Amargosa Proposed Wild and Scenic River Addition
The California Desert Conservation and Recreation Act proposes to add two miles Wild and Scenic River to the 26 miles of the Amargosa River already designated as Wild and Scenic.
From the Great Basin desert in Nevada, the Amargosa River meanders 200 miles – largely underground – into the Mojave Desert. Where it surfaces near the California communities of Shoshone and Tecopa, the river creates a life-giving oasis for wildlife and people alike.
Because of geographic isolation induced by climate change, the river’s oases are the only aquatic refuges for many rare and endangered species, including the Amargosa vole, Amargosa toad, least Bell’s vireo, southwestern flycatcher, the Amargosa pupfish and speckled dace. There are 50 unique species found only along the Amargosa. The river’s riparian vegetation and mesquite bosques support more than 260 bird species.
While 26 miles of the river is already protected as Wild and Scenic, a recent land acquisition would allow two more miles near Shoshone to be added for protection. An additional 1.4 miles could be added later by the Interior Secretary upon future acquisition from a willing seller.