Proposed National Monuments in the California Desert

Feb 4, 2016

The 1994 California Desert Protection Act was introduced by Senator Dianne Feinstein, and signed into law by President Bill Clinton on October 31, 1994. At the time, it was the largest land conservation designation in the continental United States, protecting more than 9.6 million acres of desert and establishing the Death Valley and Joshua Tree National Parks and the Mojave National Preserve.

The California desert is a place of unrivaled natural beauty, rich history, impressive recreational opportunities and remarkable biodiversity, but this unique region is still threatened by urban development in southern California and Las Vegas, over-allocated water resources and the development of industrial projects, especially renewable energy, in ecologically sensitive areas.

After more than a decade of work by local leaders on legislative efforts to protect these areas, citizens are pushing for the designation of three new national monuments here. National monument designations for Mojave Trails, Sand to Snow, and Castle Mountains will preserve these pristine landscapes for current and future generations to enjoy. The areas will continue to be accessible for traditional uses and recreation activities like hiking, camping and hunting. The proposal has widespread support from community leaders, business owners, veterans, faith leaders, anglers, sportsmen, historians, artists, outdoor enthusiasts, conservationists and concerned citizens who want to protect these landscapes immediately while work continues on the more comprehensive California Desert Conservation & Recreation Act legislation.