Obama administration's leaked memo on National Monuments
March 3, 2010You may have already heard about a memo that was leaked from the Obama administration that details millions of acres under consideration as National Monuments.
The document, labeled "Internal Draft—NOT FOR RELEASE", was made available to some members of Congress by someone within the Department of Interior who obviously realized tying up millions of acres could have a devastating impact on mining, ranching, forestry, energy development and rural economies.
There are 14 areas scattered throughout the West listed as potential National Monuments. These areas could be put permanently off-limits to development with the stroke of a pen by President Obama without debate through the use of the Antiquities Act.
The Department of Interior released a statement claiming the document was generated as part of a "brainstorming session" and does not indicate that action will be taken to create additional National Monuments.
Only pages 15-21 were leaked. Sixteen Republican members of the House have written to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, asking for the remainder of the document and any other documents related to monuments, including maps and any correspondence with "outside parties."
Senator Jim DeMint (R-South Carolina) sponsored an amendment to block Obama from declaring any of the 14 areas as monuments, but the amendment was rejected along party lines by a vote of 58-38.
The government currently claims control of 650 million acres of lands in this country, which amounts to 29 percent. The leaked document also lays out additional lands that should be targeted for purchase.
We obtained a copy of pages 15-21 of the leaked document. It's available in Adobe pdf format here:
Leaked Obama Memo on National Monuments