WASHINGTON — Today marks the 111th anniversary of the Antiquities Act, signed into law by President Theodore Roosevelt and used by him and 15 other presidents, both Republicans and Democrats, to designate more than 150 national monuments.
The magnificent treasures that have been protected by the act include Wyoming’s Devils Tower, Arizona’s Grand Canyon, Idaho’s Craters of the Moon and Alaska’s Glacier Bay.
Rather than celebrating that legacy, President Donald Trump has taken aim at the 1906 law, claiming that recent administrations have abused it to “lock up millions of acres of land and water.”
Twenty-seven national monuments designated or expanded since 1996, spanning more than 11 million acres of land and about 760 million acres of ocean, are threatened by a pair of executive orders signed by Trump in April. By Saturday, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is due to make a recommendation on what he thinks should happen to…