Mar 5, 2010 11:30 AM
WASHINGTON - U.S. Representative Denny Rehberg introduced legislation on Thursday that would exempt Montana from certain parts of the Antiquities Act, which allow the President to designate land as a National Monument.
Rehberg took the action after recent news of an internal memo from the U.S. Department of Interior that outlines plans to designate some 13 million acres of land in several Western States as national monuments; the proposal includes roughly 2.5 million acres in Montana.
Rehberg has characterized the proposal as a "land grab," and in a statement on Thursday, he noted, "For more than a century, the Antiquities Act has served a valuable function in the preservation of America's natural treasures, making it all the more tragic that it's now being misused for a 13 million-acre land-grab. When it comes to land in Montana, we've got a long-standing tradition of working together to find consensus-based solutions. Circumventing that tradition by unilaterally carving out millions of acres with the stroke of a pen is not the American way."
The legislation introduced by Rehberg would requires Congressional approval of new National Monument designations in Montana.
(March 3, 2010) U.S. Representative Denny Rehberg is taking action against what he's calling an attempted land grab by the federal government.
Rehberg has joined other members of the Western Caucus in adding his name to a letter sent to the Department of the Interior regarding proposed monument sites throughout the west.
In the letter, the Western Caucus has four requests of Secretary Ken Salazar.
They want all pages of an internal draft document regarding the proposed monuments; any maps or other documents detailing the proposed list of monuments; any record of communications with anyone outside the department related to the monuments; and any documents and notes relating to "brainstorming" sessions concerning the monuments.
Rehberg spokesman Jed Link says the boundaries for the monuments are unclear.
One of the proposals is for a 2.5-million acre monument in northeast Montana, an area larger than Yellowstone National Park.