As Obama Designates Two New National Monuments, What Is The Antiquities Act?

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The "Moonhouse" in McLoyd Canyon in July 2016 in the Bears Ears area near Blanding, Utah. (Rick Bowmer/AP)

After many years of public comment and proposals, President Barack Obama has designated two new national monuments — one in Nevada and another in Utah.

Bears Ears in southeastern Utah and Gold Butte in southern Nevada are both desert regions that contain Native American cultural treasures. The national monument designations will give federal protection to both these areas under the Antiquities Act.

And just what is the Antiquities Act? Here & Now‘s Meghna Chakrabarti asks Patrick Parenteau, a professor of law and senior counsel at the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic at Vermont Law School.

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