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>> Republicans fuming as President Obama designates huge swaths of federal land as national monuments in Utah and Nevada. Republican Utah Senator Mike Lee railing that quote, this arrogant act by a lame duck President will not stand. This week Obama, like he has many times before, used the 1906 Antiquities Act, to protect over a million acres at Bears Ears in Utah and 300,000 acres at Gold Butte outside Las Vegas.
The designation protects two areas rich in Native American artifacts from mining, oil, and gas drilling, in one of his final moves to protect the environment. A move which will be difficult President-elect Donald Trump to reverse, but could lead to a legal dispute in Congress. Meanwhile, a coalition of five Native American tribes in the region praised the decision.
The land in Nevada, also famously the site of a dispute with Cliven Bundy, who illegally grazed his cattle herd on public lands for decades. A dispute which came to symbolize opposition to federal management of public lands in the American west. You might recall his son, Ammon, later led an armed standoff at a wildlife refuge in Oregon which ended in the group's acquittal.
In a statement, the White House says President Obama has protected more land and water than any administration in history.