Friday, October 07, 2016

These are the places Obama may protect by January

Emily Yehle, E&E reporter

Obama has created or expanded 28 national monuments, using his power under the century-old Antiquities Act. In the last two months alone, he quadrupled the size of the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, set aside 87,000 acres in Maine as the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument and created the first marine monument in the Atlantic Ocean.

Most environmentalists think he's not done. Some predict Obama will create three or four more monuments before his term ends.

But which ones?

Under the Antiquities Act, Obama is able to unilaterally set aside federal land. He doesn't have to hold public hearings, get local support or ask Congress.

Obama's willingness to use the act — and the approaching end of his presidency — has also resulted in a steady stream of pitches by conservationists, including for a former artillery range in Texas and seamounts off California's shores.

So far, however, Obama has generally stuck to a pattern before announcing a monument. It usually begins with a proposal from an advocacy group, gains steam in a local public meeting with an administration official and takes shape in legislation from local lawmakers that the White House can build upon.

After a few tweaks, Obama rolls out the announcement with all the attending fanfare. Here are some of the more likely candidates:

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