It's no doubt President Obama will leave a conservation legacy with the fact he has already designated 24 new national monuments and a total of 265 million acres of protected land during his presidency.
Before President Obama leaves office, there is still some work to be done. There are at least 3 other areas that are candidates for national monument designation or conservation. The areas of the Greater Grand Canyon Heritage, Bears Ears, and Gold Butte provide connectivity on the South Rim and between Grand Canyon National Park across the Arizona Strip.
Just as humans use highways that span state and national boundaries for many essential purposes, wildlife needs Wildways to travel the distances required to find a mate, to breed and to keep genetic variability strong.
Wildways are constructed by protecting core areas connected to one another by corridors or linkages. They are essentially mosaics of connected public and private lands that provide habitat and safe passageways for wildlife to travel freely from place to place.- Wildlands Network
While we can all sit back and hope these areas are protected by January, we can also take action and DO SOMETHING about it.
We hope this week everyone takes some time to #OptOutside. Nature has healing properties that can make all the craziness happening in the world come to a halt and give perspective. We need nature and these sacred places more than they need us. This week/month so many of us focus our attention on what we are grateful for. In giving thanks for places that inspire us and make us want more out of life, let's show them our gratitude and do our part to make sure they are protected for future generations to come.
Learn more about these sacred places and what you, me, and President Obama can do to protect them:
1. GREATER GRAND CANYON HERITAGE NATIONAL MONUMENT -ARIZONA
Despite decades of efforts to protect the Greater Grand Canyon region, mounting threats from toxic uranium mining and the loss of old-growth forest continue to put water quality, wildlife habitat and recreation opportunities at risk.
More than a half million people have pledged support for creating a national monument on lands near Grand Canyon National Park and poll after poll shows overwhelming support for efforts to reduce threats in the region. Working together with Native American tribes, local business owners and officials, and those who recreate and value public lands, there is an opportunity to protect the region for future generations.
3 WAYS TO TAKE ACTION
TWEET: People across the country are banding together to save #GrandCanyonHeritage. Join NOW:http://bit.ly/GrandCanyonTweet
2. BEAR EARS NATIONAL MONUMENT -UTAH
The proposed Bears Ears National Monument is a place rich in history and culture. It is a place to connect, a place to heal, and a place where Native American Traditional Knowledge can be explored and nurtured so that it continues to inform and illuminate modern life. The Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition, a consortium of five sovereign Indian nations—the Hopi, Navajo, Uintah & Ouray Ute, Ute Mountain Ute, and Zuni—has formally petitioned President Barack Obama to proclaim the Bears Ears National Monument in order to protect this extraordinary area for our Tribes, all Native people, and the nation.
The proposed 1.9 million acre monument is a landscape of deep, carved canyons, long mesas, inspiring arches, and arresting red rock formations. The monument’s namesake, the Bears Ears, are twin buttes in the heart of the landscape that rise high above the piñon-juniper forests and canyons that adorn the renowned and majestic Cedar Mesa. It lies in Southern Utah, north of the Navajo Nation and the San Juan River, east of the Colorado River, and west of the Ute Mountain Ute Reservation. Bears Ears is adjacent to Canyonlands National Park and is every bit the equal of Canyonlands and the other great parks and monuments of the Colorado Plateau.
1.9 million acres of unprotected lands | 100,000+ archaeological sites | 26 Tribes support protecting lands within Bears Ears | 18 Wilderness Study Areas and Inventoried Roadless Areas | One Full-time law enforcement officer*
Only a few hours from the bright lights of Las Vegas is a wild desert landscape of spectacular geology and world class cultural and historic treasures which offer us a window into the past. Gold Butte – Nevada’s piece of the Grand Canyon – is beloved by Nevadans and visitors from throughout the country and the world who come to hike, camp, hunt, bike, ride ATVs on designated routes, climb, explore cultural and historical sites, and otherwise enjoy the great outdoors.
But Gold Butte is currently threatened by landscape degradation and vandalism of the region’s valuable cultural and historical resources. We need meaningful protections so that Americans can continue to experience this special place for generations to come.
We thank President Obama for all of his incredible work in conservation over the past 8 years. We now ask that he please designate these additional national monuments to ensure that these magnificent parts of our nation may be passed down to future generations.