Rachel Charlene Lewis
December 29, 2016 7:49 am
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As his final term as president comes to an end, President Obama proves he’s concerned about the future of the environment. As a result, Obama just designated two new national monuments in a sacred tribal site in Utah and in the Nevada desert, NPR reports. The creation of these new national monuments should help protect the land from development and to honor sacred lands, and we’re *so* here for it.

In Utah, there will be a new Bears Ears National Monument. As The Washington Post notes, it’s especially important because it’s the first time that Native American tribes (the Hopi, Navajo, Uintah and Ouray Ute, Ute Mountain Ute and Pueblo of Zuni) will collaborate to protect a national monument and offer input on how they should be managed. We’re cheering!

Russell Begaye, the president of the Navajo Nation, told The Washington Post,

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Hell to the yes.

In Nevada, the Gold Butte National Monument will help protect 300,000 acres of land. Like, whoa. 

President Obama said in a statement,

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Of course it’s not without criticism, as local politicians argue that at least some of the land should have been available for development. People are also unsure of how long these protections will last, considering how determined these politicians are to fight the monument status.

Still, we think it’s important to highlight President Obama’s continuing legacy as a protector of the environment, especially as the future of our Environmental Protections Agency is looking less than bright.