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Obama designates California park as national monument

President Obama on Tuesday designated the Point Arena-Stornetta Public Lands a national monument, protecting the 1,665 acres of Northern California coastline for future generations.

"In my State of the Union address I talked about taking any actions that I could to ensure that this incredible gift of American lands, the natural bounty that has been passed on to us from previous generations, is preserved for future generations," Mr. Obama said. "And I pledged to act wherever I could to make sure that our children, our grandchildren are going to be able to look upon this land of ours with the same wonder as we have."

By signing a proclamation that designates the space a national monument, Mr. Obama can legally bypass Congress -- congressional approval would have been necessary to make the area a national park.

Mr. Obama signed the proclamation from the Oval Office alongside people who supported the effort to make the area a national monument, including Larry Stornetta. The president noted that Stornetta's family helped care for the land before it was sold to the Bureau of Land Management.

"We are talking about over 1,600 acres of incredible coastline in California that reflects the incredible diversity of flora and fauna," Mr. Obama said. "It is a place where scientists do research; where people who just want to experience the great outdoors can take advantage of it. It is a huge economic boost for the region. California tourism obviously is important, and the California coastline I think is as big of an attraction as there is."

The monument will continue to be managed by the Bureau of Land Management as part of the system of National Conservation Lands.