Corporate citizenship leaders from 40 Fortune 1000 companies have joined the Mojave Desert Land Trust in a desert stewardship event organized by Benevity. In just two hours, a 20-yard-long dumpster donated by Burrtec was filled with trash including old tires, household debris, broken glass, building waste, clothing and shell casings.
In response to Executive Order 13783, “Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth”, the Department of the Interior has launched a 45-day public comment period on conservation designations made through the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan Land Use Plan Amendment (DCREP). This EO directs federal agencies to review all actions that could “potentially burden the development or use of domestically produced energy resources.”
The Mojave Desert Land Trust has acquired a 145.32-acre property inside an area of the Mojave National Preserve that is dotted with private land. The purchase helps piece together public land within the preserve, which is the third largest national park unit in the lower 48 states. The acquisition from a private landowner helps protect the integrity of the ecosystem, reducing the number of private parcels and enhancing National Park Service management of natural resource values in the area. It also secures public access to public land, including sportsmen as Mojave National Preserve allows hunting.
MDLT has acquired a 630-acre property that will help secure a major wildlife corridor between Joshua Tree National Park and the Twentynine Palms Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center. The property features pristine land with desert tortoise and pinyon-juniper habitat, while also offering public access opportunities.
The Mojave Desert Land Trust (MDLT) has acquired a property bordering Joshua Tree National Park that could provide access to hiking and climbing opportunities inside the park. The “Desert Knoll” property is in an ideal location for future public access opportunities given its location between the city of Twentynine Palms and Joshua Tree National Park’s North Entrance. Desert Knoll is a 20-acre parcel that boasts high quality desert tortoise habitat adjacent to additional habitat inside the park, as well as native jojoba, cholla cactus, and catclaw acacia populations. Vehicle access is via a single-lane dirt road off Utah Trail.
The Department of Interior has finally released its report on proposed boundary and management changes to the 27 national monuments under review since April 2017. The report outlines changes to ten of the monuments. The remainder, including Mojave Trails, remain under review. Castle Mountains National Monument, not included in the original list, was later recommended for review by Interior Secretary Zinke.
The Mojave Desert Land Trust (MDLT) is working to acquire a property in south Joshua Tree on the border of the national park. Because of the geological and botanical properties of the area, MDLT has named the property “Juniper Canyon.” Juniper Canyon features 630 acres of pristine desert lands abundant with desert tortoise and pinyon-juniper habitat near the remote Covington Flats entrance to Joshua Tree National Park.
The Mojave Desert Seed Bank has come a long way since the first fishhook cactus seeds were collected from one of MDLT’s protected properties 18 months ago. Now with over 320 collections, the seed bank has launched a membership program. Founding members, including outdoor champions Patagonia and renowned naturalist Robin Kobaly, were honored on Sunday.
The Mojave Desert Land Trust has issued a statement in support of the landmark bicameral Environmental Justice Act of 2017, introduced by U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) and U.S. Rep. Raul Ruiz, M.D. (D-CA) on October 23, 2017. This bill enables those most disproportionately at risk to bring lawsuits directly against an entity or agency based on the Civil Rights Act, places a greater requirement on polluters to consider the ambient and cumulative impacts on air quality, and obliges agencies to report to Congress on certain metrics related to regulated pollutants.
MDLT is troubled to learn of a Department of Interior decision that weakens environmental protections around a controversial water project in the Mojave Desert. MDLT strongly disagrees with the Bureau of Land Management ruling made public Monday stating Cadiz Inc does not need a federal permit to build a 43-mile pipeline along a railroad right-of-way situated on public lands in the Mojave.