Antiquities Act
SAD DAY IN AMERICA: Donald Trump signs executive order that could allow companies to mine and drill for oil at national monuments
President Donald Trump has signed an executive order that critics say could lead to the removal of decades' worth of federal land protections. The order directs Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to review the lands previously designated as monuments, and suggest changes. Critics say this will allow the Trump administration to roll back protections that prevent drilling, mining and logging on the public land.

Emily Shugerman at The Independent:

President Donald Trump has signed an executive order that critics say could lead to the removal of decades’ worth of federal land protections.

The order directs Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to review the lands previously designated as monuments, and suggest changes. Critics say this will allow the Trump administration to roll back protections that prevent drilling, mining and logging on the public land.

For more than 20 years, presidents have used the Antiquities Act to designate certain federal lands and waters as national monuments. With that designation comes certain protections – including, in some cases, bans on logging, mining, and drilling.

Mr Zinke said the president is concerned these designations “may have resulted in loss of jobs, reduced wages and reduced public access.”

“The president believes, like I do, that many of the neighbours in the western states of the federal government can be a good neighbour,” Mr Zinke said. “We can protect areas of cultural and economic importance, and they can use the federal lands for economic development when appropriate.”

Under the executive order, Mr Zinke will review all monuments designated after 1996. That includes monuments such as the Castle Mountains in California, Gold Butte in Nevada, and the northern rim of the Grand Canyon. The order does not automatically rescind the status of any monument – in fact, it is untested whether a president can unilaterally do so. But it does direct Mr Zinke to suggest “legislative changes or modifications” to the monuments under review.


America received a wonderful gift today when President Obama announced Bears Ears National Monument. This is sacred land that deserves to be preserved for our grandchildren. Thank you for believing in preservation Mr President.
Trump order aims to allow drilling at national monuments
U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Wednesday to identify national monuments that can be rescinded or resized - part of a broader push to open up more federal lands to drilling, mining and other development.


The move comes as part of Trump’s effort to reverse a slew of environmental protections ushered in by former President Barack Obama that he said were hobbling economic growth - an agenda that is cheering industry but enraging conservationists.

Trump signed the order at the Interior Department in Washington, saying that his predecessors’ use of the 1906 Antiquities Act to create monuments marked an “egregious abuse of federal power.” He said the order would give “power back to the states” to decide what areas of land should be protected and which should remain open for development.

The monuments covered by the review will range from the Grand Staircase created by President Bill Clinton in 1996 to the Bears Ears created by President Barack Obama in December 2016, both in Utah.

GOP leaders want some national monument designations revoked

PORTLAND, Maine — Republican leaders in Maine and Utah are asking President Trump to step into uncharted territory and rescind national monument designations made by his predecessor.

The Antiquities Act of 1906 doesn’t give the president power to undo a designation, and no president has ever taken such a step. But Trump isn’t like other presidents.

Then-president Barack Obama used his power under the act to permanently preserve more land and water using national monument designations than any other president. The land is generally off-limits to timber harvesting, mining and pipelines, and commercial development.

Obama created the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument in Maine last summer on 87,500 acres of donated forestland. The expanse includes part of the Penobscot River and stunning views of Mount Katahdin, Maine’s tallest mountain. In Utah, Obama created Bears Ears National Monument on 1.3 million acres of land that’s sacred to Native Americans and is home to tens of thousands of archaeological sites, including ancient cliff dwellings. Read more.

Trump sets exec orders on environment, energy this week - official

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump will sign several executive orders on energy and the environment this week, a White House official said on Sunday.

“This builds on previous executive actions that have cleared the way for job-creating pipelines, innovations in energy production, and reduced unnecessary burden on energy producers,” the official said on condition of anonymity. 

On Wednesday, Trump is expected to sign an executive order related to the 1906 Antiquities Act, which enables the president to designate federal areas of land and water as national monuments to protect them from drilling, mining and development, the source said.

On Friday, Trump is expected to sign an order that would fit into his administration’s “America First” energy policy, the source said, but did not provide details.

The new measures would build on a number of energy- and environment-related executive orders signed by Trump that seek to gut most of the climate change regulations put in place by predecessor President Barack Obama.

It was unclear how Trump planned to address use of the Antiquities Act in his order. No president has ever removed a monument designation created by former presidents.

Obama had used the Antiquities Act more than any other president, his White House said in December, when he designated over 1.6 million acres of land in Utah and Nevada as national monuments, protecting two areas rich in Native American artifacts from mining, oil and gas drilling.

He had also banned new drilling in federal waters in parts of the Atlantic and Arctic Oceans using a 1950s-era law that environmental groups say would require a drawn out court challenge to reverse.

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said during his confirmation hearing in January that he believed Trump could “amend” Obama’s monument designations but that any move Trump made to rescind a designation would immediately be challenged.

There is strong pressure from some Republicans in Congress to reform how future presidents use the act to give more input to states and Congress.

Last month, Trump signed an order calling for a review of Obama’s Clean Power Plan, which required states to slash carbon emissions from power plants. Trump also reversed a ban on coal leasing on federal lands.

The White House has not yet decided whether to keep the United States in the Paris climate agreement. Advisers, who have been divided on the issue, are expected to make a decision by next month.

(Reporting by David Shephardson and Valerie Volcovici; Additional reporting by Doina Chiacu; Editing by Phil Berlowitz and Chris Reese)


Views from America’s National Parks

The United States has 59 protected areas known as national parks that are operated by the National Park Service, an agency of the Department of the Interior. National parks must be established by an act of the United States Congress.

