Biden grants new protections, more on the horizon

Mar 22, 2023

At the 2023 Conservation in Action Summit yesterday, President Joe Biden used his power under the Antiquities Act to designate Avi Kwa Ame and Castner Range national monuments, protecting more than 500,000 acres of U.S. land and honoring the requests of Tribal Nations, including the Fort Mojave Tribe, one of the leaders of the campaign to protect the area surrounding Avi Kwa Ame.

“When we think about protection, we think of it through a lens of respect,” said Ashley Hemmers, tribal administrator for the Fort Mojave Tribe. “And so if we can teach those things to people who are now moving in this space, then it’s not just ours, the mountain isn’t just for Mojave, it’s for everyone to protect.”

Biden also announced a memorandum directing Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo to establish marine sanctuary protections for all waters surrounding the Pacific Remote Islands—777,000 square miles of waters southwest of Hawaii. These protections will fulfill the President’s goal of protecting 30 percent of America’s oceans.

Finally, Biden announced a new initiative to conserve, restore, and expand access to lands and waters through various proposals, including modernizing the management of America’s public lands, a plan to harness the power of the ocean to fight the climate crisis, a strategy to better conserve wildlife corridors, new funding for outdoor recreation access and wildfire risk reduction, and more. His plan to harness the power of the ocean is known as the Ocean Climate Action Plan, led by the Ocean Policy Committee (OPC). According to a new report, the OPC’s goals include creating a carbon-neutral future, accelerating solutions that tap the power of the ocean to absorb and store greenhouse gases, and enhancing community resilience to ocean change.

New Podcast Episode

On the latest installment of The Landscape, Center for Western Priorities Campaigns and Special Projects Director Lauren Bogard and Executive Director Jen Rokala join Kate to talk about the new monuments and what made the campaigns to protect both Avi Kwa Ame and Castner Range so successful.

Quick hits

Biden designates Avi Kwa Ame and Castner Range national monuments

Associated Press | KUNC | High Country News | Nevada Independent | Colorado Newsline

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Closing a gap in state law, proposed legislation aims to manage insects as wildlife

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Great Salt Lake rises by two feet since historic low

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New law aims to strengthen rural water systems in New Mexico

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Tribal bison harvest continues to climb to new high north of Yellowstone National Park


Quote of the day

”Our country’s natural treasures define our identity as a nation. They’re a birthright—they’re a birthright we have to pass down to generation after generation. They unite us.”

—President Joe Biden, The White House

Picture this

a bear looks in a window


Me reappearing in people’s lives after inexplicably disappearing for several months…

(featured image: President Biden delivers his remarks at the 2023 Conservation in Action Summit on Tuesday. Credit: @POTUS via Twitter)