National Parks President Obama

Obama Invokes the Antiquities Act

Great news from the White House on the historical preservation of national park land.

Two are dedicated to preserving public lands–the San Juan Islands in Washington and the Rio Grande Del Norte in New Mexico. [...]

There are also three new historical parks. One is the First State National Monument in Delaware, which is largely Joe Biden’s move to establish the first national park site in Delaware, which was the last state without one. Perhaps more significantly are two new parks that highlight African-American history, the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Monument in Maryland and the Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument in Ohio. The National Park Service has done a fantastic job of creating new sites around African-American history and including African-American history in existing parks. I look forward to visiting all of these places someday.

It used to be that historical parks were designated as a National Historic Site. But that takes an congressional bill. With Republicans opposed to adding anything to the park system, Obama has to use his power under the Antiquities Act to create new parks. This gives him the power to create as many new parks as he wants and hopefully he will use that power in his second administration more than he did in the first.