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Obama Protects 1.8 Million Acres of Fragile Desert in California


President Obama designated three new national monuments in the fragile California desert today, Sand to Snow National Monument,Mojave Trails National Monument, and Castle Mountains National Monument. The move protects 30 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail, desert grasslands, and a wide range of recreational and cultural activities in 1.8 million acres of Mojave and Sonoran Desert landscapes, between Los Angeles and the Nevada border.

"These new monuments permanently protect special pieces of California's cultural and natural heritage," said Dan Jacobson, Environment California state director. "Future generations will have the chance to experience first-hand old Route 66 and Native American archeological sites; and enjoy breathtaking lava flows, desert oases, and Joshua tree forest."

Today's announcement - under the 1906 Antiquities Act signed by Teddy Roosevelt - brings President Obama's total number of monument designations to 22, encompassing 265 million acres, more than any other president.

"From protecting the jagged peaks of New Mexico, to honoring parts of the Underground Railroad on Maryland's Eastern Shore, to today safeguarding the fragile California desert, President Obama has already built a proud conservation legacy," said Margie Alt, executive director of Environment America, the national federation of Environment California. "But with 11 months left, his work is not done yet! The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, the Grand Canyon watershed, and Bears Ears in Utah are just a few of the prized landscapes we hope the president will preserve before he leaves office."

With Environment America, you protect the places that all of us love and promote core environmental values, such as clean air to breathe, clean water to drink, and clean energy to power our lives. We're a national network of 29 state environmental groups with members and supporters in every state. Together, we focus on timely, targeted action that wins tangible improvements in the quality of our environment and our lives.

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