Biden Closes Off Another 500,000 Acres Of Public Land To Development

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Diana Glebova White House Correspondent
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President Joe Biden allocated over 500,000 acres of public land for national monuments in Nevada and Texas on Tuesday.

The president’s plan to establish Avi Kwa Ame National Monument in Nevada is intended to honor Tribal Nations and Indigenous peoples, as numerous tribes consider the area to be a sacred place. The national monument will also provide a habitat for local animal species and create one of the largest contiguous “areas of protected wildlife habitat” in the U.S., the White House said in a statement.

Biden is also expected to announce the establishment of the Castner Range National Monument in Texas — an action intended to “conserve and restore lands and waters.”

In total, the two new national monuments will span an area consisting of nearly 514,000 acres, the Associated Press (AP) reported.

In the Pacific, Biden will direct the secretary of commerce to “consider exercising her authority to protect all U.S. waters around the Pacific Remote Islands,” according to the statement.

Biden has faced fierce criticism from climate activists over his approval of the $8 billion Willow oil drilling project in Alaska, which is expected to produce about 600 million barrels of oil over a 30-year lifespan. Despite facing blowback, his administration argued Biden continues “to deliver on the most aggressive climate agenda in American history, including the creation of clean energy manufacturing and jobs.” (RELATED: Biden Approves Massive Oil Project Over Green Group Objections)

WASHINGTON, DC – DECEMBER 02: Students and community members demand President Biden stop the Willow Project by unfurling a banner on the Ellipse outside the White House on December 02, 2022 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images for This is Zero Hour)

The administration also limited future oil and gas drilling in the Natural Petroleum Reserve-Alaska, where the project is located, by designating more than 13 million acres as “Special Areas.”