Public Lands Watch: Comment Period on National Monuments

You can share your thoughts on Interior’s review of National Monuments

As we have noted in earlier posts, President Trump issued an executive order calling for the Interior Department to review a range of National Monuments created over the past 16 years through Presidential proclamations.  The Interior Department has recently announced a public comment period for that review.  If you are interested in sharing your comments about any of the National Monuments under review (list here), and what should be their future status, you can put your two cents:

Comments may be submitted online after May 12 at by entering “DOI-2017-0002” in the Search bar and clicking “Search,” or by mail to Monument Review, MS-1530, U.S. Department of the Interior, 1849 C Street NW, Washington, DC 20240.  Please note that comments on the Bears Ears National Monument are due within 15 days of the beginning of the comment period, while comments on other monuments are due within 60 days.


Reader Comments

4 Replies to “Public Lands Watch: Comment Period on National Monuments”

  1. Eric,
    Do you have any suggestions regarding an acceptable compromise on the National Monuments issue? We support conservation of natural resources. The National Monument sites enacted under the Obama administration were already protected by various federal and state environmental regulations and these sites were not threatened with imminent harm.

    Our concerns about National Monument designations stem from overreaching federal intrusion into the legal authority of states to govern land-use and development approvals, which is a constitutionally protected right that is reserved for the states.

    1. bqrq, there’s no legal authority for the proposition that states have a constitutionally-protected right to govern land use and development approvals on federal lands. On the contrary, that right is reserved to the federal government, with the exception of states’ interest in ensuring environmental quality through reasonable environmental restrictions on federally-approved development. (See California Coastal Commission v. Granite Rock Co., 480 U.S. 572 (1987).) Every National Monument is on land already owned and managed by the federal government, land-use planning on which is governed by either the Dept. of Interior under FLPMA, or the U.S. Forest Service under NFMA, in the absence of monument designation.

  2. The Antiquities Act is the most appropriate method to establish a coherent framework (National Landmark status) for collaborative management of public lands with multiple conservation mandates, local and regional stakeholders and common value as part of our National patrimony. National Monument status provides a mandate to consider the primacy of cultural resources and values in decision-making. Not everything is “transactional”.

  3. Im a 77 yr old retiree who is now timewise and financially able to enjoy my lifelong dream of prospecting and treasure hunting in the San Gabriels and Mohave areas. i dearly hope common sense prevails and these areas stay open for all our local residents to enjoy!

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About Eric

Eric Biber is a specialist in conservation biology, land-use planning and public lands law. Biber brings technical and legal scholarship to the field of environmental law…

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