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.  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.

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


COMMENTS (91)
  • Eric0221-YYCA
    2/22/2016 - 11:55 p.m.

    The three new national monuments had been designated by president Obama which Obama wanted to get the three new national monuments to be protected under the law because it needs to be protected from the species that live. The president wanted to get the new national parks to be protected by people who cares about the environment that would endanger the new monuments. The new monuments that president Obama had set up in the desert of California would have to be protected because of the species that live in the new monuments that the president had set up. People would have to get a new way on trying to protect the three new monuments that the president had set up to get people to see the views on the monuments.
    Critical Thinking Question: Why do deserts need to be protected?
    Answer: Because the deserts have amazing things to be looking out during nighttime and also the species that live in the deserts.

  • waverlyb-612-
    2/23/2016 - 09:31 a.m.

    Deserts need to be protected because the mounument will support climate resiliency in the region, and duoble the amount of public land.

  • nataliev-hol
    2/23/2016 - 11:24 a.m.

    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.

  • banezae-app
    2/23/2016 - 11:43 a.m.

    The President Obama is trying to protect the land. He should protect it because many animals live in it.

  • williamj3-mil
    2/23/2016 - 11:59 a.m.

    deserts are an ecosystem and if the ecosystem wold be harmed the entire ecosystem would die.

  • alexad-hol
    2/23/2016 - 12:17 p.m.

    Protecting the ecosystem does allot of work and would be hard to do but helps the environment greatly

  • autianae-ste
    2/23/2016 - 01:13 p.m.

    Deserts need to be conserved because they are just as much as an ecosystem as any other ecosystem. They still consist of animals that have adapted to that climate and need a home, no matter what it looks like to us.

  • nanm-wes
    2/24/2016 - 09:10 a.m.

    The deserts need to be protected because of the endanger species and animal live there.In the deserts there are ancient lava flow in the desert and ancient route that the Native American used and The World War 2 training area.That is why the deserts need to be protected.

  • johnc-wes
    2/24/2016 - 09:13 a.m.

    Deserts need to be protected because they carry animals and they need to keep the animals safe because some of them help us out.

  • jmolina14-mar
    2/24/2016 - 09:22 a.m.

    Deserts need to be protected, because it's part of our ecosystem. There are certain animals that can only live on deserts, and without them it would cause many problems.

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