President Obama designates three new national monuments A meteor streaks through the sky over Joshua trees and rocks at Joshua Tree National Monument in Southern California's Mojave Desert. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon/Evan Vucci, File)
President Obama designates three new national monuments
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President Barack Obama has granted national monument status to nearly 1.8 million acres of scenic Southern California desert. It is a move the White House says will maintain in perpetuity the region's fragile ecosystem and natural resources, as well as provide recreational opportunities for hikers, campers, hunters and others.
 
Obama signed proclamations establishing three regions as national monuments. They are Mojave Trails, Castle Mountains (both in the Mojave Desert) and Sand to Snow in the Sonoran Desert.
 
The White House says the designations will nearly double the amount of public land that Obama has designated as national monument status since taking office.
 
"In addition to permanently protecting incredible natural resources, wildlife habitat and unique historic and cultural sites, and providing recreational opportunities for a burgeoning region, the monuments will support climate resiliency in the region," the White House said in a statement.
 
The designations will also connect those regions to other protected government land. Those include Joshua Tree National Park, the Mojave National Preserve and 15 other federal wilderness areas.
 
Mojave Trails National Monument, at 1.6 million acres, is by far the largest of the three new ones.
 
Sprawling across the vast Mojave Desert, it contains ancient lava flows, spectacular sand dunes. There are 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. It is along historic Route 66.
 
Castle Mountains National Monument, also in the Mojave Desert, links two mountain ranges. 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 rises from the floor of the Sonoran Desert to the 11,503-foot peak of Mount San Gorgonio. It is Southern California's tallest alpine peak.
 
Its diverse landscape includes the headwaters of the state's Santa Ana and Whitewater rivers and is home to 240 species of birds and 12 endangered or threatened species of wildlife. It also contains an estimated 1,700 Native American petroglyphs and 30 miles of the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail.  Petroglyphs are ancient carvings in stone.
 
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.

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
Why do deserts need to be protected?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (47)
  • tonyanam-wil
    2/24/2016 - 11:36 a.m.

    I believe deserts need to be protected because many wildlife lives there.The dessert is a big part of our universe and we the people need to keep it safe.The three things that I learned is that we have a famous stretch road that people like to call the "mother road" on route 66.I would like to learn more about how we can help the desert.

    • janiyag-wil
      2/24/2016 - 12:01 p.m.

      desert* live

  • adamg3-wil
    2/24/2016 - 11:37 a.m.

    Deserts need to be protected because our deserts are a big part of our history. It has a sustaining life in Earth. They are homes to other animals and they attract so many tourists. If they don't protect the deserts, they are destroying this habitat. Some deserts have some scenery. This is why i think deserts should be protected.

  • oscarm3-wil
    2/24/2016 - 11:39 a.m.

    Deserts and other national monuments have to be protected so that future generations could enjoy them. Some monuments have history behind them so its important to protect them so kids in the future will be intrested in history.

  • wendyg1-wil
    2/24/2016 - 11:40 a.m.

    I don't think deserts should be protected because half the desert species are very venomous and dangerous.It's a very nice place but it's also very dry and hot so it doesn't really help our community in any way from my perspective.

  • sandras-wil
    2/24/2016 - 11:40 a.m.

    Deserts need to be protected because they can contain prehistoric sites and other valuable components. I learned that Obama designated three new national monuments. Also, i learned that the Sand to Snow national monument is the tallest alpine peak in Southern California. Another thing i learned was that the Castle Mountain national monument is in the Mojave Desert.I want to learn more about how it is for tourists to be in these national monuments.

  • arnoldf-wil
    2/24/2016 - 11:40 a.m.

    Deserts need to be protected because these natural resources are species to birds and other animals.Deserts are still home'

  • sophiac2-wil
    2/24/2016 - 11:40 a.m.

    These natural resources are species to birds and other animals.Therefore,deserts need to be protected because they are habitats to animals.If they aren't protected animals wouldn't safe.
    Obama granted nearly 1.8 million acres of Southern California desert.It would maintain the ecosystem.

  • kassandraa-wil
    2/24/2016 - 11:56 a.m.

    Deserts need to be protected because they are our nature. If they aren't protected our wildlife and natural resources will be harmed.

  • sergios1-wil
    2/24/2016 - 11:59 a.m.

    Desert biomes are important because they have unique biodiversity unlike any other biome. We should protect it because biodiversity is really important in sustaining life on Earth. Surviving in the desert requires the ability to survive in extreme conditions. Those abilities are valuable for research to improve the lives of humans. The desert has many beautiful scenery that should be protected for the future generations. The desert has organisms that can be found nowhere else, and thus need to be protected. This is why I think that deserts need to be protected.

  • gisellet-wil
    2/24/2016 - 12:02 p.m.

    I think the desserts need to be protected because they have a interesting climate,also that biodiversity is really important in sustaining life on earth.

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