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Entries in National Monuments (6)

Tuesday
Aug022016

CA Coastal National Monument Expansion

Today, we have the opportunity to add 6,200 acres to California Coastal National Monument, providing lasting protections to some of the California coast’s most exquisite coastal gems—and making more of the monument accessible to more people than ever.

If the California Coastal National Monument Expansion Act is passed, these incredible coastal views, rolling grasslands, lush redwood forests and live oak groves—just outside of Santa Cruz and an hour’s drive from the Bay Area—would be open for all to enjoy.

Let’s give the California Coast the protection it deserves. Ask President Obama to expand the California Coastal National Monument now.

Monday
Jun272016

Time to Protect Bears Ears

In the southeast corner of Utah, the region known as “Bears Ears” covers nearly 2 million acres of dramatic mesas, canyons and arches (and the namesake sandstone-fringed buttes).

With more than 100,000 Native American archaeological and cultural sites, Bears Ears provides a unique connection to the ancient world. Perhaps nowhere in the United States are so many well-preserved cultural resources found within such a striking and relatively undeveloped natural landscape.

In July of 2015, leaders from five Tribes founded the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition, representing a historic consortium of sovereign tribal nations united in the effort to conserve the Bears Ears cultural landscape. The five nations are committed to working together. A total of 26 Tribes have expressed support for protecting the Bear Ears region for future generations of Americans. Native American peoples are also seeking active engagement in future management of the area.

The members of the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition are:

This vast stretch of wildland is arguably one of the most culturally significant places in the country, and one of the least protected. The rock art etched and painted into the steep-walled canyons and the ruins, kivas, and other artifacts—that still exist in their original context—don’t just tell a story of the ancient world, they also contribute to what makes Bears Ears a sacred place for Native American tribes to this day.

Despite its irreplaceable value, Bears Ears is under attack—threatened by looting, vandalism and development. Some politicians in Utah see this remarkable landscape as just a place to exploit, which could destroy a physical chronicle of millions of years of natural and human history.

Please ask President Obama to #ProtectBearsEarsNow

Friday
Jun242016

Announcing the Stonewall National Monument

On June 24, 2016 President Obama designated the site of the Stonewall uprising and birthplace of the modern LGBT civil rights movement the “Stonewall National Monument.” This new monument is a testament to the diversity, inclusiveness, and individual freedom that make America great.
"I’m designating the Stonewall National Monument as the newest addition to America’s national parks system. Stonewall will be our first national monument to tell the story of the struggle for LGBT rights. I believe our national parks should reflect the full story of our country – the richness and diversity and uniquely American spirit that has always defined us. That we are stronger together. That out of many, we are one." - President Barack Obama
Friday
Feb122016

New National Monuments in California

Americans and visitors from around the world have long been drawn to the stark beauty of the California desert, with its rocky peaks, amazing array of plants and wildlife and Native American archaeological sites. Now, thanks to President Barack Obama, more of this spectacular region is protected within three new national monuments.

Bridging the area between Joshua Tree National Park and Mojave National Preserve, Mojave Trails National Monument protects a stunning array of desert plant life and essential habitat for desert tortoise, bighorn sheep, eagles, falcons and a wide variety of reptiles. The monument includes 350,000 acres of previously designated wilderness, along with the Pisgah Lava Flow, Marble Mountain Fossil Beds and the most intact stretch of historic Route 66. 

The new Sand to Snow National Monument encompasses a tract of land between Joshua Tree National Park and the San Bernardino National Forest that stretches from the Sonoran Desert floor to Southern California's tallest alpine peak, Mount San Gorgonio. It includes rivers, wetlands, desert landscapes and Joshua tree woodlands, not to mention 100,000 acres of existing wilderness. It’s also home to the headwaters of the Santa Ana—Southern California's longest river, as well as the headwaters of the Whitewater River and its accompanying wetlands—providing habitat for migrating birds, including yellow-breasted chat and vermilion flycatchers. Mule deer, mountain lions and black bears also roam this region.

