The Antiquities Act and the Acreage Debate

Part of the Antiquities Act project

Author(s): Frank Norris

Year: 2006


June 8 of 2006 marked the centennial of the Antiquities Act —a law that, by any standards, is a landmark in the history of U.S. land management policies. There was a sweeping application of this act in the late 1970s that reserved a huge amount of acreage, and generated as large an amount of controversy. Questions arose, therefore, about the roots of that controversy, and whether the actions taken regarding Alaska were unique. The Antiquities Act’s second section provides for the U.S. president to declare as national monuments various “historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, and other objects of historic or scientific interest” situated on the nation’s public lands (34 Stat. 225; U.S. Code, Title 16, Sections 431–433). This chapter examines this second section of the Act a bit more closely, focusing particular attention on the acreage issue: namely, what does the Act say about how big a national monument should be, and how has the Act’s acreage-related language fared over the years?

Cite this Record

The Antiquities Act and the Acreage Debate. Frank Norris. In The Antiquities Act of 1906: The Antiquities Act of 1906: A Century of American Archaeology, Historic Preservation, and Nature Conservation. Tucson, AZ: University of Arizona Press. 2006 ( tDAR id: 374185) ; doi:10.6067/XCV8KD1W8D

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Contact(s): National Park Service

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