Riverside and Imperial Counties have deserts unlike any other place on Earth. These lands have been home to many Indigenous Tribes for thousands of years, and they provide local communities with access to nature and recreation. They also host rare plants and animals, such as the Mecca aster, the desert tortoise, and the desert bighorn sheep, and preserve historical and cultural sites. We need to protect these precious desert landscapes for future generations by creating a new Chuckwalla National Monument and enlarging Joshua Tree National Park.
Additional facts about the proposal:
The monument would encompass nearly 700,000 acres of land in both Riverside and Imperial counties.
The monument would be a resource for the local communities that are park-deprived and affected by the Salton Sea’s deterioration1.
The monument would need a presidential order or a vote by Congress to become reality.
The campaign for the monument is led by a coalition of environmental groups, including Audubon California, Cactus To Cloud Institute, and California Wilderness Coalition.
It would increase the popularity and visitation of the park, as Joshua Tree National Park was the most visited park in California and the 10th most visited in the country in 2020.
It would provide more opportunities for hiking, camping, rock climbing, and viewing wildlife and plants in the park.
It would preserve more historical and cultural sites, such as mining areas and Native American artifacts.
- Climate change, which is making the park hotter and drier and reducing the suitable habitat for Joshua trees.
- Wildfires, which are fueled by non-native grasses and drought conditions and can destroy large areas of Joshua trees.
- Development, which is encroaching on the park’s boundaries and fragmenting the habitat for wildlife.
- Air pollution, which is harming the health of Joshua trees and other plants.