Chuckwalla National Monument Proposal
Fly Protect California Deserts Coalition to educate leaders on the diverse values that would be protected through designation of the proposed Chuckwalla National Monument.
The proposed Chuckwalla National Monument is a cultural, ecological, and recreational gem just hours from some of Southern California’s biggest cities. At first, the dry hills may look unassuming, but a bird's-eye-view from the seat of the plane reveals intricate canyons, diverse habitat, spectacularly colorful geology, and hidden springs bursting with life tucked deep in the dry desert.
Tourism is the top industry in the Coachella Valley, and a monument designation here would promote sustainable visitation and create mechanisms for funding to balance recreation with ecological protection. It would also promote equitable access for nearby underserved communities in the Eastern Coachella Valley, and open doors for Tribal co-stewardship and the application of traditional knowledge in landscape management. A national monument designation would permanently protect about 660,000 acres, providing contiguous habitat protection to Joshua Tree National Park from what are currently islands of critical habitat for wildlife like the threatened desert tortoise, the endangered Peninsula bighorn sheep, countless small desert mammals and rodents, and the solitary Chuckwalla lizard.
EcoFlight’s partners at Protect California Deserts Coalition, including our experts from Audubon California, are joining local communities in calling on the Biden Administration to designate the Chuckwalla National Monument, thereby preserving this unique and fragile landscape and coming one step closer to realizing the administration's goal of conserving at least 30% of U.S. lands and waters by 2030.
Below are photos from the 12/16 flight; click for aerial photos of Chuckwalla from the 12/15 flight.
Click for geo-referenced photos from the 12/15 flight or the 12/16 flight. These .kmz files are best viewed in Google Earth.