Preserving the Owyhee Canyonlands
Credit: Wild & Scenic Rivers/Flickr

Preserving the Owyhee Canyonlands: the push for monument status

Local advocates are urging President Biden to create new national monuments in order to meet his administration's conservation goals, but the push has encountered resistance from some locals in the region.

Wyatt Myskow reports for Inside Climate News.


In short:

  • The Owyhee Canyonlands are one of the last intact sagebrush habitats in the Western U.S., spanning around 7 million acres across three states.
  • Threats to the region include invasive species, mining, and suburban development, leading advocates to push for national monument designation to protect the area.
  • A coalition is working to urge President Biden to use the Antiquities Act to protect 1 million acres of the canyonlands, but legislation faces political hurdles.

Key quote:

“National monuments really are the most effective tool that we have as a country to protect biodiversity and ward off this extinction crisis.”

— Kate Groetzinger, communications manager for the Center for Western Priorities

Why this matters:
Conserving the Owyhee Canyonlands is crucial for maintaining biodiversity and protecting the region's fragile ecosystem, which is threatened by development and climate change. Read more: Giving Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante the protection they deserve.

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