President Obama has designated three desert areas in California as national monuments.
The move permanently protects “nearly 1.8 million acres of America’s public lands,” the White House says in a news release.
All three areas lie east of Los Angeles. Two of the new monuments — Castle Mountains and Mojave Trails — are near California’s border with Nevada.
And crucially, “the new monuments will link already protected lands, including Joshua Tree National Park, Mojave National Preserve, and fifteen congressionally-designated Wilderness areas, permanently protecting key wildlife corridors and providing plants and animals with the space and elevation range that they will need in order to adapt to the impacts of climate change,” the release says.
Photos: Bob Wick/Bureau of Land Management