                _______
                                

 September 20, 2013.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on 
            the State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

 Mr. Hastings of Washington, from the Committee on Natural Resources, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                             together with

                            DISSENTING VIEWS

                        [To accompany H.R. 1459]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Natural Resources, to whom was referred 
the bill (H.R. 1459) to ensure that the National Environmental 
Policy Act of 1969 applies to the declaration of national 
monuments, and for other purposes, having considered the same, 
report favorably thereon without amendment and recommend that 
the bill do pass.

                          Purpose of the Bill

    The purpose of H.R. 1459 is to ensure that the National 
Environmental Policy Act of 1969 applies to the declaration of 
national monuments.

                  Background and Need for Legislation

    Established in 1906, the Antiquities Act (16 U.S.C. 431) 
authorizes the President to proclaim national monuments on 
federal lands and regulate the care and study of our nation's 
antiquities. Created to quickly reserve and protect historic 
landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, or other 
objects of historic or scientific interest, the Act has been 
used to designate tracks of land well beyond ``the smallest 
area compatible with the proper care and management of the 
objects to be protected.'' Since the Act's inception in 1906, 
Presidents have proclaimed a total of 137 monuments, a number 
of which have been contentious, and Presidential authority 
under the Act has been reduced twice. Following the unpopular 
1943 proclamation of Jackson Hole National Monument, 
legislation incorporating Jackson Hole into Grand Teton 
National Park included a requirement for Congressional consent 
for any future creation or enlargement of National Monuments in 
Wyoming. Similarly, after controversial designations in Alaska, 
Congressional approval became necessary for designations in 
Alaska greater than 5,000 acres.
    The Antiquities Act has been abused by Presidents of both 
parties, particularly in the West where the timing and large 
scope of many designations have resulted in unnecessary 
hardship to local communities dependent upon access and use of 
the land and resources within the designations. To date, no 
court challenges have succeeded in undoing a Presidential 
designation.
    The Antiquities Act is outdated. Since its enactment, 
numerous laws like the Historic Preservation Act, Native 
American Graves Preservation and Repatriation Act, 
Archeological and Historic Preservation Act, Archeological 
Resources Preservation Act, and the National Environmental 
Policy Act are actively being used to protect and preserve 
American antiquities, artifacts and locations.
    Antiquities Act designations should be limited to areas 
that face clearly-articulated, imminent threats. The Act was 
designed to prevent damage to specific sites, not to be a 
national land-use planning tool covering vast landscapes or as 
a backdoor maneuver to lock up lands, including private 
property and other inholdings, for purposes that deny public 
access for recreation and job-creation. There is no good reason 
for major land-use decisions, like monuments created under the 
Antiquities Act, to be done in secret without allowing proper 
stakeholder input.
    H.R. 1459 would guarantee public participation in National 
Monument decisions by ensuring large-scale presidential 
designations abide by the National Environmental Policy Act 
(NEPA, 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.). It prohibits the inclusion of 
private property without the approval of property owners. The 
bill allows the President to provide emergency protections for 
a genuinely threatened site of up to 5,000 acres, but limits 
these emergency designations to three years without 
Congressional approval. The bill would also allow no more than 
one designation per state during any presidential four-year 
term. Finally, the bill requires a study of the costs 
associated with managing the National Monument.

                            Committee Action

    H.R. 1459 was introduced on April 10, 2013, by Congressman 
Rob Bishop (R-UT). The bill was referred to the Committee on 
Natural Resources, and within the Committee to the Subcommittee 
on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation. On April 16, 
2013, the Subcommittee held a hearing on the bill. On July 24, 
2013, the full Natural Resources Committee met to consider the 
bill. The Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental 
Regulation was discharged by unanimous consent. Congressman 
Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) offered an amendment designated .025 to 
the bill; the amendment was not adopted by voice vote. 
Congresswoman Niki Tsongas (D-MA) offered an amendment 
designated .027 to the bill; the amendment was not adopted by a 
roll call vote of 13 to 24, as follows:


    No further amendments were offered, and the bill was then 
adopted and ordered favorably reported to the House of 
Representatives by a roll call vote of 26 to 14, as follows:


            Committee Oversight Findings and Recommendations

    Regarding clause 2(b)(1) of rule X and clause 3(c)(1) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the 
Committee on Natural Resources' oversight findings and 
recommendations are reflected in the body of this report.

