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.
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.
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.
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.