Center for Biological Diversity

For Immediate Release, November 17, 2016

Contact: Randi Spivak, (310) 779-4894,

Bishop Wrongly Claims Trump Can Rescind National Monuments

WASHINGTON— Utah Rep. Rob Bishop falsely claimed today that the Trump administration can legally rescind the designation of a national monument. He said he’d like to see President-elect Donald Trump dissolve Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in Utah, which was designed by President Clinton in 1996.

“In Rob Bishop’s world, land owned by all Americans should be taken over by those who see them as nothing but a source of profit for drilling, mining and logging,” said Randi Spivak, public lands director with the Center for Biological Diversity. “Fortunately there are laws that protect places like national monuments – Rep. Bishop apparently doesn’t understand them or doesn’t think they should apply to his ideology.”

Congress gave the president the authority to designate national monuments on federally owned land under the Antiquities Act of 1906 for the express purpose of protecting important objects of historic and scientific importance.

National Monuments are beloved by Americans and have protected some of our most iconic places. Many national monuments have become national parks over the years including Grand Teton, Grand Canyon, Bryce, Zion, Acadia and Olympic. 

Bishop’s wishful thinking, however, is directly contradicted by Congress's own Congressional Research Service, whose lawyers long ago concluded: “There is no language in the 1906 Act that expressly authorizes revocation; there is no instance of past practice in that regard, and there is an attorney general’s opinion concluding that the President lacks that authority.”

“If Rob Bishop has his way, where would it stop? Taking Yellowstone and Yosemite off the list of national parks?” Spivak said. “Sadly the Trump administration has shown a disturbing interest in taking advice from right-wing extremists. Hopefully Rob Bishop isn’t one of them.”

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.1 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

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