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Obama Creates Two New National Monuments In Utah And Nevada

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President Obama on Wednesday designated two new national monuments in Utah and Nevada, protecting 1.65 million acres of federal land. Most of it, 1.35 million acres, surrounds the Bears Ears Buttes in southeastern Utah. The rest is northeast of Las Vegas around Nevada’s Gold Butte. The moves were the latest in a series of actions Obama has made to protect public lands and waters from development as time runs out for him to seal his environmental legacy before leaving office in January. Native American tribes and others have been pushing to protect the areas for years, but some locals and Republican lawmakers have criticized Obama’s efforts to protect parts of the West as a federal land grab.

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