One of the final things former president Barack Obama did was have U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewel block new mining claims over 30,000 acres north of Yellowstone National Park in an area called Paradise Valley.
It is, however, a short term ban, only effective for 2 years.
Two mining locations, one owned by Lucky Minerals, a Canadian company that applies to explore for gold, and the other is owned by Crevice Mining Group, based in the United States.
The two year block is temporary but it does make future attempts at mining the land more difficult.
Jewel also blocked oil drilling in the Arctic Ocean and cancelled 15 gas and oil leases in Montana and another 25 in Colorado.
This news ties in well with a similar story out of Mexico. Mexican president Pena Nieto signed a decree creating four new biological reserves, protecting a total of 160 million acres for conservation.
Mexico also designated 23% of its sea surface as protected.
“Either we change our way of life to stop the loss of biodiversity, or this loss will change our lives forever,” said President Nieto in his address.