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Obama saved one last national monument from Trump. Here's how to help protect it.

Patagonia's ambitious plan to save Bears Ears National Monument might just work.

Obama saved one last national monument from Trump. Here's how to help protect it.

Without having been there in person, it's hard to fully grasp the majesty of Bears Ears, 1.35 million acres of public land in southeastern Utah.

During his final weeks in office, President Obama declared the land a national monument, providing legal protection to its pristine landscape.

For years, local indigenous tribes had lobbied the president to use his power under the Antiquities Act of 1906 to designate the land a national monument to protect it from vandalism and mining. Rich with spiritual significance, the area contains ancient cliff dwellings, rock art, and other fascinating archaeological artifacts dating back thousands of years.


But with Obama out of office, Bears Ears is once again threatened, and one company has a plan to rally support.

Last month, Utah Governor Gary Herbert signed a resolution calling on President Donald Trump to revoke Bears Ears' status as a national monument, again opening it up to exploitation by people and groups who want to drill and mine natural resources from the land.

That's where Patagonia comes in.

What better way to rally support for the national monument than to bring the experience of Bears Ears to the people directly? That's what Patagonia set out to do with an ambitious virtual reality video series.

Teaming up with Google, Patagonia created a virtual reality experience that immerses viewers in Bears Ears National Monument to hear stories from the likes of Navajo Mountain community member Willie Grayeyes, Hopi archaeologist Lyle Balenquah, and Zuni medicine man Octavius Seowtewa, among others.

It's a really cool experience — whether on desktop, mobile, or a virtual-reality-enabled device — and it has one goal: to inspire people into action.

Last year, the outdoor retail giant donated its Black Friday sales (estimated at more than $2 million) to grassroots environmental groups to fight climate change. Its campaign to help save Bears Ears follows a similar thread.

In January, Yvon Chouinard, the company's founder, wrote an open letter to Governor Herbert urging him to accept the new designation protecting the land. Patagonia CEO Rose Marcario began work retooling an in-progress "This Is Bears Ears" project meant to celebrate the new designation with one that more forcefully defends it.

"The call to action really came out of necessity because of the attacks by the legislature and governor," Marcario told Mashable. "And we wanted to get more people just understanding the issue, understanding what's at stake, and coming into the dialogue with us and the environmental fight to protect these public lands."

Now, the 10-part video series ends with a firm call to action urging viewers to call U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke to make the case for preserving the land.

"It is imperative that we protect this culturally rich and recreationally spectacular landscape and keep public lands in public hands," reads a portion of the call script.

The Trump administration poses a very real threat to lands like Bears Ears and to the environment in general. Luckily, there are things you can do.

In addition to following through on Patagonia's Bears Ears call to action, we've created a list of 21 things you can do right now to help save the environment. While things may have, in many ways, shifted backward, it's important to remember that the fight to protect our world, our environment, is not over.

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It was a mere three weeks ago that President Biden announced that the U.S. would have enough vaccine supply to cover every adult American by the end of July. At the time, that was good news.

Today, he's bumped up that date by two full months.

That's great news.

In his announcement to the nation, Biden outlined the updated process for getting the country immunized against COVID-19.


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True

We're redefining what normal means in these uncertain times, and although this is different for all of us, love continues to transform us for the better.

Love is what united Marie-Claire and David Archbold, who met while taking a photography class. "We went into the darkroom to see what developed," they joke—and after a decade of marriage, they know firsthand the deep commitment and connection romantic love requires.

All photos courtesy of Marie-Claire and David Archbold

However, their relationship became even sweeter when they adopted James: a little boy with a huge heart.

In the United States alone, there are roughly 122,000 children awaiting adoption according to the latest report from the U.S Department of Health and Human Services. While the goal is always for a child to be parented by and stay with their biological family, that is not always a possibility. This is where adoption offers hope—not only does it create new families, it gives birth parents an avenue through which to see their child flourish when they are not able to parent. For the right families, it's a beautiful thing.

The Archbolds knew early on that adoption was an option for them. David has three daughters from a previous marriage, but knowing their family was not yet complete, the couple embarked on a two-year journey to find their match. When the adoption agency called and told them about James, they were elated. From the moment they met him, the Archbolds knew he was meant to be part of their family. David locked eyes with the brown-eyed baby and they stared at each other in quiet wonder for such a long time that the whole room fell silent. "He still looks at me like that," said David.

The connection was mutual and instantaneous—love at first sight. The Archbolds knew that James was meant to be a part of their family. However, they faced significant challenges requiring an even deeper level of commitment due to James' medical condition.

James was born with congenital hyperinsulinism, a rare condition that causes his body to overproduce insulin, and within 2 months of his birth, he had to have surgery to remove 90% of his pancreas. There was a steep learning curve for the Archbolds, but they were already in love, and knew they were committed to the ongoing care that'd be required of bringing James into their lives. After lots of research and encouragement from James' medical team, they finally brought their son home.

Today, three-year-old James is thriving, filled with infectious joy that bubbles over and touches every person who comes in contact with him. "Part of love is when people recognize that they need to be with each other," said his adoptive grandfather. And because the Archbolds opted for an open adoption, there are even more people to love and support James as he grows.

This sweet story is brought to you by Sumo Citrus®. This oversized mandarin is celebrated for its incredible taste and distinct looks. Sumo Citrus is super-sweet, enormous, easy-to-peel, seedless, and juicy without the mess. Fans of the fruit are obsessive, stocking up from January to April when Sumo Citrus is in stores. To learn more, visit sumocitrus.com and @sumocitrus.

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It's amazing to consider just how quickly the world has changed over the past 11 months. If you were to have told someone in February 2020 that the entire country would be on some form of lockdown, nearly everyone would be wearing a mask, and half a million people were going to die due to a virus, no one would have believed you.

Yet, here we are.

PPE masks were the last thing on Leah Holland of Georgetown, Kentucky's mind on March 4, 2020, when she got a tattoo inspired by the words of a close friend.

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via ABC News

Julia Tinetti, 31, and Cassandra Madison, 32, first met in 2013 while working at The Russian Lady, a bar in New Haven, Connecticut, and the two immediately hit it off.

"We started hanging out together. We went out for drinks, dinner," Julia told "Good Morning America." "I thought she was cool. We hit it off right away," added Cassandra

The two also shared a strong physical resemblance and matching tattoos of the flag of the Dominican Republic. They had a bond that was so unique, even their coworkers thought there must be something more happening.

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