H.C.R. 201 Concurrent Resolution Opposing Unilateral Use of the Antiquities Act

Bill Sponsor:

Rep. Stratton, Keven J.
Floor Sponsor:

Sen. Hinkins, David P.
  • Drafting Attorney: RuthAnne Frost
  • Fiscal Analyst: Gary K. Ricks

  • Bill Tracking

  • Information
    • Last Action: 19 May 2016, Governor Signed
    • Last Location: Lieutenant Governor's office for filing

H.C.R. 201





Chief Sponsor: Keven J. Stratton

Senate Sponsor: David P. Hinkins


9     General Description:
10           This concurrent resolution of the Legislature and the Governor expresses strong
11     opposition to the designation of a new national monument in the state without local
12     input and state legislative approval.
13     Highlighted Provisions:
14          This resolution:
15          ▸      expresses strong opposition to the use of the Antiquities Act by the President of the
16     United States to establish a new national monument in the state without local input
17     and state legislative approval.
18     Special Clauses:
19          None

21     Be it resolved by the Legislature of the state of Utah, the Governor concurring therein:
22           WHEREAS, the members of the Utah Legislature and the Governor are honored to
23     have all taken an oath to uphold the divinely inspired constitution and the laws of the state and
24     the United States;
25          WHEREAS, the framers of our constitution, as evidenced by their inspired and
26     carefully crafted constitutional balance of power and responsibilities between branches of
27     government and between the national and state governments, did not intend to grant the
28     executive branch unilateral authority to set aside vast swaths of land within the borders of a
29     state without input from Congress and state officials;

30          WHEREAS, egregious federal overreach is among the greatest threats to:
31               •     the current strength and vitality of the state;
32               •     the health, safety, and welfare of its citizens;
33               •     the pursuit by its citizens of life, liberty, and happiness;
34               •     the long-term economic prosperity of the state; and
35               •     the equitable per pupil funding of education for Utah's children;
36          WHEREAS, the Utah Legislature and the Governor oppose the actions of those who
37     would seek to resolve conflicts with the federal government by methods outside the bounds of
38     the law;
39          WHEREAS, it is in this spirit of lawful resolution of conflicts that the Utah Legislature
40     and the Governor submit the matters herein set forth;
41          WHEREAS, the state of Utah is a public lands state, committed to preserving certain of
42     these lands in their natural condition, allowing continued recreational access for hunters,
43     anglers, campers, and other recreators on other land, as well allowing some public lands to be
44     utilized for additional benefits, including agriculture, timber production, and energy and natural
45     resource development;
46          WHEREAS, a high and critical priority for the Legislature and the Governor is the
47     health, protection, preservation, and productivity of, and access to, the public lands within the
48     state-lands that are greater in size than the total land mass within the borders of 19 of the
49     other 49 states;
50          WHEREAS, roughly 66% of the land within the sovereign state of Utah is presently
51     owned and administered by the federal government, unlike 38 states in the Union that govern
52     almost all the land within their borders, and members of the Legislature and the Governor are
53     concerned by federal policies and management that threaten the health, protection, and
54     productivity of, and access to, these public lands;
55          WHEREAS, Utah is 50th in the nation in per pupil spending due to the large portion of
56     the state that is held as federal land and not subject to property tax;
57          WHEREAS, the officials of the state have a legitimate basis to believe that President

58     Barack Obama is considering issuing a proclamation under the Antiquities Act designating one
59     or more national monuments within the borders of the state of Utah before the end of his term
60     in office;
61          WHEREAS, one of the national monuments being considered-Bears Ears National
62     Monument-may be nearly 1.9 million acres in size and cover roughly 40% of San Juan
63     County;
64          WHEREAS, the Antiquities Act limits a presidential monument designation to the
65     "smallest area compatible with proper care and management of the objects to be protected";
66           WHEREAS, the state of Utah is already home to the Grand Staircase-Escalante
67     National Monument designated by President Bill Clinton, which placed 1,880,461 acres, or
68     2,938 square miles, of land within the borders of Utah under protected status, greatly restricting
69     its use by local individuals, all without consulting the Governor, the Legislature, or the
70     congressional delegation of the state of Utah;
71          WHEREAS, an additional national monument designation within the borders of the
72     state without the consent of the Governor, Legislature, or Utah's congressional delegation will
73     have the effect of further restricting the public's access to and enjoyment of public lands in
74     Utah;
75          WHEREAS, the creation of another national monument in Utah-already home to five
76     national parks and seven national monuments-would only add to the burden placed on the
77     funding of Utah schools;
78          WHEREAS, during her confirmation hearing on March 7, 2013, Secretary of the
79     Interior Sally Jewell committed to Senator Mike Lee that gaining local support for a national
80     monument should be a prerequisite for national monument designations under the Antiquities
81     Act;
82          WHEREAS, over the past three years, Secretary Jewell has repeatedly made reference
83     to the importance of local buy-in through local meetings, input, and public hearings before a
84     national monument is designated;
85          WHEREAS, on Wednesday, February 24, 2016, in a House Natural Resources

