How President Biden Can Act To Protect Environmental and Cultural Sites

A new report highlights the mechanisms the President and his Cabinet could use to protect U.S. land and water resources without going through Congress.

Read Time: 1 minute

November 28, 2022, 8:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

View of red rock spires and formations in Bears Ears National Monument, Utah

Bears Ears National Monument, designated by President Obama in 2016. | Krista Hardin / Bears Ears National Monument, Utah

A report from the Center for American Progress outlines actions that President Biden can potentially take to protect U.S. lands and waters without Congress.

According to an article by Maxine Joselow and Vanessa Montalbano in the Washington Post, “The actions include designating new national monuments and national marine sanctuaries; conserving old-growth and mature forests; barring future mining and drilling on public lands; and harnessing new conservation funding from the recently passed climate law and the bipartisan infrastructure law.” 

The report highlights tools available to the President and the Cabinet, such as the 1906 Antiquities Act. During his presidency, President Obama designated 26 national monuments spanning 88.3 million acres, more than any other president.

Establishing new national monuments, the report states, could protect thousands of acres of critical habitats and cultural resources. “The report also calls on Interior Secretary Deb Haaland to withdraw sensitive and sacred lands from future drilling and mining.”

Tuesday, November 22, 2022 in The Washington Post

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