WASHINGTON (August 8, 2023) – Today, the Public Lands Council (PLC) spoke out against President Biden’s decision to designate over a million acres of land in Arizona under the Antiquities Act. This designation is the latest in a long series of recent actions from the Biden administration that has disenfranchised communities across the West.
“Rural communities have long been an afterthought to D.C. politicians and this decision once again shows that President Biden cares more about talking points than truly listening to the needs of rural communities and ranching families,” said PLC President Mark Roeber, a Colorado rancher. “While this designation may appear to be a ‘win’ on paper, the new monument comes with no outreach to the public lands ranchers who have stewarded the lands for generations. Decisions like these set land management in the West back by 50 years or more all so President Biden could score a few cheap political points.”
The Antiquities Act grants the President the authority to create national monuments on public lands through a presidential proclamation alone—no review, economic impact analysis, or public input required. In effect, the act allows any President to radically reshape rural economies, eliminate jobs, and harm industries operating on public lands all through the stroke of a pen.
PLC has long opposed overreach under the Antiquities Act. We urge monument designations to be supported by local stakeholders and evaluated by Congress, not forced on rural communities by Washington bureaucrats.