86     Committee discussion with Secretary Jewell, Chairman Rob Bishop noted that during each of
87     President Obama's previous monument declarations, at least one member of that state's
88     congressional delegation supported a monument declaration;
89          WHEREAS, Chairman Bishop went on to note that not one single member of Utah's
90     congressional delegation supports another national monument declaration in Utah under the
91     Antiquities Act;
92          WHEREAS, on February 23, 2016, in her response to Senator Lee during a hearing
93     before the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, Secretary Jewell became
94     noncommittal regarding working with Utah's Governor, federal delegation, and local elected
95     officials, and stated in reference to concerns about a potential new monument designation in
96     southeastern Utah: "Well, to be clear, I can't commit to anything with regard to the Antiquities
97     Act because that is a tool of the President of the United States. I will commit that we will go
98     out and spend time within the community and take input from the community. That is
99     something that we have done every time and we will continue to do that.";
100          WHEREAS, as of May 2016, that process of taking input from local communities has
101     not occurred in Utah;
102          WHEREAS, the Legislature of the state of Utah hereby goes on record as not only
103     withholding its consent to the establishment of any proposed new national monuments without
104     state legislative input and approval, but emphatically objecting to the establishment of the
105     same;
106           WHEREAS, Governor Gary R. Herbert has written to the President of the United States
107     twice-once in August 2015 and once in February 2016-urging him not to use the Antiquities
108     Act to designate another national monument in Utah;
109          WHEREAS, Governor Herbert noted that another monument designation in Utah
110     would "inflame passion, spur divisiveness, and ensure perpetual opposition";
111           WHEREAS, while some tribes with historic ties to Bears Ears support the proposed
112     monument, most members of the Navajo Nation who live in San Juan County do not support
113     the monument designation;

114          WHEREAS, Navajos in San Juan County experience some of the highest rates of
115     unemployment in the state;
116          WHEREAS, San Juan County commissioner Rebecca Bennally, whose constituency
117     includes members of the Navajo Nation who live in San Juan County, indicated on April 20,
118     2016, that Navajos in that region would prefer sacred sites be protected through application of
119     a conservation area designation, with some areas left available for development and job
120     creation for locals;
121          WHEREAS, the Legislature and the Governor believe that democratic process matters,
122     and that consideration of whether to set aside Bears Ears for preservation should involve all
123     interested stakeholders, in a manner that protects Bears Ears while still allowing local concerns
124     to be heard and recognized;
125          WHEREAS, local Native American tribal members in San Juan County who were the
126     first known inhabitants of the Bears Ears area are strongly opposed to the designation of a
127     national monument and should be afforded additional time to present their concerns and
128     interests in how the area would be managed in the future;
129          WHEREAS, the Legislature and the Governor invite the President and the Secretary of
130     the Interior to join Utah's congressional delegation, the Governor, state legislative leadership
131     from both parties, locally elected officials, and interested stakeholders to engage in such a
132     constitutional process;
133          WHEREAS, the Legislature and the Governor urge federal, state, and local cooperation
134     to ensure that multiple use and sustained yield are maintained on public lands while protecting
135     ancient Native American artifacts under existing laws like the Archeological Resource
136     Protection Act (ARPA) and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA);
137          WHEREAS, the Legislature and the Governor are opposed to a unilateral use of the
138     Antiquities Act to create a Bears Ears National Monument without a more in-depth process that
139     draws all stakeholders together;
140          WHEREAS, while some resident and non-resident individuals and groups support the
141     designation of the monument, the majority of San Juan County citizens, including Navajo tribal

142     members, are opposed to it;
143          WHEREAS, the Legislature and the Governor also favor protection and conservation of
144     the Bears Ears area, but prefer a constitutionally sound, locally driven legislative approach;
145          WHEREAS, citizens in rural Utah already experience difficult economic prospects, and
146     tourism alone from Utah's current seven national monuments and five national parks has not
147     been able to provide a sufficient, year-round revenue base for these communities;
148          WHEREAS, citizens in rural Utah deserve the opportunity to create a diversified,
149     ongoing economy;
150          WHEREAS, responsible and environmentally sound economic development can be
151     pursued simultaneously with wilderness preservation and conservation;
152          WHEREAS, a monument designation would remove forever the possibility of
153     economic development in the Bears Ears region, hurting those who live in the area to benefit
154     those who only wish to visit the area;
155          WHEREAS, many potential issues with a proposed Bears Ears monument have not
156     been resolved and need further informed discussion;
157          WHEREAS, the proposed Bears Ears National Monument contains approximately
158     150,000 acres of School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration land;
159          WHEREAS, neither the federal government nor the proponents of the Bears Ears area
160     have done any environmental or socioeconomic impact study of the proposal;
161          WHEREAS, the system of having federal officials over a thousand miles away govern
162     land in Utah, particularly without sufficient local input, is contrary to the dual sovereignty
163     design of our federal republic, which protects individual liberty by diffusing sovereign power;
164          WHEREAS, decisions regarding the health, safety, and welfare of Utah citizens are,
165     under our federal system, properly placed with local governments;
166          WHEREAS, the use of the Antiquities Act in recent years by presidents to designate
167     millions of acres of land as national monuments disparately impacts western states, including
168     Utah, because only western states have large areas of federal land remaining within their
169     borders;

