Mojave Desert Land Trust has acquired 80 acres of privately held land inside Joshua Tree National Park that it intends to transfer to the national park. The parcel, which sits at an elevation of about 3,600 feet, has panoramic views and is covered with creosote, cacti, saltbush, and ephedra. It is about one mile from Pinkham Canyon Road near the southern boundary of the park. To date, Mojave Desert Land Trust has acquired 115 parcels of land totaling nearly 7,800 acres; about 75 percent of those parcels have been conveyed to Joshua Tree National Park. There are still 192 privately-owned parcels within Joshua Tree National Park.
Out on the Mojave Desert Land Trust’s Section 33, a 624-acre parcel of desert apportioned by railroad checkerboarding in the 1850s, the trash is everywhere. in every line of sight. Styrofoam, plastic bags, candy wrappers—some of it thrown from the highway, some blown in from the nearby middle school (“It’s amazing how much trash they make up there,” marveled Adam Henne, a volunteer coordinator with MDLT).
New travel guides have been launched that piece together the Mojave Desert’s national and state parks, and national monuments. The guides will help those seeking adventure, solitude and cultural experiences in the desert. With record numbers of visitors to Joshua Tree National Park resulting in long waits and full campgrounds, there is even more incentive to get out into the surrounding diverse and rich landscapes. The new Adventure Kits launched by the Mojave Desert Land Trust aim to provide visitors with all the knowledge they need in the vast terrain stretching from Death Valley to Anza Borrego State Park.
Scroll through photos tagged in Joshua Tree National Park, and the Milky Way inevitably flashes across the screen. Night sky photography is a popular attraction in this boulder-laden landscape. But in addition to the iconic rock formations, some photographers are heading out to capture the stars reflected in various bodies of water throughout the park. What they may not know – or choose to disregard – is that a lot of these places are sensitive and thereby protected as day-use only.
In This Issue: Crescent Peak Wind Project, Military Base Expansion In The Desert West, Unintended Consequences – Impacts Of Military Base Expansions On Wildlife, New Science In An Old Dispute – Cadiz Project Threatens A Major Mohave Spring, Dust Control At The Salton Sea, The Racetrack – A Place Where The Magic Is Threatened, and more.
The Mojave Desert Land Trust has become an official fundraising friends’ group for Joshua Tree National Park. Here’s reporter Andrew Dieleman with the story…With the signing of a new partnership agreement, the Mojave Desert Land Trust can now raise funds to support Joshua Tree National Park’s resources and values. The additional funds will help preserve heritage resources, understand landscape system dynamics, conserve rare and threatened species, restore habitat, protect wilderness values, and ensure quality visitor experiences and educational opportunities within the park.
The Mojave Desert is filled with ancient petroglyphs and other symbols of the past preserved in the landscape. Community members have been working to protect a 30.25-acre plot in Joshua Tree rich with Native American history and on May 22, the county Board of Supervisors authorized the conveyance of the land to the Native American Land Conservancy, a group that aims to protect the history of the site.
In 2002, Pat Flanagan, a 78-year-old conservation activist, fled the bright lights of the big city for outer San Bernardino County and the stark beauty of the Mojave Desert. “I’m a desert person,” Flanagan said. “I have to live here.” Her home sits in a part of California that encompasses three deserts — the Mojave, the Colorado and the Sonoran — five national parks and monuments, and more than 10 million acres managed by the Bureau of Land Management for multiple uses, including conservation of threatened species such as the desert tortoise, desert bighorn sheep and Coachella Valley fringe-toed lizard.
There’s less graffiti on the rocks bordering Horsemen’s Center in Apple Valley of late thanks to a little elbow grease and a lot of snot. The grease came courtesy of Jonah Olson and 15 or so of his friends. The snot — Elephant Snot, to be exact — was provided by the fine folks of the Mojave Desert Land Trust (MDLT) in Joshua Tree.
Bonanza Springs, a wildlife water source once of interest mostly to animals and desert hikers, has become the focus of a fight over the future of the Cadiz water project. A study published this month in the Journal of Environmental Forensics asserts Cadiz Inc.’s plan to pump water from beneath the Mojave Desert would drain water from Bonanza Springs.