We need monumental creativity to resolve Antiquities Act conflicts, which is threatened by both sides digging in.
Last week, Interior Secretary Zinke released an interim report suggesting that the boundaries of Bears Ears National Monument should be redrawn and management of the area reconsidered. In less than a day, before knowing what the new boundaries or management would be, lawsuits were threatened. If carried out, the proposal will empower tribes, promote better stewardship, and limit unnecessary regulation.
If the President undoes a monument and successfully defends that action, it could lead to broader reform of the Antiquities Act that allows monuments and many other federal lands to be managed more effectively for both people and the environment.
Ocean monuments violate the Antiquities Act. But, more fundamentally, the monument process is antithetical to liberty.