Three new National Monuments now protect more than 1,800,000 acres of desert landscape in California and establish the largest protected desert in the world.
AMBOY, Calif. (February 12, 2016) – Today the world is celebrating the largest protected desert landscape in the world thanks to the addition of three new National Monuments in California: Mojave Trails, Sand to Snow, and Castle Mountains. The designation of Mojave Trails National Monument also marks the second successful designation for the KEEN Live Monumental campaign – a national movement designed to rally support for the protection of five incredible landscapes across the U.S. for their recreation, environmental, historical, and economical significance.
Using the Antiquities Act passed by Congress and signed by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1906 – President Obama designated his 20th, 21st, and 22nd National Monuments. His leadership - along with the longtime support of U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), local backing from a diverse coalition of community leaders and organizations, a wide range of stakeholders and constituents, and the voices of thousands of outdoor enthusiasts heard through the KEEN Live Monumental campaign – ensures incredible outdoor recreation access for all Americans and sustainable economic opportunities for local communities.
"Mojave Trails is truly a loved landscape, as evident by the overwhelming support we experienced while driving across the country," stated Chris Enlow, KEEN Effect Team Member. "KEEN is completely thrilled to be a small part of such an incredible, historic action - Three cheers for three new desert monuments!"
The Mojave Trails National Monument links Joshua Tree National Park and the Mojave National Preserve, protecting pristine scenery, archeological and scientific wonders, and important bighorn sheep and desert tortoise habitat. Visitors to the area will experience more life than they might expect in the desert, thanks to a substantial amount of groundwater that feeds rare desert springs. North America’s youngest volcano – Amboy Crater – lives here too, as well as the 550 million-year-old trilobite fossil beds of the Marble Mountains. Or, if driving is preferred, visitors can experience the longest undeveloped stretch of historic Route 66 within this new monument’s boundaries.
In July 2015, KEEN kicked off its Live Monumental campaign with a two-month cross-country road trip from Portland, Oregon to Washington DC, to raise awareness and rally support for the preservation of our public lands. Traveling 7,500 miles across 25 states in a bright yellow, renovated 1976 GMC RV, the campaign collected more than 30,000 petition signatures, rallied support from more than 40 businesses, and hosted more than 47 events – including a reception on Capitol Hill that marked the finale of the 2015 tour and start of KEEN’s 2016 campaign efforts.
The campaign urges the Obama Administration to protect five specific areas in the U.S. that have environmental, recreational, and historic significance, through national monument designations. The areas include: Mojave Desert, CA (now protected); Owyhee Canyonlands, OR; Birthplace of Rivers, WV; Boulder-White Clouds, ID (protected); and Gold Butte, NV. The first victory for the campaign came on Aug. 7, 2015 when Idaho’s majestic Boulder-White Clouds was permanently protected as Wilderness.
In 2016 the Live Monumental campaign will continue to advocate for the remaining three public landscapes on its list, sparking advocacy from businesses, and attaining a critical mass of signatures before President Obama leaves office. A film documenting the 2015 road trip and campaign will be released in spring 2016.
To learn more about the Live Monumental campaign, see live updates and get the latest info, and sign the petition to help create lasting change, please visit: livemonumental.com.
Inspired by a love of the outdoors, KEEN, Inc., a manufacturer of hybrid outdoor and casual products, including footwear, clothing, and accessories, is dedicated to creating quality products that support the lifestyles and outdoor adventures of active people around the world. KEEN products can be found online and through more than 5,000 retail locations in more than 60 countries, as well as in KEEN Garage retail stores in the U.S., Europe, and Asia. The company’s operations and culture reflect a stand-out commitment to building a strong community and a healthier planet so that all can create, play, and care. Learn more at http://www.keenfootwear.com.
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