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The California desert is home to three newly announced monuments


February 12, 2016

Contact: Catalina Tresky;, (202) 772-0253


The California desert is home to three newly announced monuments


WASHINGTON – Today, as one of his first public lands initiatives of his final year in office, President Obama announced the designation of the Mojave Trails, Sand to Snow and Castle Mountains as the nation’s newest national monuments. This act will conserve 1.8 million acres of California’s most ecologically important and scenic areas for generations to come.

Jamie Rappaport Clark, CEO and President of Defenders of Wildlife, issued the following statement:

“President Obama’s announcement of new national monuments is especially welcome news at the start of the New Year. National monument status guarantees the conservation of unique ecological, recreational and economic benefits of landscapes far into the future. This protective status safeguards wildlife as they adapt to climate change, protects fragile water sources, encourages tourism, supports local businesses, and provides outdoor recreation access to suitable public lands.

“President Obama’s inclusion of the California desert is particularly important since this desert is the most intact, undisturbed landscape left unprotected in the Lower-48. The California desert provides a home to fragile wildlife, such as the state-listed Mohave ground squirrel and the federally listed desert tortoise, and includes spectacular scenic areas, such as the biologically significant Pisgah Valley, the scenic Owens Valley and the remote Springs Valley.

“We look forward to the official designation of The Mojave Trails, Sand to Snow and Castle Mountains National Monuments in the near future and are encouraged to see that President Obama is making conservation a priority in his final year in office.”



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Defenders of Wildlife is dedicated to the protection of all native animals and plants in their natural communities. With more than 1.2 million members and activists, Defenders of Wildlife is a leading advocate for innovative solutions to safeguard our wildlife heritage for generations to come. For more information, visit


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