Hanford Reach National Monument - Unique Places in North America

Hanford National Monument covers an area 194,451 acres along the Columbia River.
Hanford National Monument covers an area 194,451 acres along the Columbia River.

Hanford National Monument covers an area 194,451 acres in the state of Washington. It was created by President Bill Clinton in 2000 through a presidential decree from a security buffer zone around the Hanford Site (Hanford Nuclear Reservation). The area was created from a nuclear site, and since 1943 has been undeveloped. Cleaning up of the land has also been taking place to get rid of the toxic wastes from the nuclear sites. The land of the Hanford Reach National Monument has been home the ancestors of six tribes for resource collection and hunting. To this day the land is home to wild animals, birds, and also has tourist attraction sites. Hanford Reach National Monument is one of the two national monuments under the management of the Fish and US Wildlife Service.


The Hanford reach national monument is home to the white pelican, bald eagles, Caspian terns, night herons, red-tailed hawks, great egrets, mule deer, osprey, prairie falcons, and blue herons among other animals. The canyons in the monuments have herds of large elk that hide in the canyons. Porcupines are also common on the canyons. Apart from animals, the area also has rare plant species. The monument is home to 238 bird species and migratory birds. The undeveloped nature of the Hanford reach monument provides protected areas for wild animals and birds to make their homes.


The 1,234-mile Columbia River gives the monuments its uniqueness as it flows through the land while giving life to the landscape. The shrub-steppe covering the monument gives it a unique nature. Also, the Umtanum desert buckwheat and White Bluff bladderpod endangered plant species make the monument unique; the two species of plants grow on the sheers above Columbia River in south-central Washington.


The beautiful scenery from the white Bluffs a popular hiking area is incredible for sightseeing while on a hike in the national monument. The trails available give tourists unforgettable views of the blue water, mountains, and rolling dunes in the monument. The many bird species flying around the national monument are great for sightseeing when visiting the area. It is advisable to carry binoculars for easy viewing of the birds. Hunting is allowed at the Hanford Reach National Monument during the hunting season and fishing is permitted on the Columbia River. Besides, the river is favorable for boating and kayaking. It has several good launching sites.


The executive order by President Donald Trump to reduce the size of 27 national monuments, among them Hanford Reach National Monument, is a threat to one spawning areas in the northwest. It means the Chinook salmon spawning waters will be lost. Changes in the natural habitat will lead to either migration or extinction of any animals or rare plant species.


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