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The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

Protecting New Lands

Author: Hugh Bollinger/Tuesday, July 14, 2015/Categories: natural history, wildlife conservation, sustainability, environment, adventure , Archive Pick of the Week

Several important land protections were declared in just one week. This may be the start of a new trend with bigger land conservation efforts to come.

President Obama, using the authority of the  Antiquities Act  established by Theodore Roosevelt in 1906, set aside special landscapes in California, Texas, and Nevada. The new monuments preserve ancient rock art, fossils, and outdoor recreation destinations. The designated national monuments include the Basin and Range
in Nevada, the Berryessa Snow Mountain in California, and Waco Mammoths in Texas.

The industry organization, The Conservation Alliance , was active in helping in bringing attention to one of the newly designated monuments, the  Berryessa Snow Mountain  in Northern California. According to a recent announcement, the Alliance awarded a local California outdoor group, Tuleyome , grants to help their efforts to build support for protection of Berryessa Snow Mountain. Additionally, TCA member companies contributed in other ways to advocate for a monument. The CEO of Cliff Bar contributed  a guest editorial  about the importance of protecting public lands, including Berryessa, while other 14 member companies  signed a letter  to the President asking him to designate mountain as a national monument. Such grassroots efforts by these industry groups and other advocates paid off when the new California monument was designated.
    Spring Wildflowers and Eel River  (credit: Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument, California)

Previous presidents have used of the Antiquities Act to set aside national monuments that were later to become some of the finest examples in our national park system. The Grand Canyon in Arizona, the Grand Tetons in Wyoming, and Gates of the Arctic in Alaska are just three landscapes that became national parks after Congress upgraded them from national monuments. Perhaps some of the newly designated national mounments will find themselves raised to high recognition sometime in the future. It wouldn't happen without engaged and organizations showing the special path as a beginning.


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