The following is from a press release from NC Congresswoman Virginia Foxx.
Foxx introduces bill to protect American lands from federal power grabs
Legislation preserves private property rights, citizen input
Washington, DC—Congresswoman Virginia Foxx (NC-05) introduced a bill this week that protects American lands from unnecessary or harmful seizure by the federal government. Her bill, the Preserve Land Freedom for Americans Act, requires congressional approval before any American land is designated as a national monument.
“Local citizens and governments should have a voice in the process of designating new national monuments in their backyards,” Foxx said. “My bill gives Congress the ability to sign off on new national monuments, instead of leaving the federal government to make unilateral land grabs.”
Currently, the President has the power to designate new national monuments without congressional approval under the 100-year-old Antiquities Act. This often takes place without the full input of states and localities, which can jeopardize private property rights, economic development and job creation.
“Our national monuments and parks are American treasures, rightly protected by the federal government,” Foxx said. “This legislation simply creates safeguards to protect local citizens and land owners and keep the federal government from overstepping its bounds.”
Foxx’s bill gives Congress the ability to weigh on the creation of new national monuments. This would allow Representatives from areas under consideration to voice the concerns of citizens in affected areas and ensure that the federal government does not unnecessarily harm local citizens.
The bill also contains provisions to ensure prospective locations for national monuments are studied for potential use, including energy development, prior to receiving a designation. Additionally, it creates a review period for citizen input and congressional approval before restrictions are placed on the land.
The bill, H.R. 4996, currently has 16 cosponsors.