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Bipartisan Committee Vote Calls for Interior Department to Release Secret National Monument Documents


WASHINGTON, D.C., June 16, 2010 - The House Natural Resource Committee today approved, with favorable recommendation, a Resolution of Inquiry (H. Res. 1406) introduced by Ranking Member Doc Hastings and National Parks, Forest and Public Lands Subcommittee Ranking Member Rob Bishop to direct the Department of Interior to turn over to Congress the missing pages and related documents of an “internal memo” detailing plans to potentially designate 13 million acres of new National Monuments. 

 “We now have a strong bipartisan agreement that the Interior Department needs to reveal to the public exactly what plans are underway to unilaterally lock-up millions of acres of land across the country by designating them as National Monuments,” said Ranking Member Hastings. “I hope the Department takes today’s actions by the Committee seriously and discloses the documents that we have requested promptly and without further delay. If not, they can be assured that Republicans will continue this fight until Interior turns over all the missing pages.”

Background

This is the second Resolution of Inquiry offered by Reps. Hastings and Bishop.  On May 5, 2010 the Democrat Majority voted down a motion to favorable report the first Resolution of Inquiry, H. Res. 1254, out of Committee. 

To date, only pages 15-21 of the “internal memo” have been revealed.  Despite repeated requests, DOI continues to withhold pages 1-14 and pages 22 and higher.  While DOI has turned over 383 pages of emails and documents, they continue to purposely withhold 2,016 of related documents.  

The proposed National Monument designations would lock-up millions of acres of land without public knowledge or input, threatening the livelihood of rural Americans and communities in the Western United States.  It could kill jobs, block recreational opportunities and restrict access to American energy resources.  This is why local communities such as Siskiyou County, CA and Otero County, NM have passed Resolutions and Ordinances opposing any National Monument expansions.

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Contact: Jill Strait or Spencer Pederson (202) 226-2311

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