Antiquities Act of 1906 and the Controversy About
& Recent Conflicts
A brief summary this
A controversy about the use of the
Antiquities Act of 1906 has arisen with President Clinton's intention
to preserve large amounts of federal land in the western United
States. In 1906, Congress voted the following into law:
"The President of the United States is authorized, in
his discretion, to declare by public proclamation historic landmarks,
historic and prehistoric structures, and other objects of historic or
scientific interested that are situated upon the lands owned or
controlled by the Government of the United
Theodore Roosevelt was the first President to
use this new power, establishing protection over the Grand Canyon and
many other locations. President Carter set aside huge tracts of land
in Alaska, and now President Clinton is using the law to protect more
land. Each of these presidents faced powerful opposition, usually
from political leaders in the West who viewed this as unreasonable
seizures of land by the Federal government.
This controversy is just one more example of
how actions and events of the past continue to affect the present.
Use the links below to further research this issue.
Muir and the 1906 Antiquities Act--Excerpted
from The View From John Muir's Window, November, 1996, Newsletter of
the John Muir Memorial Association.
to the Past: Laws and Regulation--
Useful gateway page containing links to laws related to "cultural
Antiquities Act of 1906--Full text
of the law passed by Congress in 1906.
Park Service: NPS Laws and Regulations--Highlights
some of the Cultural Resource Legislation empowering the
Country News: Ninety Years of the Antiquities
Act--Brief timeline showing use of
the Antiquities Act.
in the National Park Service: --A
comprehensive listing of all National Monuments established by the
Presidents of the United States since the passage of the Antiquities
Act of 1906. Current
A Monumental Battle--Background
article on President Clinton's actions.
of Marcia F. Argust before the Senate Subcommittee on Forests and
Public Lands Management--Marcia F.
Argust of the National Center for Policy Analysis testifies in July
of 1999 against a bill that would restrict presidential power to
protect heritage resources.
Act Put To Good Use --The editorial
board of The San Luis Obispo Tribune writes that if the
Republicans win the 2000 elections, the future of the Antiquities Act
may be endangered.
Sequoia National Monument A Birthday Present for John Muir and the
World!--Article from the Sierra
Club's Sequoia Task Force, argues that a Sequoia Monument proposal
would protect a dynamic forest ecosystem, allow restoration, and
would include about 400,000 acres of publicly owned National Forest
Closed Doors: The Abuse of Trust And Discretion In The Establishment
Of The Grand Staircase-Escalante National
Monument--Report by the House
Resources Subcommittee on National Parks and Public Lands. The
Republican-controlled House of Representatives is generally in
opposition to President Clinton's use of the Antiquities
Antiquities Act!--Henry Lamb of World
Net Daily writes that protecting land now takes it away from future
generation's who might need it.
of Rep. George Radanovich on H.R. 4021--Rep.
George Radinovich, R-Calif. argues other ways exist to protect
Sequoia groves than through federal intervention.
Please cite this source when appropriate:
Lee, R. "The History Guy: The Antiquities Act
of 1906 and the Controversy About It "
Copyright © 1998-2011 Roger A. Lee; Last Modified:
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