Milpitas Wash Proposed Wilderness
The California Desert Conservation and Recreation Act would designate as wilderness 17,250 acres in the Milpitas Wash near the southern end of Mule Mountains.
The Milpitas Wash proposed wilderness contains desert mountain foothills and wash and floodplain habitats.
The Milpitas Wash region supports the largest Sonoran Desert woodland in North America. There is an abundance of old-growth trees – with most standing over 15 feet – that gives the area a lushness rarely found in the desert. Trees include mesquites, creosote, acacias, palo verdes, ironwoods and desert willows. Native Americans used creosote bush as a sunscreen and potent antioxidant for the treatment of blood poisoning and hepatic diseases.
The Milpitas Wash provides critical habitat for the desert tortoise, mountain lion, long-eared owl, leaf nose bat, Merriam and desert kangaroo rat, long tail and little pocket mice, Bullock’s and hooded orioles, towhees, white-crowned sparrow, Brewer’s sparrow, warbler, black-headed grosbeak, diamondback rattler and the endangered gila woodpecker.