Politics

Sand to Snow National Monument designation under review

Following executive order from the President

Executive order could cost 2 desert n...

COACHELLA VALLEY, Calif. - President Donald Trump signed another executive order Wednesday, this time calling for an unprecedented review of 24 national monuments, including two in this region.

The Sand to Snow National Monument was proclaimed by President Barack Obama in 2016 and covers 154,000 acres. The Mojave Trails National Monument, also proclaimed by the Obama administration in 2016, covers a whopping 1.6 million acres.

Watch: KESQ & CBS Local 2 were on hand as a crowd gathered to celebrate the new desert national monuments

The popular Whitewater Preserve is located inside the Sand to Snow,

"It's just a beautiful, sacred spot," said Meghan Holton, who enjoys what the area has to offer.

Read: President Obama designated the Mojave Trails, Sand to Snow, and Castle Mountains national monuments in February of last year

Many recreationalists said they are not happy about the order.

"I think he needs to come out here and see what he's destroying," hiker Heath Lindall told KESQ News Channel 3's and CBS Local 2's Katie Widner.

Environmentalists are not happy either.

"We're obviously concerned because it would potentially undo the declaration of 20 years of national monuments, millions of acres, by presidents of both parties," said Jim Karpiak.

Karpiak is the executive director for the state-run  Coachella Valley Mountains Conservancy. He said it is uknown what the outcome of the review will mean.

"It's not clear what it means, or what it's trying to get at; it calls for a 120-day review of all of those actions," Karpiak said.

Other environmentalists are worried, too.

"Any reversal or reduction of national monuments would set a dangerous precedent," said Tammy Martin, executive director of the nonprofit Friends of the Desert Mountains.

Martin said national monuments provide recreational, economic and health benefits to their surrounding communities.

"We can see that particularly well here in the Coachella Valley because of the assets that the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains national monument in the new Sand to Snow provide to the residents,"  she said.

Karpiak said the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument will not be affected because it was designated through legislation, not an executive order.

Trump is targeting all or part of monuments that make up 100,000 acres or more, and were created by presidential proclamation since 1996. The White House released a list of 24 of them on Wednesday.

They are:

  • Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in Utah, proclaimed by President Clinton in 1996. (1.7 million acres)
  • Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument in Arizona, proclaimed by Clinton in 2000 (1 million acres)
  • Giant Sequoia National Monument in California, proclaimed by Clinton in 2000 (327,769 acres)
  • Vermilion Cliffs National Monument in Arizona, proclaimed by Clinton in 2000 (279,568 acres)
  • Hanford Reach National Monument in Washington, proclaimed by Clinton in 2000 (194,450 acres)
  • Canyons of the Ancients National Monument in Colorado, proclaimed by Clinton in 2000 (175,160 acres)
  • Ironwood Forest National Monument in Arizona, proclaimed by Clinton in 2000 (128,917 acres)
  • Sonoran Desert National Monument in Arizona, proclaimed by Clinton in 2001 (486,149 acres)
  • Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument in Montana, proclaimed by Clinton in 2001 (377,346 acres)
  • Carrizo Plain National Monument in California, proclaimed by Clinton in 2001 (204,107 acres)
  • Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument in the Pacific Ocean, proclaimed by President George W. Bush in 2006 and expanded by President Barack Obama in 2016, (89.6 million acres)
  • World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument in California, Hawaii and Alaska, proclaimed by Bush in 2008 (4 million acres)
  • Marianas Trench Marine National Monument in the Pacific Ocean, proclaimed by Bush in 2009 (60.9 million acres)
  • Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument in the Pacific Ocean, proclaimed by Bush in 2009 and enlarged by Obama in 2014. (55.6 million acres)
  • Rose Atoll Marine National Monument in American Samoa, proclaimed by Bush in 2009 (8.6 million acres)
  • Rio Grande del Norte National Monument in New Mexico, proclaimed by Obama in 2013. (242,555 acres)
  • Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument in New Mexico, proclaimed by Obama in 2014 (496,330 acres)
  • Basin and Range National Monument in Nevada, proclaimed by Obama in 2015 (703,585 acres)
  • Berryessa Snow Mountain in California, proclaimed by Obama in 2015 (330,780 acres)
  • Northeast Canyons & Seamounts Marine National Monument in the Atlantic Ocean, proclaimed by Obama in 2016 (3.1 million acres)
  • Mojave Trails National Monument in California, proclaimed by Obama in 2016 (1.6 million acres)
  • Bears Ears National Monument in Utah, proclaimed by Obama in 2016 (1.4 million acres)
  • Gold Butte National Monument in Nevada, proclaimed by Obama in 2016 (296,937 acres)
  • Sand to Snow National Monument in California, proclaimed by Obama in 2016 (154,000 acres)

Read the White House statement on national monuments


comments powered by Disqus

Latest Headlines

Photo Galleries