President Obama is expected to permanently ban development on 1,665 acres of federal lands Tuesday, reports the Washington Post.
The ban will take place on the Mendocino County coast in Northern California, just north of Point Arena. The geography of the land includes coastal bluffs and shelves, tide pools, onshore sand dunes, coastal prairies, riverbanks and the mouth of the Garcia River. Obama’s initiative is an expansion of a national monument created by President Bill Clinton in 2000.
This move to block commercials building in the area also comes after an action from the Environmental Protection Agency to ban development of Pebble Mine, an expansive copper and gold deposit in Alaska’s Bristol Bay region.
Living up to the pledge he made in the 2014 State of the Union address to use his executive power to preserve federal lands, Obama plans to make this move by executive order without the consent of Congress.
The 1,665 acres will add to the millions of protected acres that are already federally protected in California.
According to the California Protected Lands Database, the state has 49,232,694 acres of protected land. This is 46.7 percent of the state (not including easements), which is the most populous in the Union.
Some of these protected lands serve as tourist or community destinations. A report conducted by the federal Bureau of Land Management estimated that outdoor recreation on public lands in California contributed nearly $900 million in revenue to the economy in 2012.
California Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer, who chairs the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, tweeted her support of the president’s decision to protect “this majestic piece of CA’s coast for future generations to enjoy.”
She also wrote in a statement that the move would invigorate California’s economy, “Expanding this monument will not only help preserve this sensitive coastal area and protect marine life along the coast, it will also boost the tourism economy in Mendocino County, which supports 5,000 jobs.”
So far, Obama has established nine national monuments using the authority Congress granted presidents under the Antiquities Act of 1906.
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