Congressman Devin Nunes (Calif.) introduced legislation that will limit the unchecked power related to the designation of new national monuments. There are 19 co-sponsors to this bill.
The Nunes legislation comes on the heels of a leaked Department of Interior memo, which detailed an administration plan to designate or expand monuments in Arizona, California, Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Nevada and Washington.
If enacted, the bill would restore Congress' authority over monument designations by requiring the legislative branch to approve new national monuments within two years of establishment. Failing Congressional approval, new monuments would revert to their previous status. The bill would also ensure that any restrictions placed on public lands are narrowly tailored and essential to the proper care and management of the objects protected by a monument designation.
Today, there are 71 national monuments located in 26 states, covering some 136 million acres. National monument designations result in severe restrictions on public lands, resulting in economic devastation to surrounding communities that have historically relied on the resources yielded by these lands.
The American Sheep Industry Association, along with many other national and state agriculture associations, supports this legislation.