California - Carrizo Plain National Monument

State: California
Region: Central California
The Carrizo Plain National Monument was designated in 2001 by President Clinton to protect the largest remaining vestige of Central Valley grassland in California and the habitat it provides for California Condor, Tule elk, pronghorn and other endangered plants and animals. The monument acts as a safe haven for wildlife and a buffer zone from the industrialized oil and gas development to the east. The designation allows for continued uses like hunting and motorized access and attracts a growing number of visitors, boosting the local economy. Significant rainfall this year led to a "super bloom" of wildflowers, creating an especially colorful landscape that drew increased visitation and notoriety to the monument in the spring.

The monument designation process went through a lengthy public process and a voluntary land sale. Keeping the monument in place will help protect this beautiful landscape and the economies that benefit from it.