Obama Administration Designates/Expands National Monuments

WASHINGTON – President Obama today designated three new national monuments, and expanded two existing monuments.

The following is a statement by Rhea Suh, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council:

“These monuments speak to American struggle, sacrifice, progress and loss – part of the story that binds us as a nation. The Antiquities Act gives presidents authority to protect the parks and public spaces that preserve our history and culture, the physical beauty and natural wonder we share, and the diversity that makes us special and strong.

“Just as Stonewall stands as a reminder of the struggle for LGBTQ rights, and Bears Ears recalls and conserves indigenous cultures that stretch back thousands of years, today’s designations remind us of our ongoing struggle for civil rights, and chapters of adversity in our history we must never forget.”


The Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument in Alabama, marks the birthplace of the civil rights movement;

The Freedom Riders National Monument in Anniston, Alabama, encompasses the site where activists boarded buses to fight segregation;

The Reconstruction National Monument in Beaufort County, South Carolina is the first national monument to recall the promising and troubling times that followed the abolition of slavery.

The expanded Cascade Siskiyou National Monument in southwestern Oregon is comprised of mountains, forest and grasslands.  President Bill Clinton designated it as a monument in June 2000

The expanded California Coastal National Monument runs along the entire California coast and was originally created in January 2000 by President Bill Clinton.



The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 2 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City; Washington, D.C.; Los Angeles; San Francisco; Chicago; Bozeman, Montana; and Beijing. Visit us at www.nrdc.org and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.

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