President Trump this morning announced that he is directing Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to review any national monument created since Jan. 1, 1996, that spans at least 100,000 acres in response to what he considers recent abuses of the 1906 Antiquities Act. The Act authorizes the president to declare federal lands of historic or scientific value to be national monuments.
Audubon has responded with strong opposition to any attempt to reverse National Monument designations.
“Blowing up more than 100 years of bipartisan tradition to rob our kids of their natural legacy is shameful and sad,” said Audubon President David Yarnold. “These are places Americans hold in their hearts, and this is just a mean-spirited, dangerous, political game the President is playing with America’s national monuments.”
While it is widely known that the president’s action was taken in response to opposition to recent designations in Utah and Maine, California has a great deal to lose if such designations are reversed. The Golden State has six national monuments that fall into this review:
- Giant Sequoia: Includes 328,315 acres in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, protecting rare giant sequoias, the world’s largest trees.
- Carrizo Plain: You’ve heard a great deal about this place lately as a result of the stunning bloom of wildflowers. But beyond birds, this landscape hosts a wide variety of birds and other wildlife.
- Sand to Snow: Designated in 2016, this 154,000-acre monument extends the Sonoran desert floor up to over 10,000 feet in the San Gorgonio Wilderness.
- Mojave Trails: Spanning 1.6 million acres, more than 350,000 acres of previously congressionally-designated Wilderness, the Mojave Trails National Monument is comprised of a stunning mosaic of rugged mountain ranges, ancient lava flows, and spectacular sand dunes.
- San Gabriel Mountains: Consists of 346,177 acres of existing federal lands is all within 90 minutes of 15 million people in the Los Angeles Basin, ensuring that natural lands remain available to all.
- Berryesa Snow: This 330,780-acre monument extends from nearly sea level around Lake Berryessa in the south, up to 7,000 feet through the northern Snow Mountain Wilderness and the eastern boundary of the Yuki Wilderness in the Mendocino National Forest.
- Santa Rosa & San Jacinto Mountains National Monument: One of the three newly created national monuments in the desert, this 280,000 acres displays an amazing variety of desert flora and fauna.