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
Lexile

President Barack Obama has granted national monument status to nearly 1.8 million acres.  The land is part of the scenic Southern California desert. It is a move the White House says will maintain in permanency the region's fragile ecosystem and natural resources. It also will provide recreational opportunities. 
 
To do it, Obama signed proclamations. They established three regions as national monuments. The regions 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 he took office.
 
"The monuments will support climate resiliency in the region," the White House added 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 takes up 1.6 million acres.  It is by far the largest of the three new ones.
 
Mojave Trails sprawls across the vast Mojave Desert. It contains ancient lava flows. There are stunning sand dunes. It has ancient Native American trading routes. And it includes World War II-era training camps.  In addition, it has the largest remaining undeveloped stretch of America's Mother Road. That is along historic Route 66.
 
Castle Mountains National Monument also is in the Mojave Desert.  It links two mountain ranges. The area covers nearly 21,000 acres. They 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.  It 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, it has 30 miles of the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail. Petroglyphs are ancient carvings in stone.
 
The federal Antiquities Act was adopted in 1906. It grants the president the authority to protect landmarks, structures and objects of historic or scientific interest. To accomplish this, the president can designate them as national monuments.

Filed Under:  
Assigned 358 times
CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
Why do deserts need to be protected?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (99)
  • nickar-
    2/19/2016 - 02:01 p.m.

    It is neat that he is going over 1.8 million acres.It is also cool that it is in a desert out in southern califronia.

  • ryandd-
    2/19/2016 - 02:01 p.m.

    Deserts need to be protected because it provides homes for many of our endangered species and protects them form the crucial environment.

  • livw-
    2/19/2016 - 02:05 p.m.

    I think that it would be cool to visit some of the new monuments. I think that they would be interesting to visit because it contains ancient lava flows, indian petroglyphs, and is home to 240 species of birds and 12 endangered species of wildlife.

  • typ19966-
    2/19/2016 - 02:07 p.m.

    The new national parks are helpful for the environment and the animals that live there.

  • skylars-
    2/19/2016 - 02:07 p.m.

    I think deserts should be protected for the reason of animal habitats

  • kyrana-
    2/19/2016 - 02:07 p.m.

    I can not believe that the Mojave Trails National Monument takes up 1.6 million acres! It is by far the largest of the three new ones, i can not believe them!

  • paiger-
    2/19/2016 - 02:08 p.m.

    Deserts need to be protected because of the wildlife that lives in them as well as the history that could've taken place there. The Mojave Desert has ancient Native American trade routes and World War II training camps. If the desert isn't protected and is repurposed for other things, pieces of our country's history will be gone. The Castle Mountains should be protected because they are home to golden eagles, bighorn sheep, mountain lions, and other wildlife. Not only do the Castle Mountains have varying wildlife, they also hold many important Native American archeological sites. Deserts need to be protected because of the history they hold and the important wildlife they provide a home to.

  • sierrav-
    2/19/2016 - 02:08 p.m.

    This is amazing! Three new national monuments just like that! I wonder if there are other reasons for this outside of what it states in the article. Speaking of the article, it was quite confusing to me. I didn't understand some (most) of it. Maybe it was the wording or just that I'm not interested in political affairs.

  • shanial-wes
    2/19/2016 - 02:50 p.m.

    Deserts need to be protect because there are animals in there that are wild and in danger.

  • ameliam-
    2/21/2016 - 03:39 p.m.

    Deserts need to be protected because they are very unique and house many species, some endangered. The text states, "Mojave Desert....The area is also home to golden eagles, bighorn sheep, mountain lions and other wildlife." the text also states, "Sonoran Desert... It is home to 240 species of birds and 12 endangered or threatened species of wildlife..." This means that there are many different species, including endangered species, living in the deserts.

Take the Quiz Leave a comment
ADVERTISEMENT