SALT LAKE CITY – U.S. President Barack Obama referred to two national monuments Wednesday at locations in Utah and Nevada, which are among the most important flashpoints on the use of public lands in the U.S. West, is characteristic of the management, the current movement for the protection of ecologically sensitive areas in his last days.
The bears ears National Monument in Utah to cover 1.35 million hectares in the Four corners region, the White house said. In a victory for the indigenous people and conservationists, the designation of land protects, as Holy and the home of an estimated 100,000 archaeological sites, including ancient cliff dwellings.
It is a blow for the state’s Republican leaders and many residents of rural areas, the fear, it will add another layer of unnecessary Federal control, and close the area to energy development and recreation, a common refrain in the battle over the use of the American West, the wide open spaces.
In Nevada, the 300,000-acre Gold Butte National Monument outside of Las Vegas to protect dignity, a scenic and ecologically sensitive area near where rancher Cliven Bundy led an armed confrontation with the agents of the government in the year 2014. It includes rock art, artifacts, rare fossils and recently discovered tracks.
The White house, and conservationists said both sides were at risk from looting and vandalism.
“Today’s actions will help protect the cultural heritage and ensure that future generations are able to enjoy and appreciate this scenic and historic landscapes,” Obama said in a statement.
His government has become the protection of vulnerable areas prior to the presidential election, Donald Trump’s inauguration New mining blocks-claims, outside of Yellowstone National Park and new oil drilling in the Arctic ocean.
Obama’s creation and expansion of monuments covers more area than any other President.
But Trump has the upcoming presidential tempered the enthusiasm for the tribal leaders and environmentalists, with some he could try to reverse or reduce some of Obama’s expansive land protection.
U.S. REP Rob Bishop from Utah, who proposed against the bears ears monument, the President will have the power to undo monuments, although it has not been done before.
A coalition of tribes pushed for the creation of Utah’s eighth national monument, although they asked Obama to make 500,000 acres larger than the monument he called on Wednesday.
Tribal members visit the bears ears area, to perform ceremonies, gathering herbs and wood for medicinal and spiritual purposes, and do healing rituals.
Navajo Nation President ?Russell Begaye called it an exciting day for his tribe, and the people of all cultures.
“We have always looked at the ears of a bear as a place of refuge, as a place, where we collect herbs and medicinal plants, and a place of prayer and Holiness,” Begaye said. “The rocks, the wind, the land — they are living, breathing things that deserve, in a timely and lasting protection.”
The Navajo Nation is one of the five tribes, you get elected officials on a first-of-its-kind tribal Commission for the bears-ears monument. The panel will provide the state with tribal expertise and historical knowledge of the Region, Federal officials said.
Hidden between the existing national Park and the Navajo reservation, the proposed monument offers breathtaking views at every corner, with a mixture of cliffs, plateaus, towering cliffs, rivers and gorges, over vast areas, covered by sagebrush and juniper.
Opponents agree that the area is to preserve a natural treasure, but said the Federal government would create name tents, the restrictions on oil and gas development, as well as the residents, possibility of Cycling, Hiking and collecting wood.
No new mining and oil and gas extraction is allowed within the monument boundaries, said Christy gold foot, managing Director of the White House Council on Environmental Quality.
Members of Utah’s all-GOP congressional delegation had supported a plan for the protection of 1.4 million acres in the ears of a bear, while opening up in other areas of the state for the development.
To many residents in the small, predominantly Mormon town of Blanding sits in the vicinity of the new monument, the proposal is a thinly disguised, repackaged push by environmental groups recruited, the tribes, after earlier attempts under the name, lost in the Sands.
In Nevada, the retiring Democratic U.S. Sen. Harry Reid has pushed for protective measures on Gold Butte, a remote area northeast of Lake Mead, but GOP members of the state congressional delegation have been vocal opponents.
Bundy is a rancher who does not recognize Federal jurisdiction in the area. He was accused of illegally, that his cows roam, it after a failed attempt to pay more than $1.1 million in fees and penalties.
He has pleaded not guilty to charges try in the year 2014 standoff with U.S. agents, his cattle.