August 22, 2013
As ordered reported by the House Committee on Natural Resources on July 24, 2013
H.R. 1459 would amend the process of designating new national monuments. The Antiquities Act of 1906 authorizes the President to declare landmarks, structures, and other objects of historic or scientific interest that are on federal land to be national monuments. H.R. 1459 would require an environmental review of any potential monuments that are greater than 5,000 acres. The designation of a national monument would expire after three years for any monument less than 5,000 acres unless the monument was designated by a change in the law. Under the bill, every designation would be followed by a feasibility study of the costs of managing the monument. The legislation also would limit the number of designations the President could make to one per state during a four-year term.
Based on information provided by the National Park Service, CBO estimates that implementing H.R. 1459 would cost about $2 million over the 2014-2018 period. Over the past 10 years, 16 national monuments have been established. CBO estimates that the additional studies required under the legislation would increase the cost of designating a new monument by about $300,000. Enacting H.R. 1459 would not affect direct spending or revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.
H.R. 1459 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and would impose no costs on state, local, or tribal governments.