WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden is designating new national monuments in Texas and Nevada.
Biden will make the announcement at the White House Conservation in Action Summit in Washington. He will use his authority under the Antiquities Act to proclaim national monuments on federal lands that contain historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, or other objects of historic or scientific interest.
Biden also will direct the Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo to consider initiating a new National Marine Sanctuary designation within the next 30 days to protect all U.S. waters around the Pacific Remote Islands.
Castner Range, located on Fort Bliss and within the Chihuahuan desert along the Rio Grande, is the ancestral homeland of the Comanche and Apache people, and its cultural ecology is considered sacred to several Indigenous communities.
Castner Range also served as a training and testing site for the U.S. Army during World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War.
The Avi Kwa Ame, also known as Sacred Mountain, is known as a sacred burial ground by the Mojave, Chemehuevi and some Southern Paiute people and is important to other Tribal Nations and Indigenous Peoples. It’s also home to one of the world’s largest Joshua tree forests and provides continuous habitat or migration corridors for species such as the desert bighorn sheep and desert tortoise.
Together, the new national monuments will protect nearly 514,000 acres of public lands.
Michael Collins covers the White House. Follow him on Twitter @mcollinsNEWS.