On December 28, President Obama created two new national monuments: Bears Ears in Utah and Gold Butte in Nevada. Between them, the two span over 1.5 million acres of land, bringing the total territory Obama has put under protection to more than 550 million acres.
To designate these public lands for conservation, Obama used the Antiquities Act, which Theodore Roosevelt signed in 1906. The president’s efforts have been greeted with enthusiasm from environmentalists but have faced criticism from some conservatives who suggest Obama has brought too much new land under federal control.
The vast majority of the new acreage Obama has protected, however, is water — the president created and expanded several marine national monuments in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.
The two newest national monuments bring Obama’s total to 29. Some are important Native American sites, others are historically significant to oppressed groups, and the rest are just impressive pieces of the American landscape. Curious where they’re all located? Here’s a complete map:
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