Using his authority under the Antiquities Act, President Barak Obama today signed into being three new national monuments in California, Nevada, and Texas. Together, the new monuments protect more than one million acres of public lands. National monument’s are similar to national parks, except that they can be created from any land owned or controlled by the federal government via a presidential proclamation. With these new designations, Obama will have used the Antiquities Act to establish or expand 19 national monuments in the United States. Altogether, he has protected more than 260 million acres of public lands and waters – more than any other president
The new monuments are:
Basin and Range National Monument, Nevada
(image: Bureau of Land Management)
Less than a two-hour drive from Las Vegas, Nevada’s Basin and Range is an iconic American landscape that includes rock art dating back 4,000 years is an irreplaceable resource for archaeologists, historians, and ecologists. This monument — the largest of the three — will protect about 704,000 acres of public land. Among one the most undisturbed corners of the Great Basin region, this area shelters at least two dozen threatened and sensitive species, including 2,000-year-old bristlecone pines and is the wintering ground for elk, mule deer, pygmy rabbits and the greater sage grouse. Conservationists have long campaigned to save this stretch of land. The protected area also includes artist Michael Heizer’s famous ongoing land art piece, City (1972–present). The monument allows for the continuation of certain historic uses, including livestock grazing and military use. It will be managed by the Bureau of Land Management.
Read more: alternet.org
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