Altogether they represent more than 100 million acres of new public land.
The White House announcement is part of the Antiquities Act, a 1906 measure to protect natural and historic locations across the country. For example, two of our existing national monuments are Muir Woods and Giant Sequoia.
“By creating these three new national monuments, President Obama is continuing his commitment to preserving America’s treasured places and cementing his well-deserved place in conservation history”, League of Conservation Voters President Gene Karpinski said in a statement.
Rep. Cresent Hardy (R-NV), in particular, criticized the president’s plans to protect Nevada’s Basin and Range area, after leaking the plans for the new national monument in May.
The creation of the Basin and Range National Monument drew criticism from Republicans and praise from Democrats, with the Sierra Club and the Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce also in support.
Stretching just under 331,000 acres, from California’s Lake Berryessa to the Snow Mountain Wilderness, Berryessa Snow Mountain is home to breathtaking views, and rare plants and animals, including bald eagles.
President Obama used executive authority Friday to create three new national monuments in California, Texas and Nevada, further adding acreage under federal protection for an administration that had already designated more such land than any other presidency.
“It’s really welcoming to see President Obama once again reward the efforts of the hundreds of people over the years who have given their passion, time, and toil to protecting our public lands”.
The Alibates Flint Quarries National Monument, north of Amarillo, is Texas’ other national monument, dedicated in 1966.