By Joel Cruz |Staff Writer|
President Barack Obama designated three new national monuments in the California desert to protect 1.8 million acres of landscape.
The 1906 Antiquities Act, which gives the president authority to set aside protection for historic landmarks and other objects of historic or scientific interest, was used by President Obama to proclaim to Mojave Trials, sand to Snow and Castle Mountains as national monuments, according to the National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior.
The designation was requested by Sen. Dianne Feinstein in an August 2015 letter, who fought to protect land that wasn’t included in the 1994 California Desert Protection Act, according to the LA Times.
“I’m full of pride and joy knowing that future generations will be able to explore these national monuments and that the land will remain as pristine and as it is today,” stated Feinstein.
Congressman Cook weighed in on the issue.
“I’m not opposed to national monuments. I’m opposed to the president creating national monuments through unilateral executive action, ignoring the legislative process,” stated Cook in a news release.
“That’s exactly what the president’s done here in designating over 1.8 million acres of public land in San Bernardino and Riverside counties as national monuments,” added Cook.
The areas are also home to a variety of wildlife that thrive despite the heat.
“Make no mistake about it, I’m committed to preserving our majestic landscapes for future generations to enjoy. That’s why I’ll continue working hard on my own legislative solution, HR 3668, the California Minerals, Off-Road Recreation and Conservation Act,” stated Cook.
“Preserving our natural desert landscapes is important to help keep endangered species away from extinction,” said student Mireya Rodriguez.
“I live in the Coachella Valley, by the Palm Desert campus, and we hike all the time. A portion of a trail we hike is fenced off to protect the bighorn sheep living on the mountain,” concluded Rodriguez.