The first national park, Yellowstone, was signed into law by President Ulysses S. Grant in 1872, followed by Mackinac National Park in 1875 (decommissioned in 1895), and then Rock Creek Park (later merged into National Capital Parks), Sequoia and Yosemite in 1890. The Organic Act of 1916 created the National Park Service “to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and wildlife therein, and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.”

Many current National Parks had been previously protected as National Monuments by the President under the Antiquities Act before being upgraded by Congress. Seven national parks (including six in Alaska) are paired with a National Preserve, areas with different levels of protection that are administered together but considered separate units and whose areas are not included in the figures below.

Photo credits: Jim Urquhart/Reuters (4), Phil Hawkins/Reuters, Charles Platiau/Reuters, Erin Whittaker/Reuters, Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

See more photos of national parks and our other slideshows on Yahoo News.

DBQ/FRQ First Aid (Precolonial to Imperialism)

Tomorrow, you will be taking the APUSH Advanced Placement Exam. Determining on what college you want to go to, at least a three is commonplace. I don’t know about you guys, but my biggest problem is going the length of an entire essay (for example if they want me to talk about Colonial Times through the Revolution, but they just write “1763-1781” I wouldn’t know what to write about). Furthermore, I’m going to list eras, what happening during them in chronological order and a very brief description of what they did. Keep in mind that many eras (such as the 1960’s) are important both in foreign policy and domestic affairs. I will divide them accordingly. The DBQ will not ask for specific years, but it’s better to have a general understanding of the era they are asking you about so you can throw in some “specific evidence” to get that 7-9 essay. This chart is also particularly helpful with the FRQ. Anyway, let’s begin.

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President Bartlet: What'cha got?
Josh Lyman: The Antiquities Act. You’re going to establish Big Sky National Park. [Bartlet laughs] Yeah.
Bartlet: I can do this?
Josh: Yeah.
Bartlet: You understand its a bunch of rocks, right?
Josh: I’m sure someone with your encyclopedic knowledge of the ridiculous and dork-like will be able to find a tree or a ferret that the public has a right to visit.

Happy 110th birthday to Montezuma Castle National Monument! On Dec. 8, 1906, President Theodore Roosevelt used the Antiquities Act to declare this as a place “of the greatest ethnological value and scientific interest.” Have you visited this beautifully disguised castle nestled into the towering limestone of Arizona cliffs?

📷: Brian Helder via Share The Experience


Protecting Native American culture and history with NAGPRA

Today is the 26th anniversary of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA), a law enacted in 1990.  This law was intended to secure the rights of Indian tribes to determine the disposition of their ancestors and funerary objects, as well as their rightful claims to objects necessary for the religious practices and items inherent to tribal identity—sacred objects and objects of cultural patrimony.

Native American cultural sites cover our public lands.  For millennia, tribal people lived on these lands.  They hunted, fished, and farmed for food and sustenance.  They studied the lands, the animals, plants, and sky, learning from nature, watching the stars.  They built towns and cities. They explored, traded, and battled. They worshipped and practiced sacred rites. They raised their children. They buried their dead.

Our public lands include vast cultural landscapes covered with special places, some of which have been the subject of archaeological investigations, including burial sites.  Most collections made from public lands over the last 100 years were curated in non-federal museums or universities designated in permits issued under the Antiquities Act of 1906 and the Archeological Resources Protection Act of 1979.

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These cars were parked beside the 16th Street Baptist Church when the explosion ripped through the church in Birmingham, Ala., on Sept. 15, 1963.

By invoking the Antiquities Act of 1906 to designate the sites, Obama has now used the act more than any other president. He has created or expanded 34 national monuments, two more than Franklin D. Roosevelt.

The new Birmingham Civil Rights National Historical Monument features the site of the Sept. 15, 1963, bombing of the city’s 16th Street Baptist Church, which killed four girls and injured 22 other people, as well as the A.G. Gaston Motel, where segregation opponents organized in the 1960s. The death of the four girls, who were attending Sunday school, outraged many Americans and provided a critical impetus for the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

Read more here: Obama names five new national monuments, including Southern civil rights sites

Happy President’s Day! We’re remembering the 26th President of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt, and his legacy as the “Conservation President.” While President, he designated five national parks, and in 1906, Roosevelt signed the Antiquities Act, which allowed the president to designate national monuments—sites of scientific or cultural importance on federal lands—without waiting out the long, often contentious congressional process of adding national parks. All told, he launched programs that would protect 230 million acres of land:

Learn more about the life of President Theodore Roosevelt.


Olicity Hiatus Challenge - Team Bow and Brains

Art Thief AU:

Felicity Smoak and Sara Lance have been partners in crime as long as they’ve been in the business. Their specialty is art collections, particularly stealing rare pieces and selling them back on the black market. Usually Sara is the one out in the field and Felicity is on the comm. speaking to her, but tonight they have to switch after Sara is badly injured after their last mission by a competing art thief. Felicity is pissed, and volunteers to go into the field to try and find their mystery art thief. 

Unbeknownst to them, their last target that they stole from, Oliver Queen, knows who stole his 1984 Magdelena piece. and has no problem buying a rare Spanish Antiquity that will act as a trap and will bring the art thieves to him. Except he isn’t quite prepared for the sight of one Felicity Smoak, who intrigues him almost immediately.