Susan J. Demas: The silly Republican war against the national parks continues

(Susan J. Demas)

(Susan J. Demas)

SEDONA, Ariz. -- It's hiking season and usually I couldn't be happier.

I've been able to explore some of my favorite haunts in Arizona, like the Grand Canyon, Superstition Wilderness and Coconino National Forest.

But the GOP-controlled House just passed a bill last month that could be devastating to efforts to preserve more pristine areas like these. The legislation would gut the Antiquities Act of 1906 signed by Teddy Roosevelt, which might sound archaic, but isn't.

The Antiquities Act allows presidents to designate national monuments without going through Congress, something Democrats and Republicans have taken advantage of in equal numbers.

The act is the reason why we have so many monuments, many of which became national parks -- including the rain forest and beaches of Olympic in Washington, the craggy peaks of Acadia n Maine and yes, the Grand Canyon.

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