Palm Desert,CA – Millions of California birds will be among the beneficiaries of three new national monuments created by executive order today. At the request of California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Pres. Barack Obama carved out three areas totaling approximate 1.8 million acres for monument status, linking the San Bernardino National Forest to Joshua Tree National Park, and wrapping around the Mojave National Preserve to the Nevada border. “Some areas are too important to develop, and these areas of the California desert – home to more than 250 species of birds – are among them,” said president and CEO of the National Audubon Society David Yarnold. “Since Congress won’t act to protect this natural treasure, it’s up to President Obama to keep safe the places these birds call home.” Six years ago, Feinstein introduced the California Desert Conservation and Recreation Act, which would designate these three areas as national monuments. But recently, as her legislation became mired in Congress, she reportedly asked Obama to use his power under the Antiquities Act to designate the three desert monuments, bypassing Congress. “California’s deserts are natural treasure right alongside our beaches and mountains, full of remarkable vistas, birds and other wildlife,” said Audubon California Executive Director Brigid McCormack. “These desert habitats are worth fighting for – and I want to thank Sen. Feinstein for her tireless advocacy on behalf of California deserts, and the President for recognizing that they need to be protected.”
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