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. It also will 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.
 
"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.
 
Sprawling across the vast Mojave Desert, it contains ancient lava flows and 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 is also in the Mojave Desert.  It links two mountain ranges. The area 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.  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 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 (96)
  • michaelg-ver
    2/22/2016 - 10:55 a.m.

    I think deserts need to be protected because even though they are dry and barren, they are still home to many species. I am glad that they're are now national monuments.

  • christianr-4-bar
    2/22/2016 - 12:25 p.m.

    Deserts need to be protected because of the species of animals living in the desert.Also historic craving in the stones and world war two training camps are their and it is very important.Also there are endangered species in the desert.I think it is cool because they and saving historic items and structers.

  • khyonc-ric
    2/22/2016 - 04:07 p.m.

    I think that deserts need to be protected because they houses an area that animals live in and they are a big places that have not really been explored.Deserts are very good places to explore because they can hold a vast amount of treasures and even things that we haven't even known about.

  • jonathanm1-ric
    2/22/2016 - 04:08 p.m.

    Deserts need to be protected because, they are home to golden eagles, bighorn sheep, mountain lions and other wildlife. It is home to 240 species of birds and 12 endangered or threatened species of wildlife. The White House says will maintain in perpetuity the region's fragile ecosystem and natural resources. The monuments will also support climate resilience in the region.

  • kaylah1-vau
    2/22/2016 - 04:30 p.m.

    Deserts definitely need to be protected because on them lay some extremely scenic monuments. On the deserts there are several different national monuments which each lay on deserts. If these deserts were not protected, that would mean that the monuments would not have any place to stay. This is similar to an animal's habitat. That is why deserts need to be protected.

  • reaganm-vau
    2/22/2016 - 04:43 p.m.

    I think that it was good to choose to protect theses places places in the desert. The deserts and all other ecosystems, such as tundras, rain forests, and swamps need to be protected because truly wild places are becoming fewer and fewer every day. This is causing the extinction of many animals ad not because they are directly targeted, but sometimes they vanish just because the food webs get altered and animals can't adapt in time. I think it will also open a door to desert exploration in the U.S, since it isn't a very common study here, even though large percentage of our land area is made up of it. It will also be a good way for families to explore the desert together.

  • levanted-ric
    2/22/2016 - 05:48 p.m.

    Desserts need to be protected, because there is a lot of national monuments. There is also wildlife, like eagles, sheep, mountain lions, etc. If we don't protect the dessert, the wildlife, and the valuable monuments. "Castle Mountains National Monument is also in the Mojave Desert.", "The area is also home to golden eagles, bighorn sheep, mountain lions and other wildlife."

  • kristinaj-ric
    2/22/2016 - 06:19 p.m.

    Deserts need to be protected because it is a fragile ecosystem and and has natural resources.Since their fragile ecosystems they need to be cared for very carefully.Also since they have natural resources they must protect those."It is a move the White House says will maintain in perpetuity the region's fragile ecosystem and natural resource.". So we must be very careful with these fragile ecosystems.

  • noahk-vau
    2/22/2016 - 07:32 p.m.

    I thought you WEREN'T supposed to hunt on national memorials. It is national ground, not for killing things.

  • miaa-vau
    2/22/2016 - 08:58 p.m.

    I think that deserts need to be protected because cool animals live there and they can have special archaeological sights. They can sometimes have landmarks and can become a monument.

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