(Los Angeles, CA) – Mayor Garcetti has voiced support for preserving special areas within the California desert. In a letter, the Mayor called on President Obama to act on proposals for Mojave Trails, Sand to Snow and Castle Mountains National Monuments. The letter follows a similar call from the Los Angeles City Council, which last week unanimously passed a resolution urging President Obama to move the proposals forward.
“Now is the time to protect these places that hold rich historical, cultural, ecological, and economic value,” noted Mayor Garcetti in his letter.
U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein requested President Obama designate the national monuments this past August. Since then, diverse Californians have come out in support of the Senator’s request, including chambers of commerce, local elected officials, veterans, clergy members, Latino leaders, recreationists, astronomers, historians, biologists, conservationists, over 200 business owners, and other desert residents.
“We at the Vet Voice Foundation applaud the recent vote by the L.A. City Council, and Mayor Garcetti’s letter, to support President Obama taking administrative action to protect the Mojave Trails, Sand to Snow Mountains and Castle Mountains National Monuments. People everywhere travel to these sites to enjoy the outdoors. For Veterans returning from overseas, these lands offer a place for recovery from the traumas related to serving in war. By supporting their designation as national monuments, the L.A. City Council and Mayor Garcetti are also supporting veterans, not just in word but in deed, and we are grateful for it,” said Steve Dunwoody, Iraq War Veteran and California Director of the Vet Voice Foundation.
The designation of the national monuments would protect public lands in the desert for future generations. It would ensure continued public access for recreation and all existing uses, as well as enhance the region’s important tourism and outdoor economy.
“As business owners and residents of the City of Los Angeles and Joshua Tree, we applaud the Los Angeles City Council’s recent resolution to protect the California desert. There’s a long, rich history between the city of Angels and the wondrous California desert. City dwellers have long been enchanted by the desert’s outstanding recreational opportunities, sweeping scenic vistas, abundant wildlife and dark, starry night skies. We support the designation of the Sand to Snow, Mojave Trails and Castle Mountains National Monuments because they will benefit millions of people, protect natural wonders and create economic opportunity,” said Frederick Fulmer and James Berg, owners of Joshua Tree Art Galley & Joshua Tree Highlands Artist Residency.
Conserving and connecting the desert areas would also help buffer the desert, its wildlife and communities from a changing climate.
“On behalf of the Hispanic Access Foundation, Por La Creacion, Youth Impact USA, and the constituents of Calvary Chapel AG, we deeply appreciate the Los Angeles City Council and Mayor Garcetti for unequivocally supporting the designation of national monuments to protect the California desert. As people of faith, we have a responsibility to care for God’s creation, including the desert. Our trips to the desert have also changed the lives of our Latino youth, inspiring them to become activists, environmental leaders, biologists, and rangers. We thank you on behalf of our childrens’ future and that of generations to come,” said Pastor Martin Martinez.
The Campaign for the California Desert is a coalition of conservation groups, community leaders and businesses dedicated to protecting our desert landscapes, celebrated both for their contributions to America’s natural and cultural heritage and to the regional economy. For more information, visit www.CaliforniaDesert.org. Follow the Campaign for the California Desert on Twitter and Facebook. For photos of California desert landscapes described in this release, click here.