On Wednesday President Obama declared new two new national monuments, which will save over 1.65 million acres of land from being developed.
One of the new national monuments is Bears Ears National Monument, a 1.35-million-acre space in San Juan County, Utah. The area is of historical significance to over 25 Southwest tribes.
The other is Gold Butte National Monument, a 300,000 acre space near Las Vegas. This area houses archaeological Native American artifacts and fossils, as well as has a fragile ecosystem in general.
Russell Begaye, the president of the Navajo Nation spoke out about the decision.
“We have always looked to Bears Ears as a place of refuge, as a place where we can gather herbs and plants and as a place of sacredness. It is a place of safety and fortitude. It is a place where our ancestors hid and survived from U.S. cavalry during the Long War.”