Castle Mountains National Monument protects habitat for golden eagles, bighorn sheep, bobcats, mule deer and other wildlife, in a landscape of native desert grasslands and rocky peaks. Joshua trees, pinion pine and juniper forests are permanently protected in the new monument, along with significant cultural features, including Native American archaeological sites and the remains of Hart, a short-lived gold mining town from the early 20th century. The area has also been identified as an ideal reintroduction site for pronghorn antelope, the second-fastest land mammal on earth.

Friday
Jul102015

A Victory for Conservation and Communities

Image Source: The White House Blog

Today, President Obama announced the creation of three new national monuments that demonstrate the wide range of historic and cultural values that make America’s public lands so beloved. Together, the new monuments protect over one million acres of public land. With these new designations, President Obama will have used the Antiquities Act to establish or expand 19 national monuments. Altogether, he has protected more than 260 million acres of public lands and waters – more than any other President.

The new monuments are:

Berryessa Snow Mountain in California, a landscape containing rare biodiversity and an abundance of recreational opportunities;

Waco Mammoth in Texas, a significant paleontological site featuring well-preserved remains of 24 Columbian Mammoths; and

Basin and Range in Nevada, an iconic American landscape that includes rock art dating back 4,000 years and serves as an irreplaceable resource for archaeologists, historians, and ecologists.

The Wilderness Society, working with a coalition of local and national partners, played a leading role in the two larger lan­­dscape-scale monuments.  Both Berryessa Snow Mountain, and Basin and Range have been priority campaigns for our organization and they represent the evolution of executive level conservation for the Obama administration and its willingness to think at a landscape scale and act boldly.  The Society is working hard to reinforce and validate this move with an eye toward leveraging more like it on the horizon, and we are very optimistic about the prospect of many more great places being protected from now until the end of the administration.

These monuments will provide a boost to local economies by attracting visitors and generating more revenue and jobs for local communities, further supporting an outdoor recreation industry that already generates $646 billion in consumer spending each year. 

For example, an independent economic report found that the Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument designation is likely to increase visitation and could generate an additional $26 million in economic activity for local communities over five years. 

Thank You President Obama!

 

Image Source: The White House Blog

Thursday
Feb192015

A Monumental Trifecta

Above: At Gwendolyn Brooks College Preparatory Academy in Chicago, the President speaks at the designation of three new national monuments on February 19, 2015.

In a monumental trifecta, President Obama protected three environmentally, economically, and historically significant places as national monuments: Browns Canyon in Colorado, Honouliuli in Hawaii, and the historic Pullman district in Chicago, Illinois. 

An important victory for the conservation community, the Presidential Proclamation of Browns Canyon, Colorado's 8th national monument, proclaimes that it has been protected for its "wealth of scientifically significant geological, ecological, riparian, cultural, and historic resources, and is an important area for studies of paleoecology, mineralogy, archaeology, and climate change." 

The proclamation also notes: "The protection of the Browns Canyon area will preserve its prehistoric and historic legacy and maintain its diverse array of scientific resources, ensuring that the prehistoric, historic, and scientific values remain for the benefit of all Americans. The area also provides world class river rafting and outdoor recreation opportunities, including hunting, fishing, hiking, camping, mountain biking, and horseback riding."

According to a blog post by The Wilderness Society, "Browns Canyon is an outdoor recreation mecca and one of Colorado’s most treasured landscapes. The area is well known for its whitewater rafting, fishing and hiking. This spectacular outdoor playground generates more than $55 million per year in economic activity for the local economy... It's no wonder why 77 percent of Coloradans support protecting Browns Canyon as a national monument.

The President also designated Honouliuli National Monument in Hawaii and Pullman National Monument in Chicago. According to a statement by The Wilderness Society:

"The Honouliuli camp on the island of O'ahu was the last, largest and longest operating internment camp during World War II. By acknowledging past injustices, this site honors the experiences of those interned and allows us to enlighten future generations.

The historic Pullman district in Chicago honors a unique, shared legacy that is integrally connected to the push for fair labor conditions and civil rights. The community represents the first model industrial town in America."