Fifty years ago, Congress passed two landmark pieces of legislation. Enacted just months apart, the Civil Rights Act and the Wilderness Act changed the American story. Through them both runs the thread of freedom and diversity that makes America great.
Although the San Gabriel Mountains are an integral part of Los Angeles' economy and way of life, these public lands have been in dire need of attention. Graffiti and trash are abundant; restrooms, educational programming and community outreach are insufficient.
In a wise move, President Obama recently designated about 350,000 acres of the San Gabriel Mountains, east of Los Angeles, as our country's newest national monument. It's a decision that came as the result of years of collaboration.
The Latino community's involvement adds to the growing evidence that suggests this engagement from the Latino community on an environmental issue is not just an anomaly, but is something to be expected.
President Obama has just protected the Grand Canyon of our oceans. By expanding and protecting the Pacific Remote Islands National Monument, he has created one of the world's largest protected marine reserves and conserved a breathtaking, ecological hot spot for endangered species.
The Paris-based United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization in June designated an ancient Native American complex known as Poverty Point, east of Monroe, as Louisiana's first World Heritage site.
As we head into the final days of August, most Americans are looking for one last summer escape. Many people have to travel hundreds of miles to find a refuge from the crush of everyday life. But the 17 million people living in Greater Los Angeles can find wild beauty right in their backyards.
For more than a century, presidents have been using the Antiquities Act to save our national treasures, and President Obama's just-announced designation of the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument in southern New Mexico shows exactly why this law is so indispensable.
Citizens want to continue the proud American tradition of investing in the wildlife, open spaces, remote spots, clean air and fresh water that make this country stand out among other industrialized nations.
The environment and economy of the North Coast just scored a big victory. Last Tuesday, President Obama designated the Point Arena-Stornetta Public Lands as part of the California Coastal National Monument, protecting these pristine and breathtaking coastal lands.