A Quick and Dirty Guide to the New National Monuments

Prehistoric rock carvings, Mammoth bones, and acres of beautiful nature just got federal protection.


President Obama designated millions of historic acres in California, Nevada, and Texas as new national monuments Friday, granting federal protection to Mammoth bones, ancient rock carvings, and some just plain beautiful land. The latest announcement brings the number of national monuments created under Obama to a fat 19. Here’s a quick and dirty guide to the newest protected areas.

700,000 acres of untouched beauty in Nevada.


Basin and Range National Monument

Nevada now has an additional 700,000 acres of glory under government watch. Just hiking it would make for an inspiring day (or week), but if you do swing through make sure to check out the rare rock art. Researchers say it’s as much as 4,000 years old. When you’re done there, compare it to the modern abstract sculptures artists Michael Heizer has been carving over the last 40 years. Just a thought.

Mammoth bones. They aren't making any more of these. 


Waco Mammoth National Monument

It’s only fitting Texas gets a site with the biggest mammoth species to ever stomp the dirt. The new monument will keep safe the site of an important archeological find filled with the preserved remains of not just 24 Colombian Mammoths —biggest beasts of the ice age — but saber-toothed cats, dwarf antelopes, and western camels.

Anyone think this view would be improved with  a Carl's Jr.?


Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument

Absolutely nothing about this picture cries out for a Walmart. Now that it’s protected, California can start reaching out to the nature lovers, hunters, and fishermen who can make these 330,000 acres an engine for the local economy without ruining its unique ecology or wrecking the Native American cultural sites.

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