Fishing, hunting CEOs offer Antiquities advice to POTUS

April 14, 2017

President Donald J. Trump

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW

Washington, DC 20500

Dear President Trump:

The undersigned organizations are writing in support of the Antiquities Act of 1906 and to express our opposition to any executive action that seeks to administratively overturn a national monument.

Signed into law by Theodore Roosevelt, the Antiquities Act has been used to protect some of America’s finest public lands, including areas important for hunting and fishing like Colorado’s Browns Canyon, New Mexico’s Rio Grande del Norte and California’s Berryessa Snow Mountain. The Antiquities Act is an important conservation tool, and when hunting, fishing and wildlife values are priority considerations, the act supports the continuation of hunting and fishing in America.

We understand that some monuments are controversial, and we strongly believe that the best place to resolve conflict over these places is in Congress. No president has ever attempted to reverse a national monument, and we believe executive branch actions to reverse or otherwise undermine a single monument would jeopardize all monuments. By attempting to reverse a monument administratively, the executive branch would threaten the future of all national monuments and the conservation legacy established by sixteen presidents, eight Republicans and eight Democrats, over a 111-year period. This rich American legacy is something that should be defended and celebrated, not jeopardized.

Instead of considering the repeal of national monuments, we ask that you seek to set an example for how the Antiquities Act should be used responsibly, so that all future presidents may follow in your footsteps. To that end, numerous hunting and fishing organizations and businesses have developed the following set of tenants, which if followed, would ensure the responsible use of the Antiquities Act for decades to come.

  • The monument proposal must be developed through a public process – one that includes hunters and anglers, as well as appropriate state and local governments.
  • The monument proclamation should clearly stipulate that any existing state management authority over fish and wildlife populations will be retained by state fish and wildlife agencies with the coordination and flexibility necessary to fulfill public trust responsibilities to conserve fish and wildlife and achieve wildlife management objectives including the ability to establish seasons, bag limits and regulate method-of-take.
  • Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service lands must remain under the authority of a multiple-use focused land management agency.
  • Reasonable public access must be retained to enable continued hunting and fishing opportunities.
  • The input and guidance of hunters and anglers must be included in management plans for national monuments.
  • Important fish and wildlife habitat must be protected.
  • The proposal must enjoy support from local sportsmen and women.
  • Sporting opportunities must be upheld and the historical and cultural significance of hunting and fishing explicitly acknowledged in the monument proclamation.

We stand ready and willing to work with you to ensure the responsible future application of the Antiquities Act.

Thanks for your consideration.


Collin O’Mara

President and CEO

National Wildlife Federation

Whit Fosburgh

President and CEO

Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership

Ben Bulis

President and CEO

American Fly Fishing Trade Association

Land Tawney

President and CEO

Backcountry Hunters and Anglers

Chris Wood

President and CEO

Trout Unlimited

By Chris Hunt.