THE BLOG

Sweet 16

02/20/2015 05:15 pm ET | Updated Apr 22, 2015

More proof that good things are worth waiting for. About a year and a half ago, my family and I hiked in Colorado's Browns Canyon, along with some military veterans, Sierra Club volunteers, and local rafting owners. At the time, local people had been trying for two decades to get permanent protection for the canyon (which has long been popular with whitewater rafters and other outdoor enthusiasts). As is often the case, they'd come tantalizingly close to succeeding more than once. Fortunately, they never gave up.

Yesterday that dedication finally paid off when President Obama designated about 21,000 acres in Browns Canyon as one of our three newest national monuments. The other two new monuments are important historic sites: Pullman National Monument in Chicago, and Honouliuli National Monument in Hawaii.

That makes a total of 16 national monuments from President Obama, who has used the Antiquities Act exactly as intended: to protect places of national importance that, if lost, could never be replaced. But although the president makes the designations, it also takes a lot of grassroots support and hard work locally to make them happen. 

The important thing is that these newest monuments did happen, and they belong to all of us.

Why not take a moment to tell President Obama thanks?