Watch live: Biden to announce two new national monuments
President Biden is announcing several major initiatives Tuesday aimed at protecting natural and culturally significant areas and addressing other environmental issues at an event the White House has titled the Conservation in Action Summit.
Foremost in the program is the designation of two new national monuments.
Avi Kwa Ame National Monument, in Nevada’s southern tip, centers around a mountain of the same name, a sacred site for many people in the region’s Indigenous communities. The protection against development also secures a long stretch of wildlife habitat stretching into adjacent areas in California and Arizona.
The Castner Range National Monument will preserve land in El Paso, Texas. A release from the White House notes that the site, at the Fort Bliss U.S. Army installation, was used for “training and testing” in the mid-20th century, and will require cleanup before opening up for public recreation.
The monument adjoins the existing Franklin Mountains State Park, adding further protection to a rugged desert landscape.
A third announcement is an official call for Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo to consider an expansion of protected area around the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument. Judgment regarding a designation could come within 30 days, the White House states.
In addition to these conservation measures, the administration will also announce programs to address the global climate crisis through a range of maritime policies, protect communities from forest fires and foster conservation partnerships with tribal nations, among other initiatives.
All of these actions come shortly after one significant disappointment for environmental advocates, when Biden gave the go-ahead to the large Willow oil drilling project on Alaska’s North Slope.
Activists are expected to use the occasion to gather at the Department of the Interior, where the summit is taking place, and call on the White House to reverse course on the Willow project.
The program is scheduled to begin at 1:45 p.m. ET.
Watch the live video above.
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