© 2024 Boise State Public Radio
NPR in Idaho
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Chad Daybell's murder trial has begun. Follow along here.
Boise State Public Radio corrects errors in broadcast and online stories. It’s our goal to be accountable and transparent with our coverage and our corrections. Corrections and clarifications will be archived on this page. You’ll find the correction or clarification at the end of a story.

In His Last Days, Obama Could Create National Monument Near Idaho Border

Andrew Selsky
AP Images
Elias Eiguren, a rancher and representative of the Owyhee Basin Stewardship Coalition, gets ready to make a statement opposing a proposal to make Oregon's Owyhee Canyonlands a national monument in May 2016.

Earlier this week, President Obama created two national monuments. The newly preserved land is in Utah and Nevada. But before the transfer of power to President-elect Trump January 20, Obama could also designate 2.5 million acres of land near the Idaho border. 


If Obama creates an Owyhee Canyonlands national monument in eastern Oregon, it would be bigger than both of this week’s new designations combined. But that’s a big “if.” The Canyonlands are in Malheur County, one county over from where armed militants occupied a wildlife refuge last winter.  The push to create a monument is unwelcome to many in the community, who see the designation as a federal land grab.

But with three weeks left in Obama’s presidency, their concerns may be overruled. So far, the 44th president has created more national monuments than every previous leader – except Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Under the 1906 Antiquities Act, Obama has the authority to protect federal land without congressional approval – an authority he has used 29 times so far.

Correction: In the original story, the reference to the location of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge was incorrect. The refuge is in Harney County, not Malheur County. 

Find Frankie Barnhill on Twitter @FABarnhill

Copyright 2016 Boise State Public Radio

Frankie Barnhill was the Senior Producer of Idaho Matters, Boise State Public Radio's daily show and podcast.

You make stories like this possible.

The biggest portion of Boise State Public Radio's funding comes from readers like you who value fact-based journalism and trustworthy information.

Your donation today helps make our local reporting free for our entire community.