SAND TO SNOW NATIONAL MONUMENT
Rising dramatically from the Sonoran Desert floor to snowy peaks of Mount San Gorgonio, Southern California’s tallest alpine mountain, the proposed Sand to Snow National Monument is one of the most critical wildlife corridors in Southern California. It also boasts stunning cultural sites including a rich heritage of Native American petroglyphs and mortars.
Wildlife Habitat and Headwaters
The proposed national monument contains a rich tapestry of landscapes and habitats including alpine slopes and snow capped mountains, low elevation Joshua tree woodlands, rivers, wetlands, and desert vistas. As a result of this incredible range, it is home to the most botanically diverse mountains in the United States.
The headwaters of the Whitewater River and Santa Ana River – southern California’s longest river – run through this area. The wetlands and oases in the proposed Sand to Snow National Monument are vital habitat for more than 240 types of migrating birds, including yellow chat and vermilion flycatchers.
The proposed Sand to Snow National Monument will protect some of the most diverse habitat in the country, linking the San Gorgonio Wilderness to Joshua Tree National Park and the San Bernardino National Forest. This is an important wildlife corridor for mule deer, mountain lions, black bears, bighorn sheep, and desert tortoise.
A Natural Gateway
Sand to Snow is an important bookend to the Coachella Valley, along with the existing and beloved Santa Rosa-San Jacinto National Monument, as well as a critical gateway to the Morongo Basin, ushering visitors from the low to high deserts. It is a hub for outdoor recreation and education in the region.
The proposed Sand to Snow National Monument holds 25 miles of the iconic Pacific Crest Trail, which runs from Mexico to Canada through California, Oregon, and Washington.
There are opportunities to go hiking, horseback riding, backpacking, fishing, and bird watching. At higher elevations, families can enjoy snowshoeing and cross country skiing. A national monument designation would ensure that current and future generations of explorers will continue to have access to these activities and experience these lands in the same way we do now.
Benefiting the Land and People
The designation of the Sand to Snow National Monument would safeguard the natural, historic, recreational and scenic features from industrial development. The area would continue to be managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), remaining open to outdoor recreation, hunting, and grazing, and enhance visitor services and facilities.
The designation of Sand to Snow National Monument as part of America’s National Conservation Lands managed by BLM, would generate more awareness of this incredible area, promoting tourism and economic opportunity in the surrounding communities.