From: Judy Molland, Care2, More from this Affiliate
Published July 17, 2015 06:59 AM

Welcome three new National Monuments

Using his authority under the Antiquities Act of 1906, President Obama announced last week that he was creating three new national monuments. The President designated scenic mountains in California as Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument, pristine wilderness landscapes in Nevada as Basin and Range National Monument, and a fossil-rich site in Texas as Waco Mammoth National Monument.

Together, the new monuments protect more than one million acres of public lands. National monuments are similar to national parks, except that they can be created from any land owned or controlled by the federal government via a presidential proclamation. With these new designations, Obama will have used the Antiquities Act to establish or expand 19 national monuments in the United States in total. Altogether, he has protected more than 260 million acres of public lands and waters.

The Act for the Preservation of Antiquities was signed into law in 1906 by President Theodore Roosevelt. It gives the president authority to set aside public land as a national monument, protecting historic or ecologically significant sites from new development like mining, oil wells and grazing. Most importantly, the president doesn’t need the approval of Congress to do this.

 

Republicans don’t like this: they have been highly critical of Obama, who has turned to the Antiquities law more than any other president, for his expansive use of his powers under this act. I’m guessing they are just mad that they can’t block his progress in the way that they usually do.

But Obama is emerging as a powerful defender of the environment. “One of the great legacies of this incredible country of ours is our national parks and national monuments,” he declared as he was signing these monuments into existence. “It is something that we pass on from generation to generation, preserving the incredible beauty of this nation, but also reminding us of the richness of its history.”

 

Basin and Range image credit Protect Basin and Range.


Read more at ENN Affiliate Care2.
 

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