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This article refutes the main arguments made in Dismantling Monuments, which recently appeared in the Florida Law Review. It shows that national monument designations have been used to protect large landscapes for more than a century, and that no legal challenge to a monument’s size has ever succeeded. It then explains why the weight of evidence suggests that Congress, in passing the Antiquities Act, intended to endow the President with the power to designate national monuments; but that Congress did not intend to vest the President with the power to dramatically reduce them. It also dispels notions that in reducing the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments, President Trump was reducing them to the smallest area necessary to protect sensitive resources, and that history provides a precedent for these radical reductions.
70 Fla. L. Rev. F. 41 (2018)