170           WHEREAS, two western states-Wyoming and Alaska-received special exemptions
171     from the Antiquities Act in 1950 and 1980, respectively, after the act was used extensively
172     within the boundaries of those two states; and
173          WHEREAS, Utah is already the home to seven national monuments and should be
174     considered for an exemption from the Antiquities Act, like Wyoming and Alaska:
175          NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Legislature of the state of Utah, the
176     Governor concurring therein, expresses strong opposition to the creation of any new national
177     monuments within the state by the President of the United States without approval by the
178     Governor and the Legislature.
179          BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Legislature and the Governor encourage
180     Congress to amend the Antiquities Act to prevent presidents from unilaterally designating
181     enormous amounts of land within a sovereign state, Utah in particular, as national monuments
182     without local input and state legislative approval.
183          BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Legislature and the Governor request that
184     Attorney General Sean Reyes oppose the authority of the President of the United States to
185     designate a proposed national monument within the borders of the state of Utah without state
186     legislative approval.
187          BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Legislature and the Governor request that
188     Attorney General Sean Reyes pursue all legal options and recourse available to the state
189     regarding improper unilateral national monument designations.
190          BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a copy of this resolution be sent to the President of
191     the United States, the members of Utah's congressional delegation, and Attorney General Sean
192     Reyes.
Bill Status / Votes
• Senate Actions • House Actions • Fiscal Actions • Other Actions
5/17/2016Bill Numbered but not DistributedLegislative Research and General Counsel
5/17/2016Numbered Bill Publicly DistributedLegislative Research and General Counsel
5/17/2016LFA/ bill sent to agencies for fiscal inputLegislative Research and General Counsel
5/18/2016LFA/ fiscal note sent to sponsorLegislative Research and General Counsel
5/18/2016House/ received bill from Legislative ResearchClerk of the House
5/18/2016LFA/ fiscal note publicly availableClerk of the House
5/18/2016House/ 1st reading (Introduced)House Rules Committee
5/18/2016House/ lifted from RulesHouse 3rd Reading Calendar for Senate bills
5/18/2016House/ Rules to 3rd Reading CalendarHouse 3rd Reading Calendar for House bills
5/18/2016House/ 2nd readingHouse 3rd Reading Calendar for House bills
5/18/2016House/ 3rd readingHouse 3rd Reading Calendar for House bills
5/18/2016House/ floor amendmentHouse 3rd Reading Calendar for House billsVoice vote
5/18/2016House/ floor amendmentHouse 3rd Reading Calendar for House billsVoice vote
5/18/2016House/ floor amendmentHouse 3rd Reading Calendar for House billsVoice vote
5/18/2016House/ floor amendment # 1House 3rd Reading Calendar for House billsVoice vote
5/18/2016House/ passed 3rd readingSenate Secretary64 10 1
5/18/2016House/ to SenateSenate Secretary
5/18/2016Senate/ received from HouseWaiting for Introduction in the Senate
5/18/2016Senate/ 1st reading (Introduced)Senate Rules Committee
5/18/2016Senate/ 2nd & 3rd readings/ suspensionSenate 2nd Reading Calendar
5/18/2016Senate/ passed 2nd & 3rd readings/ suspensionSenate President22 5 2
5/18/2016Senate/ signed by President/ returned to HouseHouse Speaker
5/18/2016Senate/ to HouseHouse Speaker
5/18/2016House/ received from SenateHouse Speaker
5/18/2016House/ signed by Speaker/ sent for enrollingLegislative Research and General Counsel / Enrolling
5/18/2016Bill Received from House for EnrollingLegislative Research and General Counsel / Enrolling
5/18/2016Draft of Enrolled Bill PreparedLegislative Research and General Counsel / Enrolling
5/18/2016Enrolled Bill Returned to House or SenateClerk of the House
5/18/2016House/ enrolled bill to PrintingClerk of the House
5/19/2016 Governor SignedLieutenant Governor's office for filing