12 Feb 2016:
Obama Protects 1.8 Million
Acres of Key California Desert Habitat
Joshua tree forest in Mojave desert
President Obama has designated more than 1.8 million acres of California desert for protection with the creation of three new national monuments: Mojave Trails, Sand to Snow, and Castle Mountains. The new monuments will help create a wildlife corridor between these newly protected areas and Death Valley and Joshua Tree national parks and the Mojave National Preserve. The three new monuments include canyons, dunes, grasslands, volcanic spires, Joshua tree forests, wetlands, petroglyphs, and animals that thrive in desert conditions. Obama has now protected more than 260 million acres across the United States, more than any other president, and administration officials say that it is possible he will designate more lands for protection before the end of his term. The Antiquities Act of 1906 gives a president the ability to unilaterally safeguard at-risk federal lands that have cultural, historic, or scientific value. In addition to protecting the lands, designations also attract economic activity through increased recreational tourism.
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