Press Release: New Monument to Protect Uniquely American Landscape, Art and Heritage

Los Angeles County Museum of Art and Conservation Lands Foundation Praise Basin and Range National Monument Announcement

(Los Angeles, July 10, 2015) The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) and the Conservation Lands Foundation applaud President Obama’s designation of the Basin and Range National Monument in central Nevada.

Basin and RangeAt a time when America’s open spaces are rapidly disappearing, it is encouraging to see President Obama set aside some of Nevada’s most scenic mountains and valleys as the Basin and Range National Monument. “This area is like no place else on earth,” said Brian O’Donnell, executive director of the Conservation Lands Foundation. “With its unspoiled vistas, petroglyphs, and wildlife habitat, the Basin and Range National Monument is an ideal addition to our National Conservation Lands.”

The designation of the Basin and Range National Monument, located about 150 miles north of Las Vegas, protects uniquely American history and culture. The area contains important archaeological sites, 19th-century settlements, Native American trails, and pioneer ranching sites.

Within the boundaries of the National Monument is the largest contemporary Land Art sculpture ever built—City—by acclaimed American artist Michael Heizer. The artist chose the site of Garden Valley within the Basin and Range region for its unmarred public lands. The location is inextricably linked to the monumental work.

“Designating the Basin and Range National Monument achieves two remarkable outcomes—a world-class artwork would endure into the future as it was envisioned, surrounded by sublimely beautiful open country; and a majestic Western American landscape would remain unspoiled for future generations,” commented Michael Govan, CEO and Wallis Annenberg Director of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

The Basin and Range National Monument encompasses several mountain ranges, along with Garden and Coal Valleys, which are distinguished by their remoteness and pristine condition. This area is home to critical plant and wildlife habitat—at least two dozen threatened and sensitive species, including some which are found nowhere outside of Nevada.

The designation is the result of a decades-long effort supported by business leaders, veterans, the archaeology and arts communities as well as outdoor recreation, conservation, and sportsmen’s groups. 

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Since its inception in 1965, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) has been devoted to collecting works of art that span both history and geography, in addition to representing Los Angeles’s uniquely diverse population. Today LACMA is the largest art museum in the western United States, with a collection that includes over 120,000 objects dating from antiquity to the present, encompassing the geographic world and nearly the entire history of art. Among the museum’s strengths are its holdings of Asian art, Latin American art, ranging from pre-Columbian masterpieces to works by leading modern and contemporary artists; and Islamic art, of which LACMA hosts one of the most significant collections in the world. A museum of international stature as well as a vital part of Southern California, LACMA shares its vast collections through exhibitions, public programs, and research facilities that attract over a million visitors annually, in addition to serving millions through digital initiatives, such as online collections, scholarly catalogues, and interactive engagement at Situated in Hancock Park on over 20 acres in the heart of Los Angeles, LACMA is located between the ocean and downtown.

About Conservation Lands Foundation

The mission of the Conservation Lands Foundation (CLF) is to protect, restore and expand the National Conservation Lands so they will endure from generation to generation. The National Conservation Lands are protected public lands and waterways managed by the Bureau of Land Management that have joined the ranks of our national parks and wildlife refuges as special places that preserve our natural, historical and scientific treasures.

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