WASHINGTON, DC—Three of the nation’s spectacular natural and archeological wonders gain permanent protection today, as President Barack Obama creates Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument in California, Basin and Range National Monumentin Nevada, and Waco Mammoth National Monument in Texas.
The announcement, backed heavily by local businesses and residents and tourists from around the country, comes two days after the U.S. House narrowly voted to block monument designations in California, Nevada and eight other states.
“Today the president continues his commitment to a uniquely American idea -- that our natural wonders should be protected for the benefit of all, not sacrificed for the short-term gain of a few,” said Margie Alt, executive director of Environment America. “Some of our nation’s most marvelous landscapes can now be enjoyed today and for generations to come.”
The Berryessa Snow Mountain region, less than 100 miles from Sacramento and the Bay Area, is home to wintering bald eagles and a host of other wildlife, and is often described as an “outdoor wonderland,” with opportunities for hiking, camping, birdwatching, hunting, and horseback riding. In August, Environment California, a member of the Environment America federation, delivered a letter from more than 100 area businesses to Obama administration officials in support of the monument designation.
“What a great way to start the weekend for anyone who hikes, rides horses, or loves to visit this scenic treasure,” said Dan Jacobson, state director of Environment California. “Californians, local area businesses, and everyone who enjoys our great outdoors have real reason to celebrate today.”
“For more than 100 years, presidents starting with Teddy Roosevelt have protected our country’s most prized natural areas as national monuments,” said Alt. “For the 19th time since taking office, today President Obama fulfills that proud American tradition.”