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"Authorizes the President to designate as National Monuments those areas of the public domain containing historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, and objects of historic or scientific interests located on federally owned or controlled lands. The act further provides criminal sanctions for the unauthorized excavation, injury, or destruction of prehistoric or historic ruins and objects of antiquity. The Secretaries of the Interior, Agriculture, and Defense are authorized to issue permits for archaeological investigations on lands under their control to recognized educational and scientific institutions for the purpose of systematically and professionally gathering data of scientific value." CNAHC
"The Antiquities Act of was a piece of legislation passed by the United States Congress and signed into law by Theodore Roosevelt in 1906. The Act provided the President with the authority to place certain lands under control of the federal government by executive order, bypassing Congressional oversight. It was intended to allow the president to set aside certain valuable natural areas as park and conservation land. The Act has been used over a hundred times since its passage. Its use frequently creates significant controversy."
Source: WordIQ
"The Antiquities Act states that a U.S. President is authorized to declare historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, and other objects of historic or scientific interest that are situated upon the lands owned or controlled by the Government of the United States to be national monuments. Since its passage by Congress in 1906, the Act has been used by 14 out of 17 presidents (all except Nixon, Reagan, and Bush). Congress also has the power to declare national monuments, and has done so in 29 cases.
Of the 105 national monuments proclaimed under the Antiquities Act, 46 have been larger than 5,000 acres and 28 have been larger than 50,000 acres. National monuments are generally less regulated than national parks -- hunting and grazing are often allowed -- but it is not unusual for national monuments to eventually be re-designated as national parks. In fact, nearly 25% of the parks that comprise our National Park System were originally designated under the Antiquities Act, including the Grand Canyon, Arches, and Bryce Canyon. 
Over the years, significant uses of the Antiquities Act have included Teddy Roosevelt declaring 18 national monuments in 9 states and Jimmy Carter declaring 56 million acres in Alaska. The Act has sometimes caused controversy and been attacked by lawmakers. For example, since President Clinton designated 1.7 million acres for Grand Staircase-Escalante in 1996, several pieces of legislation have been introduced to place limits on the Antiquities Act..."
President Makes Monumental Decision, Darren Smith, U.S. / Canadian Parks, About

Antiquities Act of 1906 (34 Stat. 225, 16 U.S.C. 431 et seq.)

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That any person who shall appropriate, excavate, injure, or destroy any historic or prehistoric ruin or monument, or any object of antiquity, situated on lands owned or controlled by the Government of the United States, without the permission of the Secretary of the Department of the Government having jurisdiction over the lands on which said antiquities are situated, shall, upon conviction, be fined in a sum of not more than five hundred dollars or be imprisoned for a period of not more than ninety days, or shall suffer both fine and imprisonment, in the discretion of the court.

Sec. 2. That the President of the United States is hereby authorized, in his discretion, to declare by public proclamation historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, and other objects of historic or scientific interest that are situated upon the lands owned or controlled by the Government of the United States to be national monuments, and may reserve as a part thereof parcels of land, the limits of which in all cases shall be confined to the smallest area compatible with proper care and management of the objects to be protected: Provided, That when such objects are situated upon a tract covered by a bona fied unperfected claim or held in private ownership, the tract, or so much thereof as may be necessary for the proper care and management of the object, may be relinquished to the Government, and the Secretary of the Interior is hereby authorized to accept the relinquishment of such tracts in behalf of the Government of the United States.

Sec. 3. That permits for the examination of ruins, the excavation of archaeological sites, and the gathering of objects of antiquity upon the lands under their respective jurisdictions may be granted by the Secretaries of the Interior, Agriculture, and War to institutions which the may deem properly qualified to conduct such examination, excavation, or gathering, subject to such rules and regulation as they may prescribe: Provided, That the examinations, excavations, and gatherings are undertaken for the benefit of reputable museums, universities, colleges, or other recognized scientific or educational institutions, with a view to increasing the knowledge of such objects, and that the gatherings shall be made for permanent preservation in public museums.

Sec. 4. That the Secretaries of the Departments aforesaid shall make and publish from time to time uniform rules and regulations for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of this Act.

Approved, June 8, 1906

 

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