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Biden will expand two national monuments in California

Mr. Biden has so far created five national monuments and expanded two more as part of his promise to protect 30 percent of the country's lands and waters by 2030. He has also sought to consider the intersection between conservation, climate, and Native American issues. Native American voters could play a significant role in the election outcome in the swing states of Arizona and Nevada.

Last year, Mr. Biden declared half a million acres of the Spirit Mountain area in southern Nevada a national monument. Also known as Avi Kwa Ame, it is the mythical creation site for Yuman-speaking tribes such as Fort Mojave, Cocopah, Quechan and Hopi. In 2021, he restored and expanded the 1.3 million-acre area of ​​Bears Ears, a national monument in Utah and ancestral homeland of five tribal nations, which had been greatly reduced in size by the Trump administration.

To date, Mr. Biden has protected more than 41 million acres of land and waters.

The San Gabriel Monument encompasses 342,177 acres of the Angeles National Forest and 4,002 acres of the neighboring San Bernardino National Forest. Mr. Biden will expand the monument by about 110,000 acres. The expanded national monument includes a unique scenic railroad, great resorts and Cold War-era Nike missile sites.

Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument encompasses nearly 331,000 acres of protected land in portions of Napa, Yolo, Solano, Lake, Colusa, Glenn and Mendocino counties. Under Mr. Biden's plan, it would expand by about 13,753 acres. The new designation protects a distinctive, 11-mile-long mountain range that has unique geologic and hydrological features and is sacred to the Patwin people. The presidential proclamation also permanently renames the ridgeline previously known as Walker Ridge as Molok Luyuk, which means “Condor Ridge” in the language of the Patwin people.

“Molok Luyuk is sacred to the tribes who have a longstanding commitment to its protection and a deep connection to this land. “Thanks to President Biden’s leadership, it will now be protected for future generations,” said Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, the country’s first Native American Cabinet secretary.

Anna Harden

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