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)
  • sams1-ver
    2/24/2016 - 07:51 p.m.

    I`m going to be sad when president Obama gets kick out of office. :(

  • melissaj-Ste
    2/24/2016 - 09:50 p.m.

    I believe that all of nature should be protected. I'm in full support of Obama's action to save more land in order to help our failing ecosystem. Because Obama is preserving land for the public, he is not only saving wildlife but also Native American history within its area. If I ever have the chance to visit the West, I want to hike through the part of the newly saved 1.8 million acres or another large public park.

  • natalier-4-bar
    2/24/2016 - 11:20 p.m.

    Deserts need to be protected because some are national monuments. Many have important historic landmarks, structures, and animals living there that are important and deserve to be protected. President Obama has recently chosen deserts that will be protected as national monuments, the regions are Mojave Trails, Castle Mountains (both in the Mojave Desert), and Sand to Snow in the Sonoran Desert. The Mojave trails like every other desert needs to be protected, hence it becoming a national monument. The Mojave Trails includes,"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."(paragraph seven). The Castle Mountains and Sand to Snow in the Sonoran desert also have amazing historic value like The Mojave trails and are home to many different kinds of wildlife. Deserts need to be protected because most deserts hold historic value, are home to many different kinds of wildlife, and are overall important in their own way. I liked this article. I didn't know the president could designate a place a national landmark and then it would be protected.

  • simonak-3-bar
    2/25/2016 - 08:21 p.m.

    Deserts need to be protected because they hold many important artifacts and animals. This is because "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." This passage directly stated that the desert that they are protecting both animal species and petroglyphs.

  • johnd-3-bar
    2/25/2016 - 08:31 p.m.

    Deserts need to be protected because they house endangered species. The snow mouton monument is home to "12 endangered or threatened species of wildlife." They's species need to be protected or the cold become extinct. Making them a national monument will protect them. It was an interesting article.

  • adamp-3-bar
    2/26/2016 - 02:27 a.m.

    Deserts need to be protected because there are some very important things there. It says in the article,"[the deserts] hold numerous important Native American archaeological sites. The area is also home to golden eagles, bighorn sheep, mountain lions and other wildlife." Native American landscapes are very important especially after the history the US has with the native Americans. I can also see why the government would want to protect wildlife too because when it comes down to it, it's their planet. In my opinion I completely agree with the White House's decision and I think it's great for the country.

  • tarenr-ric
    2/26/2016 - 08:27 a.m.

    I think deserts need to be protected because because "the region's fragile ecosystem and natural resources" need to stay there so that the ecosystem may become more stable, and that the natural resources are still plentiful. Also, "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." We don't want to lose those 12 endangered species, and we don't want to ruin the Native American petroglyphs. I think it was a very good idea to make these areas a national monument to make sure people don't accidentally hurt anything.

  • shanek-coo
    2/26/2016 - 11:04 a.m.

    I did not know that the White House has 1.6 millon acres.

  • batiar-3-bar
    2/26/2016 - 12:22 p.m.

    Deserts need to be protected because ancient Native American, also known as Indians, played a big role in history and the becoming of the United States, so to honor them President Barack Obama has decided to preserve their land.Throughout the 1.6 millions acres of the 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." I feel President Barack Obama made a very wise decision keeping this area because there were many important events in history that had an effect on us in the present day. After reading this article I have found new information about California and its thrilling past.

  • emilyb1-vau
    2/26/2016 - 03:13 p.m.

    I'm glad Obama is doing this it could save the lives of some very important and beautiful animals.

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