California Desert Protection Act
Issue: Wild Lands
Partners: Consejo de Federaciones Mexicanas, Mojave Desert Land Trust, National Parks Conservation Association, The Wilderness Society
This October marked the 25th anniversary of the California Desert Protection Act. The bill created protections for 8.6 million acres of the California Desert, including the creation of Joshua Tree National Park, Death Valley, Mojave National Preserve, and 39 wilderness areas. It took eight years from the time it was first introduced until the time the Act was passed The hard work and collaboration of inspired citizens, Senator Feinstein, conservation groups, agency partners, cities, towns, counties, recreation groups, and so many more allow us and an unprecedented number of visitors to continue to enjoy these places today.
These protections have endured for the California desert and have safeguarded wildlife species and recreation opportunities for millions of people. A recreation and tourism economy has built up around these landscapes and supports the surrounding communities. The Act was a catalyst for efforts to protect the landscape as a whole and subsequent legislation and efforts have created a network of connected and protected lands, safeguarding one of the most biologically rich and diverse areas in the state.