Castle Mountain Proposed Addition to the Mojave Preserve
The California Desert Conservation and Recreation Act would add about 21,000 acres to the Mojave National Preserve.
The Castle Mountains including Hart Peak, are surrounded on three sides by the Mojave National Preserve, and the only remaining portion of the 340-mile Lanfair Valley watershed that is not a part of the preserve.
The Castle Mountains represent a critical link between the Paiute Mountains and the New York Mountains for plants, wildlife, scenic views and watershed protection. The views from Hart Peak (5,543 feet) survey adjacent wilderness, including views of many of the Mojave Desert’s highest peaks.
The Castle Mountains provide critical habitat for the desert bighorn sheep, mule deer, bobcat, mountain lion, golden eagle, Swainson’s hawk, desert tortoise, gila monster, prairie falcon, Bendire’s thrasher, grey vireo, Townsend big-eared bat and the California leaf-nosed bat.
The Castle Mountains are a ‘living laboratory’ showcasing the progression of human history in the Eastern Mojave Desert. On display are elements of Native American, Western American and mining histories, including an obsidian source, the historic town of Hart and the Hart and Viceroy mines. Opportunities for historic preservation and interpretation abound.