Ryan Bundy on new monument in Nevada: 'The government should be scared'

Ryan Bundy, one of the sons of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, speaks with a reporter following a news conference at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2016, near Burns, Ore. With the takeover entering its fourth day Wednesday, authorities had not removed the group of roughly 20 people from the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in eastern Oregon's high desert country. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - President Barack Obama has designated two new national monuments in Utah and Nevada at sites that have become key flashpoints over public land in the U.S. West.

The announcement Wednesday marks the administration's latest move to protect environmentally sensitive areas in its final days.

The White House says Bears Ears National Monument in Utah will cover 1.35 million acres of tribal land in the Four Corners region. A coalition of tribes pushed to ensure protections for lands that are home to an estimated 100,000 archaeological sites, including ancient cliff dwellings.

Critics called it another layer of unnecessary federal control that would close the area to development and recreation.

The 300,000-acre Gold Butte National Monument outside Las Vegas also was named. It's an ecologically fragile area near where Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy led an armed standoff with government agents in 2014.

Wednesday, Ryan Bundy told the Washington Post that "the government should be scared" if Golden Butte became a national monument. "[The government] is in the wrong."

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off