Illinoisans with the statewide Protect Our Parks campaign are calling on U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) to publicly state his “active support” for two key federal conservation measures — the Land and Water Conservation Fund and Antiquities Act.
According to Protect Our Parks, the programs are facing “unprecedented assaults” in the Congress. Most recently, U.S. Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) proposed an amendment seeking to curb the president’s power under the Antiquities Act as it relates to the naming of new national monuments.
The Senate rejected the proposal last week by a 47-48 vote. Kirk was among four Republicans who joined Democrats, including U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), in voting against the amendment.
“Senator Kirk stood up for Illinois last week when he supported the Antiquities Act. This is a great first step but simply opposing these attacks on our vital conservation programs is not enough. More needs to be done,” Protect Our Parks organizer Ashley Williams said in a statement. “We need Senator Kirk, one of the few moderates left in Congress, to take the lead on this issue and support these common-sense programs.”
Protect Our Parks has collected more than 1,500 petitions urging Kirk to “support the LWCF and defend the Antiquities Act from attacks in Congress,” the group said in a news release.