Obama Designates New National Monuments

President Barack Obama is granting national monument status to nearly 1.8 million acres of scenic southern California desert. In all, he will name three specific regions national monuments: Mojave Trails, Castle Mountains, which are both in the Mojave Desert… and Sand to Snow in the Sonoran Desert.

Mojave Trails national monument, at 1.6 million acres, is by far the largest of the three new ones. It contains ancient lava flows, spectacular sand dunes, ancient Native American trading routes and World War II-era training camps. It also contains the largest remaining undeveloped stretch of America’s mother road, historic Route 66.

Castle mountains national monument, also in the Mojave Desert, links two mountain ranges as it covers nearly 21,000 acres that hold numerous important Native American archaeological sites. The area is also home to golden eagles, bighorn sheep, mountain lions and other wildlife.

Sand to Snow national monument is home to 240 species of birds and 12 endangered or threatened species of wildlife.

The Federal Antiquities Act, adopted in 1906, grants the president the authority to protect landmarks, structures, and objects of historic or scientific interest by designating them as national monuments.

Instructional Links

Website Article & Photos: The Two-way NPR News, Obama Declares 3 New National Monuments In California Desert

Website Article: U.S. Department of the Interior, National Monuments.

Website Article: Wikipedia, List of National Monuments of the United States

Interactive Map: National Park Service, National Monuments, Maps, Facts & Figures

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