More High Desert Goes Federal

The take-over of the Malheur National Wildlife Reserve near Burns, Oregon, may have ended but the federal land grab continues.

President Obama is granting national monument status to nearly 1.8 million acres of Southern California desert. In all, he will name three specific regions national monuments — Mojave Trails, Castle Mountains (both in the Mojave Desert) and Sand to Snow in the Sonoran Desert.

It’s a move the White House says will maintain in perpetuity the region’s fragile ecosystem and natural resources, as well as provide recreational opportunities for hikers, campers, hunters and others. The designations will also connect Joshua Tree National Park, the Mojave National Preserve and 15 other federal wilderness areas.

The designations nearly double the amount of public land that Obama has designated as national monument status since taking office. Meanwhile the Commander-in-Thief is in California this week for a fundraising tour.


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