House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (WA-04) today released the following statement in response to President Obama's announcement to use presidential powers granted under the 1906 Antiquities Act to designate Chimney Rock as a National Monument:
"This is truly a face-saving action borne out of President Obama's failure to provide leadership to get the Democrat-controlled Senate to start working on solutions to protect, improve and utilize our nation's abundant natural resources and public lands. The House of Representatives has already approved a bill to establish the Chimney Rock National Monument and it is the Senate that has so far failed to act. The House has approved literally dozens of bipartisan, locally-supported bills that would solve problems, protect natural areas and boost economic development that are just sitting in the Senate awaiting action.
"Major decisions on federal lands that can seriously affect local communities and economies should be made by those most affected and their local elected leaders. Such decisions should not be made by unilateral orders from the President relying on an outdated law passed over a hundred years ago that should be reformed or repealed."