For immediate release
March 26, 2021
Contact: Jessica Dacey, Director of Communications
The acquisitions are in a mountainous area which the park boundary was expanded around when it was elevated to national park status in 1994. The park boundary now follows natural features and includes complete ecological units such as the Little San Bernardino Mountains range. It also ensures better protection of the area’s natural resources.
The parcels were acquired from two private parties. One of the properties is at an elevation of 2,434 feet in the Fargo Canyon area, and the second is at 3,794 feet. MDLT will convey the parcels to Joshua Tree National Park. The National Park Service uses the Land and Water Conservation Fund to acquire these conservation lands.
To date, MDLT has acquired 10,290 acres within Joshua Tree National Park, of which 77% have been conveyed to the National Park Service.
Purchasing private inholdings within the park helps protect the integrity of its ecosystems by preventing development impacts, while also easing the burden on park staff and securing public access.
MDLT has conveyed more tracts of land to the NPS than any other nonprofit since 2006.
“National parks preserve this country’s rich natural and cultural history. We work to increase protections for them by acquiring privately-owned lands within national parks from willing sellers, and then conveying them to the National Park Service. These acquisitions provide for the permanent protection of important natural and cultural resources, reduce the potential for impacts resulting from the development of inholdings, and secure public access,” said Geary Hund, Executive Director of the Mojave Desert Land Trust.
Note to editors:
The Mojave Desert Land Trust (MDLT) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with the mission to protect and care for lands with natural, scenic, and cultural value within the Mojave Desert. Since its founding in 2006 the land trust has conserved 90,000 acres, donating more tracts of land to the National Park Service in the last decade than any other organization. In addition to acquiring land, the land trust established a seed bank to ensure the preservation of native species. MDLT operates an onsite nursery at its Joshua Tree headquarters which propagates native species for ecosystem restoration. MDLT educates and advocates for the conservation of the desert, involving hundreds of volunteers in our work. For more information, visit mdlt.org.