?In this struggling economy, the US gov’t is working on a number of ways to try and cut back on spending in various areas .But is it worth dismissing a part of history in the long run for a temporary short term gain? The GOP is currently attempting to pass a bill that will allow Congress to veto national monuments passed by the President in a response to job scarcity. As the Huffington Post has pointed out, several Republican state representatives argue that the Antiquities Act of 1906 disallows states to access their own land in times of turmoil.
? However, some are critical, as this is seen as a very short term solution, and that it is just a way for the GOP to get rid of the Antiquities Act. Although Congressman Wally Herger (R-CA) argued the creation of national monuments reduces jobs, some studies have suggested the exact opposite. Instead, according to a study currently being conducted by Headwater Economics, it actually improves local economies, where not only the percentage of jobs in Jackson County in 2000 increased, but so did population, personal income, as well as per capita income after the implementation of 18 monuments including the Cascade-Siskiyou monument.
? Still, others are in favor of the bill, such as Rob Bishop R-Utah, who thinks that presidents have abused their powers in creating national monuments since the Antiquities Act was first implemented. Bishop instead proposes the Utah Land Sovereignty Act that would exempt Utah from this law and allow for Congressional power. Bishop has stated, “The Antiquities Act has been abused by presidents of both parties, but it is in the West where the timing and large scope of many designations have resulted in unnecessary hardship to local communities dependent upon access and use of the land and resources.”
?We here working at the chashama film festival are highly community based and would love to hear from the artistic community regarding this bill. Whether it’s to share opinions, experiences, stories, grievances, all comments are welcome here. I know you have something to say, so why not share it here? Tell us, do you think that Congress should have the power to veto the installment of national monuments?