Desert Sun: With 100,000 acres conserved in 15 years, meet the two leaders ushering Mojave Desert Land Trust into the future

A lot has changed in the Morongo Basin over the past 15 years.

Joshua Tree National Park’s annual visitation has increased from around 1.2 million people in 2006 to nearly 3 million people in 2019. From 2010 to 2020, the populations of Yucca Valley and Twentynine Palms grew by 5% and 12%, respectively. And the launch of Airbnb and similar short-term vacation rental sites has sparked an increasing number of vacation rentals to serve the tourism-dependent high desert economy.

Throughout all of that change, the Mojave Desert Land Trust has steadily acquired land in the area, preserving desert habitats for flora, fauna and people. The organization recently hit a milestone of 100,000 acres of land protected throughout the Mojave Desert, which spans a nearly 26 million acre region from Death Valley National Park in the north to Mexico in the south.

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