What is House Bill 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.
If enacted, the bill would affect an awful lot of acres in an awful lot of places, including the Grand Canyon, the Colorado National Monument, and Mt. Saint Helens.
Cost of House Bill H.R. 1459
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.
-The United States has 108 protected areas designated as national monuments.
-Until the passage of a March 2014 bill to
protect wilderness lands in the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore , Congress had not
protected a single new
acre of public lands since 2009, the longest such drought
since World War II.
-Congress forced a 16-day government shutdown last fall that cost national parks and local communities 8 million lost visitors and $414 million in lost visitor spending.
Ensuring Public Involvement in the Creation of National Monuments Act
To ensure that the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 applies to the declaration of national monuments, and for other purposes.