President Obama designated three new national monuments July 10, bringing to 19 the number created under the Antiquities Act during his tenure.
The new monuments include Berryessa Snow Mountain in California, Waco Mammoth in Texas, and Basin and Range in Nevada. The designations will protect more than 1 million acres of public land, adding to the more than 260 million acres of public lands and waters President Obama has protected for future generations more than any other President.
“Protecting our lands is about more than just protecting our great outdoors,” reads a statement release by The White House. “These designations provide a boost to the local economies of surrounding communities by attracting visitors and generating more revenue and jobs, building on an outdoor recreation industry that already generates $646 billion in consumer spending each year.”
Backcountry Hunters & Anglers said the designations of thousands of acres of rugged Nevada and California landscapes as national monuments will help maintain and enhance healthy populations of a range of fish and wildlife and conserve intact landscapes important to the species' long-term viability, Backcountry Hunters & Anglers stated today.
“Protecting Basin and Range is an opportunity to preserve big, intact habitat for elk, sage grouse and other important species of wildlife for the benefit of sportsmen, Nevadans and all Americans,” said Chris Mero, chairman of BHA's Nevada chapter and a Reno resident. “Designation of this unique landscape as a national monument will get the job done.”
The 700,000-plus acre national monument, located about two hours north of Las Vegas, encompasses quintessentially Nevadan landscapes that harbor a range of big-game and upland species. Its establishment as a monument enables the land's continued use for hunting, fishing, grazing and other purposes.
Similarly, a range of uses will be permitted in the Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument, including hunting, fishing, mountain biking and whitewater rafting, as well as grazing and motorized vehicle access. The 331,000-acre monument provides a wealth of habitat for game species such as blacktail deer, turkeys, black bears and Tule elk. The region also sustains the trophy trout fisheries of Putah Creek and the Eel River headwaters. Sportsmen and other recreationists who visit the region generate millions of dollars annually, an economic boon that will continue with the area's conservation.
The Waco Mammoth National Monument features remains of Columbian Mammoths from more than 65,000 years ago, as well as other animals of the Pleistocene Epoch, such as the Western Camel, Saber-toothed Cat, and giant tortoise. The protection of this site will provide unparalleled opportunities for scientific studies, while also opening up the wonder of discovery to student groups and visitors from around the world.
“Waco Mammoth is a classic site for inclusion in our National Park System,” said Suzanne Dixon, Senior Director, Regional Operations of the National Parks Conservation Association. ” It is the nation’s only discovery of a nursery herd of Pleistocene-era mammoths, and there is no other Park Service site specifically set aside to tell their story. The bones at Waco Mammoth provide a glimpse into North America’s wild past, enabling us to see what lived here tens of thousands of years ago.”