Obama created national monuments at Bears Ears and Gold Butte, sites with huge significance to Native Americans.
The staff of High Country News discuss the 44th president’s impact on the West’s land, energy and the environment.
While consensus supporting a designation grew, many Utah politicians argued that the president’s action is an abuse of power.
Bears Ears isn’t the only local effort to get Obama to designate protections before he leaves office.
This Washington insider’s ‘hidden hand’ has guided the environmental achievements of presidents for two decades.
In New Mexico, the open and inclusive campaign for a 240,000-acre monument sidestepped the usual controversy drummed up by such designations.
Just as it seemed the local communities were starting to accept the BLM’s Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, the rise of conservative national politics has helped to revive old grudges and stir up opposition