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Amata votes for National Monument Creation and Protection Act

Amata at markup.jpg  Congresswoman Amata in Committee markup of the bill reforming National Monuments.  [Courtesy photo]
Source: Media release, office of Congresswoman Aumua Amata

Congresswoman Aumua Amata voted for the National Monument Creation and Protection Act, which was marked up and passed by the Natural Resources Committee, to ensure thorough oversight of future monument designations.

“I’m pleased to cosponsor and vote for this bill because it better protects American Samoa’s interests in future marine monument decisions,” said Aumua Amata. “A major marine monument should require clear action by Congress, and not just be a bureaucratic decision. Since designating large national monuments can have unintended consequences to a local economy, such as losses in fishing, Congress must protect our waters from overreach.”

The National Monument Creation and Protection Act clarifies the process of creating a national monument, and updates the Antiquities Act to restore the Act’s original intent. This action limits the reach of the Antiquities Act to apply to lands owned by the federal government, not marine areas.

The bill also strengthens provisions for local, state and territorial input.

Also, the bill creates authority for the President to rapidly declare short term emergency national monuments to protect and preserve a threatened area while the process takes place. These provisions help restore the congressional intent of the Act, modernize it and reduce overreach.

“National monuments should be thoroughly considered with understanding of the impact on nearby communities,” continued Congresswoman Amata. “This bill allows the President to move quickly with emergency short term declarations in time of need, but for long term designations requires real input from local or territorial officials who know the area best.”