                    Compliance With House Rule XIII

    1. Cost of Legislation. Clause 3(d)(1) of rule XIII of the 
Rules of the House of Representatives requires an estimate and 
a comparison by the Committee of the costs which would be 
incurred in carrying out this bill. However, clause 3(d)(2)(B) 
of that rule provides that this requirement does not apply when 
the Committee has included in its report a timely submitted 
cost estimate of the bill prepared by the Director of the 
Congressional Budget Office under section 402 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974. Under clause 3(c)(3) of rule 
XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives and section 
403 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the Committee has 
received the following cost estimate for this bill from the 
Director of the Congressional Budget Office:

H.R. 1459--Ensuring Public Involvement in the Creation of National 
        Monuments Act

    H.R. 1459 would amend the process of designating new 
national monuments. 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. 1459 would require an environmental 
review of any potential monuments that are greater than 5,000 
acres. The designation of a national monument would expire 
after three years for any monument less than 5,000 acres unless 
the monument was designated by a change in the law. Under the 
bill, every designation would be followed by a feasibility 
study of the costs of managing the monument. The legislation 
also would limit the number of designations the President could 
make to one per state during a four-year term.
    Based on information provided by the National Park Service, 
CBO estimates that implementing H.R. 1459 would cost about $2 
million over the 2014-2018 period. Over the past 10 years, 16 
national monuments have been established. CBO estimates that 
the additional studies required under the legislation would 
increase the cost of designating a new monument by about 
$300,000. Enacting H.R. 1459 would not affect direct spending 
or revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.
    H.R. 1459 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.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Martin von 
Gnechten. The estimate was approved by Theresa Gullo, Deputy 
Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.
    2. Section 308(a) of Congressional Budget Act. As required 
by clause 3(c)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives and section 308(a) of the Congressional Budget 
Act of 1974, this bill does not contain any new budget 
authority, credit authority, or an increase or decrease in 
revenues or tax expenditures. Based on information provided by 
the National Park Service, CBO estimates that implementing H.R. 
1459 would cost about $2 million over the 2014-2018 period.
    3. General Performance Goals and Objectives. As required by 
clause 3(c)(4) of rule XIII, the general performance goal or 
objective of this bill is to ensure that the National 
Environmental Policy Act of 1969 applies to the declaration of 
national monuments.

                           Earmark Statement

    This bill does not contain any Congressional earmarks, 
limited tax benefits, or limited tariff benefits as defined 
under clause 9(e), 9(f), and 9(g) of rule XXI of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives.

                    Compliance With Public Law 104-4

    This bill contains no unfunded mandates.

                       Compliance With H. Res. 5

    Directed Rule Making. The Chairman does not believe that 
this bill directs any executive branch official to conduct any 
specific rule-making proceedings.
    Duplication of Existing Programs. This bill does not 
establish or reauthorize a program of the federal government 
known to be duplicative of another program. Such program was 
not included in any report from the Government Accountability 
Office to Congress pursuant to section 21 of Public Law 111-139 
or identified in the most recent Catalog of Federal Domestic 
Assistance published pursuant to the Federal Program 
Information Act (Public Law 95-220, as amended by Public Law 
98-169) as relating to other programs.

                Preemption of State, Local or Tribal Law

    This bill is not intended to preempt any State, local or 
tribal law.

         Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

  In compliance with clause 3(e) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by 
the bill, as 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):

                          ACT OF JUNE 8, 1906

   CHAP. 3060.--An Act For the preservation of American antiquities.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  Sec. 2. [That the President] (a) That the President of the 
United States is hereby authorized, in his [discretion, to 
declare] discretion, subject to the National Environmental 
Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), 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 thereof 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. No more than one 
declaration shall be made in a State during any presidential 
four-year term of office without an express Act of Congress.
  (b) A declaration under this section shall--
          (1) not include private property without the informed 
        written consent of the owner of the private property 
        affected by the declaration;
          (2) be considered a major Federal action under the 
        National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 
        4321 et seq.), if it affects more than 5,000 acres;
          (3) be categorically excluded under the National 
        Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et 
        seq.) and expire three years after the date of the 
        declaration (unless specifically designated as a 
        monument by Federal law), if it affects 5,000 acres or 
        less; and
          (4) be followed by a feasibility study that includes 
        an estimate of the costs associated with managing the 
        monument in perpetuity, including any loss of Federal 
        and State revenue, which shall be submitted to the 
        Committee on Natural Resources of the House of 
        Representatives and the Committee on Energy and Natural 
        Resources of the Senate and made available on the 
        website of the Department of the Interior not later 
        than one year after the date of the declaration.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


                            DISSENTING VIEWS

    H.R. 1459 is a disingenuous proposal to weaken the 
President's authority to establish National Monuments under the 
Antiquities Act. The bill would apply the National 
Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) to future Presidential monument 
declarations. While the majority has repeatedly sought to 
truncate or prohibit environmental reviews for drilling and 
mining, H.R. 1459 aims to require heightened environmental 
analysis for potentially time-sensitive conservation proposals.
    H.R. 1459 would deem a monument designation above 5,000 
acres a major federal action, requiring environmental review. 
The bill also limits the President to one monument designation 
per state, per year. These arbitrary hurdles are only intended 
to undermine the Antiquities Act and slow down conservation. 
Congress passed the Antiquities Act of 1906 to give Presidents 
the latitude to protect historically and culturally significant 
sites. Previous Congresses understood the importance of 
allowing the Executive Branch to move quickly to conserve 
resources, particularly given the pace of Congressional action.
    Sixteen Presidents, both Republicans and Democrats, have 
used the Antiquities Act to establish National Monuments. Some 
of the nation's most cherished and visited National Parks, 
including the Grand Canyon, were first designated National 
Monuments because past Presidents had the foresight to set them 
aside. Presidents have used the Antiquities Act to protect 
resources central to the American story and identity, including 
Native American sacred sites, historic battlefields, and 
natural treasures like the Grand Staircase Escalante. With the 
Cesar E. Chavez National Monument and the Harriet Tubman 
National Monument, among others, recent declarations by 
President Obama have included sites significant to an even more 
diverse range of American communities.
    H.R. 1459 incorrectly assumes that Presidential 
proclamations are done in secret, without the support of local 
stakeholders. Earlier this year, President Obama established 
five new National Monuments, all with broad support from local 
communities and affiliated public interest groups. At the 
hearing for H.R. 1459, the committee heard testimony from the 
Mayor of Hampton, Virginia, the site of the National Monument 
at Fort Monroe, established in 2011 by President Obama. The 
Mayor highlighted the inclusiveness of the process and the 
importance of the monument for her community.
    In the 112th Congress, ten bills were introduced to 
designate monuments or protect areas as historic sites; only 
five of those bills were heard by the Committee and only two, 
both sponsored by Republicans, were put before the full House 
of Representatives. Three of the new monuments established by 
President Obama had bills filed in the House last Congress; 
none of those bills received a hearing.
    The Majority complains about the Antiquities Act and then 
fails to give new monument proposals a fair hearing. The 
Majority opposes new monument designations before they happen, 
but has never sought legislation to overturn a monument after 
it has been designated. Given this level of dysfunction, it is 
more important than ever that the authority granted the 
President in the Antiquities Act more than a century ago remain 
effective.

                                   Peter A. DeFazio.
                                   Niki Tsongas.
                                   Raul M. Grijalva.
                                   Joe Garcia.
                                   Alan Lowenthal.
                                   Grace F. Napolitano.
                                   Tony Cardenas.
                                   Rush Holt.