In August 2022, BlueRibbon Coalition filed a challenge to President Biden’s expansion of the Bears Ears National Monument and Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument in Utah’s District Court.
This year we moved forward with this challenge, and we are currently scheduled for this challenge to be heard in the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals. We are partners with the state of Utah in the challenge.
The heart of our challenge is that when presidents designate national monuments that are millions of acres in size, they are abusing the limited powers granted to presidents by the Antiquities Act. With massive new monuments designated in Nevada and Arizona since we filed our challenge, it is clear that we will continue to see presidents continue to abuse the Antiquities Act to lock up our public lands.
Our concerns with these expansive monuments were validated this fall when the Bureau of Land Management released management plans for the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument. Some of these proposals were the most restrictive plans we’ve seen, and the public should be prepared to see significant loss of public access to these areas.
This is why we’re fighting so hard to challenges these monuments!
In November we learned that Manhattan Institute, the Reason Foundation, the Arizona Senate President, the Arizona House Speaker, Senators Cruz and Lee, the Pacific Legal Foundation, and the American Forest Resource Council filed amicus briefs in support of our appeal.
The states of Idaho, Alaska, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, and Wyoming also filed amicus briefs.
In the meantime, there are discussions happening to build support for three new monuments in California. If you’re fed up with the government locking up our lands, we encourage our members and supporters to oppose these monuments.