Last week the President of the United States, Barack Obama, officially designated three new national monuments in the California desert: Mojave Trails, Sand to Snow, and Castle Mountains. The designation of 1.8 million acres of land is the result of ongoing efforts by California senator Dianne Feinstein.
Feinstein has for a decade worked to protect land left out of the 1994 California Desert Protection Act that preserved nearly 7.6 million acres, including designating Death Valley and Joshua Tree as national parks and creating the Mojave National Preserve. President Obama designated the new national monuments using the 1906 Antiquities Act that authorizes presidents to create national monuments on federal land to protect “objects of historic and scientific interest.”
More about the work of Feinstein and other organizations that helped to create the new monuments is available at the Wilderness Society. The Los Angeles Times also has an overview of the story: “Volcanic spires and Joshua trees: Obama protects 1.8 million acres in California’s desert.”