President Biden designated two new national monuments Tuesday, in Nevada and Texas, protecting over 500,000 acres of land from new development. Spirit Mountain, or Avi Kwa Ame, in Nevada is a sacred site for the Fort Mojave Tribe and others. Indigenous and environmental advocates have been pushing for years to designate the area as a national monument.
In Texas, Castner Range, located at the Fort Bliss Army base in El Paso, is an old firing range and was a training site until 1966. The area will need to be cleared of unexploded munitions before it can be enjoyed by the public for its Native rock art and unique flora of yellow and orange poppies that bloom in the spring.
Biden also committed to designating a new marine sanctuary in the Pacific, southwest of Hawaii, which will protect nearly 800,000 square miles of islands, reefs and marine life.