California’s Mojave, Sonoran, and Great Basin deserts are among the most pristine and unique lands in the world. From painted mountains to hidden springs, from world-famous wildflowers to majestic herds of desert bighorn sheep, Americans have long been drawn to the stark beauty of California’s desert. Tourism and recreation are an essential part of the desert region’s economy. The desert is also a bridge to our Native American, pioneering and homesteading roots.

This unique place needs protection from encroaching urbanization, poorly sited renewable energy projects and other human intrusions. The public has an historic opportunity to work with U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein and the local congressional delegation to add additional protections to publicly owned land so that they provide wildlife corridors, protect important watersheds and waterways and preserve our desert heritage for generations to come.


 

Photo by John Dittli

Photo by John Dittli

New Wilderness Areas

The proposed California Desert Conservation and Recreation Act would designate about 400,000 acres of public land as wilderness, which means they can never be developed, mined, or otherwise disturbed. The bill also adds key wild areas to Death Valley and Joshua Tree National Parks.

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Photo by Friends of the River

Photo by Friends of the River

New Wild and Scenic Rivers

The proposed California Desert Conservation and Recreation Act protects forever 73 miles of waterways as Wild and Scenic. These rivers and streams give life for plants and wildlife in the fragile desert ecosystem. For eons, these waters have helped sustain humans, plants, and animals, and as climate change effects increase, the rivers and streams become essential.

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Photo by Wildlands Conservancy

Photo – Wildlands Conservancy

Two New National Monuments

The proposed California Desert Conservation and Recreation Act creates two new National Monuments in Riverside and San Bernardino counties: the proposed 942,000 acre Mojave Trails National Monument and the proposed 135,000 acre Sand to Snow National Monument.

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Help protect the California Desert

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For veterans, California desert has special purpose

by Dave McConnell. Earlier this year, Senator Dianne Feinstein introduced the California Desert Conservation and Recreation Act (CDCRA) of 2015, which would increase protections for approximately 1.6 million acres of the desert. These areas are an important part of... read more

Feinstein bill will boost economy, supporters say

Supporters of desert protections legislation introduced by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said this week that the bill will bolster San Bernardino County’s economy and represents little shift from Feinstein’s historic 1994 California Desert Protection Act. Monica... read more

Desert Protection Bill Offers Balanced Approach

Five years ago, the California Desert Protection Act of 2010 was introduced in the United States Senate. An effort to balance conservation, recreation and renewable energy development in the growing California desert, the bill received 150 endorsements of bi-partisan... read more