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National parks are responsible for $13.3 billion dollars of local, private-sector economic activity nationwide, supporting 267,000 private-sector jobs, according to the Department of Interior.

Environmental groups, which have criticized Mr. Obama for favoring oil and gas development over setting aside federal land for conservation and recreation, hailed the move.

The Wilderness Society was particularly encouraged by the plan to designate the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument in northern New Mexico.