WASHINGTON (August 8, 2023) – Today, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) slammed President Biden’s use of the Antiquities Act to put sweeping federal designations on over a million additional acres of land in Arizona, amounting to yet another presidential land grab.
“This kind of use of the Antiquities Act is one of the most appallingly political moves to lock up millions of acres of land across the country. Today’s latest designation follows a concerning trend of Washington politicians trampling local communities, land managers, farmers, and ranchers with the stroke of a pen,” said NCBA President Todd Wilkinson, a South Dakota cattle producer. “NCBA is strongly opposed to the continued abuse of the Antiquities Act, and we urge President Biden to listen to the local communities that will be hurt by this designation.”
This designation adds insult to injury for communities that are unheard and intentionally removed from land management conversations. Additionally, the Biden administration failed to communicate with the affected landowners prior to the designation and their so-called public opinion meeting and poll failed to gather perspective from the people most impacted by this decision.
The Antiquities Act gives the President of the United States broad power establish national monuments from existing federal lands. These designations are especially harmful to rural communities that rely on federal lands for their livelihood, such as public lands ranchers. Public lands ranching has existed since the early days of exploration in the West and is governed today by the Taylor Grazing Act of 1934. Nearly 40% of cattle spend their time on public lands and public lands ranchers protect water sources, safeguard open space, promote forage growth, limit invasive species, and reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfires.