According to The White House, President Obama designated three new national monuments in the California desert: Mojave Trails National Monument, Sand to Snow National Monument, and Castle Mountains National Monument on Friday, February 12th. These three national monuments contain nearly 1.8 million acres of public land, which nearly doubles the amount of public land that he has previously protected. The historical importance and pure beauty of our national parks, monuments, forests, and public lands is very important to President Obama!
“Our country is home to some of the most beautiful God-given landscapes in the world. We’re blessed with natural treasures – from the Grand Tetons to the Grand Canyon; from lush forests and vast deserts to lakes and rivers teeming with wildlife. And it’s our responsibility to protect these treasures for future generations, just as previous generations protected them for us,” stated President Obama.
President Obama has protected over 265 million acres of land and water, which is more than any other president in the history of the United States! The Antiquities Act, a 110-year-old law to create monuments after legislation to protect sacred lands, has allowed President Obama to protect all 265 million acres of important land and water. Dianne Feinstein, Democrat of California, pushed the president to protect these lands using his powers. It is important to preserve these monuments for future generations.
“No one has used it as often as Clinton, Carter and Obama have,” stated Representative Rob Bishop.
The Mojave Trails National Monument is a 1.6 million acre area that consists of rugged mountain ranges, ancient lava flows, and beautiful sand dunes. 400,000 acres of it is previously congressionally-designated wilderness! This monument will protect multiple historic resources including Native American trading routes, World War 2 era training camps, and the longest stretch of the historic route 66 that hasn’t been developed. The Mojave Trails also contains many areas that are perfect for climate research and geological studies.
The Sand to Snow National Monument consists of 154,000 acres of ecological and cultural rich areas that are home to more than 240 species of birds and 12 threatened and endangered wildlife species. The region is home to 30 miles of the world famous Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail, a great area to camp, hike, hunt, horseback ride, photograph, ski, and view wildlife. This monument is home to the region’s tallest alpine mountain that rises from the floor of the Sonoran Desert and protects sacred archaeological and cultural sites, including an estimated 1,700 Native American petroglyphs.
The Castle Mountains National Monument protects 20,920 acres of land that serves as a connection between two mountain ranges, protecting water resources, plants, and wildlife such as golden eagles, bighorn sheep, mountain lions, and bobcats. The area is a critical part of the Mojave Desert that contains important natural resources and historical sites, including Native American archeological sites!