There will be no end-of-term national monument designations by President Barack Obama, the White House said Sunday, reaffirming earlier assurances that one isn’t planned.

The assurance, the second of its kind this year, comes days after Rep. Denny Rehberg, R-Mont., raised the monument issue again Friday in a letter to Obama.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar last March said there were no plans to designate new national monuments in Montana. But that assurance from a member of Obama’s cabinet was an empty promise, Rehberg said in his Friday letter to the president.

“It’s not up to the Secretary Salazar or those of the Department of Interior to designate national monuments. The only person whose promises matter is you,” Rehberg wrote.

Montana’s lone congressman then asked for Obama’s “unequivocal promise not to misuse the authority granted under the Antiquities Act to designate any new national monuments in Montana at the end of your first term in office.”

The White House said the president’s position and the Interior secretary’s were the same.

“Secretary Salazar’s statement represents the administration’s position,” said Clark Stevens, White House assistant press secretary.

In the past, national monument designations have been made by a president at term’s end. President Bill Clinton, during his final days, created the Upper Missouri Breaks National Monument on gave 377,000 acres of public land in northcentral Montana. Sportsmen and ranchers who used the land for hunting and grazing balked at the designation.

Earlier this year, a leaked document from the Interior Department identified 14 potential monument sites. There were two Montana locations on the list, the Bitter Creek Prairie north of Tampico and the Montana Glaciated Plains, also located in the extreme north-central part of the state.

Earlier, Rehberg tried to make state approval of national monuments a requirement. He did so in the Sportsmen’s Heritage Act, which passed the House last spring. However the Senate didn’t include the requirement in its version of the bill sponsored by U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., who Rehberg is challenging this election. The Senate version passed last month.

(3) comments


I can't wait for the liberal cow to be sent back to Sandy by soon-to-be Senator Rehberg where he can continue to lie-albeit only to the cattle and any dufus liberal within earshot.

Jobs will begin to come to Montana and none of them will be for useless Green parasites.


Really impressive Duhney! Real serious issue in a time of national economic recovery and jobless numbers around the country through the roof. Your worried about the President "misusing" his prerogative to designate national monuments? Really? Rehberg, you are a waste of space and a disgrace to this state. You and your Republican Tea Bag idiots would rather challenge the President than work with the opposition to find solutions to real problems? Really...Hope we send you packing and you finally just go home and try not to drink to much so we don't have another incident with your elitist friends on Flathead Lake.


Why should Obama designate a monument in Montana? There is no political gain.

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