Redline: Everything the Heritage Foundation gets wrong about national monuments and the Antiquities Act

Apr 10, 2024

By Aaron Weiss

In March, the conservative Heritage Foundation think tank ran an op-ed in the Washington Times and on its website arguing that the Supreme Court should review the Antiquities Act, a century-old law that has protected some of America’s most iconic natural areas and historic treasures, from the Grand Canyon to the Statue of Liberty. The article was co-authored by Diana Furchtgott-Roth, the director of Heritage’s Center for Energy, Climate, and Environment, and it was full of egregiously false statements and dishonest arguments that wouldn’t pass muster in a high school civics class.

This is especially notable because Heritage is also running Project 2025, an explicit attempt to jump-start policy and personnel recommendations for a future Republican president. The public lands section of Project 2025 was written by William Perry Pendley, a notorious anti-government lawyer who ran the Bureau of Land Management under President Trump. Given the breadth of misinformation in just this short piece, it’s worth keeping in mind that Heritage plans to use these false arguments to undermine public land management across the country if it gets the chance.

Heritage got so much wrong in less than 700 words that in the interest of transparency, we’re sharing the whole thing, annotated and corrected:

The Heritage Foundation’s Project 2025 and the narrative they are pushing in the media is at best misleading, and at worst patently false. Outrageous, unjustified, and false claims should not be the foundation for the management of America’s public lands and energy resources.