Here's every piece of land Obama has put under protection during his presidency


Palmyra Atoll National Wildlife Refuge pacific remote islands marine national monument

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/Flickr


On January 12, President Barack Obama created five new national monuments, bringing his total to 34 - more than any other president.

In total, the new monuments cover about 55,000 acres. Two of the protected areas - the California Coastal National Monument and Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument - are expansions of monuments designated by Bill Clinton. The other three will preserve historic sites related to Reconstruction and the Civil Rights Movement, including the hotel that once served as Martin Luther King's civil rights campaign headquarters.

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Throughout his time in office, Obama has used the Antiquities Act, which Roosevelt signed into law in 1906, to set aside public land for conservation. He has ramped up those efforts as the end of his presidency draws near, furthering his administration's environmental legacy before President-elect Donald Trump takes office. In December, 2016, he created two national monuments in Utah and Nevada, covering over 1.5 million acres of land.

Added up, Obama has protected more than 550 million acres - more than double the amount that the well-known conservationist Theodore Roosevelt did. His preservation agenda has been largely applauded by environmentalists but criticized by some conservatives for placing too much land under federal control.


The majority of Obama's addition to the nation's protected acreage, however, is water - the president created and expanded several massive marine national monuments in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans (not to mention his ban on Arctic drilling).

Here's the full list, in reverse chronological order.