As political stars align, billions more set to fund national parks

Driving down Interstate 15, with miles of windswept Mojave Desert flashing by, a traveler could be forgiven for not paying the Southern California expanse much attention.

But with its diverse wildlife, scenic vistas and cultural significance — be it Native American petroglyphs or abandoned gold mines — the region has been “increasingly recognized as a very important resource,” conservationist Geary Hund says.

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