On Antiquities Act Anniversary, Sierra Club Urges Biden Administration to Safeguard Lands, Cultural Sites

Lands, Water Protection Key in Fighting Climate Crisis

Haines, AK— On today’s 115th anniversary of the Antiquities Act, the Sierra Club called on the Biden administration to prioritize the bedrock environmental safeguard to protect cultural and historical sites, stop mass biodiversity loss, and fight the climate crisis.

Chris Hill, Director of the Sierra Club’s Our Wild America campaign, released the following statement: 

“The Antiquities Act is one of the best safeguards to preserve places with deep cultural, historical and ecological significance.

“We urge the Biden administration to work in collaboration with Tribal Nations and local communities to protect places that uplift undertold pieces of this nation’s history, preserve Indigenous knowledge, protect life-sustaining biodiversity, and work as natural solutions in helping us fight the climate crisis.  

“We must urgently work to undo the Trump administration’s stripping of safeguards for lands, air and water on which our communities depend. Community-driven conservation is absolutely necessary to stop the climate crisis, slow mass extinction, and ensure we achieve the 30% protection for lands and waters by 2030 we need.”


The Antiquities Act was enacted in 1906 to prevent looting of Indigenous artifacts from archaeological sites. The act has been used since to protect landscapes and cultural sites from industry development and future extraction by giving the places national monument status.

Today, Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments, as well as Northeast Canyons and Seamounts National Marine Monument, remain vulnerable as safeguards stripped under the Trump administration have yet to be reinstated. Tribal and environmental coalitions continue urging the Department of the Interior to urgently reinstate protections for the landscapes. The Sierra Club sees national monument protections as a key part of the effort to protect 30% of lands and waters in the country by 2030— a part of the administration’s ‘America, the Beautiful' conservation framework. 

Furthermore, the Sierra Club is working with organizations in Tulsa to fight for a national monument designation for Black Wall Street— a site that was destroyed by a white mob in one of the worst acts of racial violence in American history. Read more about the organization's work to protect national monuments here and here

About the Sierra Club

The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with more than 3.5 million members and supporters. In addition to protecting every person's right to get outdoors and access the healing power of nature, the Sierra Club works to promote clean energy, safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and legal action. For more information, visit www.sierraclub.org.