Statement: President Biden announces new monuments, policies to protect more nature

Media Contacts
Lisa Frank

Executive Director, Environment America; Vice President and D.C. Director, The Public Interest Network

Susan Holmes

Former Director, Save America’s Wildlife Campaign, Environment America

Wendy Wendlandt

President, Environment America; Senior Vice President, The Public Interest Network

WASHINGTON At the White House Conservation in Action Summit Tuesday, President Joe Biden will designate both Avi Kwa Ame in Nevada and Castner Range in Texas as national monuments. In addition, the Biden administration is spurring creation of a new marine sanctuary in the Pacific Remote Islands, releasing an Ocean Climate Action Plan, providing new guidance on wildlife corridors and launching a Wildlife Crossing Pilot Program funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. These announcements will help the Biden administration achieve its goal of protecting 30 percent of U.S. lands and oceans by the year 2030.

Later this week, the Bureau of Land Management is expected to announce a new proposed rule to enhance conservation of public lands. The BLM currently oversees many conflicting uses of public lands, including wildlife protection, recreation, oil and gas drilling and logging.

In response to these announcements, Environment America staff issued the following statements:

“America the Beautiful is full of wondrous places and protecting them is part of our identity as Americans,” said Environment America President Wendy Wendlandt. “President Biden is on track to leave a significant legacy on conservation with his plan to protect 30 percent of our lands and oceans by 2030. We’re happy to celebrate Conservation Day with such a monumental proclamation.” 

“Both Avi Kwa Ame and Castner Range are worthy of being national monuments. They’re beautiful places, critical habitats for wildlife and important to their local communities,” said Public Lands Campaign Director Ellen Montgomery. “The president’s actions will protect Joshua trees and Gila monsters in Nevada and the western burrowing owl in Texas. This will mean more nature, scenery, wildlife and history for future generations to experience in both of these monuments.”

“America’s natural heritage includes not just towering mountains and sweeping plains, but also vast oceans teeming with wildlife – from colorful coral reefs to giant whales,” said Washington Legislative Office Executive Director Lisa Frank. “We’re fortunate to have some of the most pristine ocean ecosystems around the Pacific Remote Islands, but as our oceans heat up, acidify and face threats from plastic pollution to overfishing and drilling, we need to do more to safeguard our seas. Today’s announcement is a great step toward expanding ocean protections in the tropical Pacific.”

“Wildlife need room to roam. As the recent death of Los Angeles’ beloved mountain lion P-22 illustrates, without sufficiently connected, safe habitats, animals struggle to find food and mates while avoiding cars and other dangers. Protecting wildlife corridors helps solve this problem,” said Wildlife Campaign Director Susan Holmes. “We applaud the Biden Administration’s efforts to consider wildlife connectivity when making decisions. By conserving and connecting wildlands, the Biden Administration ensures that species such as the Florida panther, pronghorn, grizzly, salmon and monarch butterfly can move across the landscape and thrive.”