Total Solar Eclipse
Featured Series: Total Solar Eclipse
Aug. 21, 2017 will be America's best chance to see a total solar eclipse for the next seven years.

Obama Sets Aside Even More Land For National Monuments

President Obama officially created the Gold Butte National Monument and the Bears Ears National Monument.
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Obama Sets Aside Even More Land For National Monuments

President Obama just won't stop turning federal land into national monuments.

A new designation will turn land near the outskirts of Las Vegas into the Gold Butte National Monument. Land in southern Utah will become the Bears Ears National Monument. 

The two areas cover more than 1.6 million total acres. The Bears Ears area is made up of lands that are considered sacred to several Native American tribes. 

In a statement, President Obama said the move "will help protect this cultural legacy and will ensure that future generations are able to enjoy and appreciate these scenic and historic landscapes."

But not everyone is welcoming the move. Many conservatives are upset the land won't be available for agriculture, mining or oil drilling. And there may not be anything future presidents can do about it.

The Antiquities Act allows presidents to declare national monuments. But the White House Council on Environmental Quality said the act doesn't appear to outline how to undo that process.