For immediate release – August 8, 2019
Contact: Geary Hund, Executive Director Phone: (760) 366-5440 [email protected]g
Joshua Tree, CA – The Mojave Desert Land Trust has purchased 40 acres of pristine desert within Joshua Tree National Park. The acquisition lies in an area where MDLT is helping preserve the border of the National Park (see map).
The two parcels are located on rugged land in the Little San Bernardino Mountains, with spectacular views. The land is home to bobcat, desert tortoise and tiger whiptail lizard, and includes apricot mallow, smoke tree, and teddy bear cholla, among other native plants.
Purchasing private land helps protect the integrity of the ecosystem, enhancing National Park Service management of natural resources. It also secures public access to public land.
The Mojave Desert Land Trust plans to eventually convey the land to Joshua Tree National Park. To date, MDLT has acquired 10,004 acres within Joshua Tree National Park, of which 80% has been conveyed over the National Park Service. MDLT has donated more tracts of land to the NPS than any other nonprofit since 2006.
“Without the help of our volunteers, friends, and partners, we could not effectively protect Joshua Tree. Thankfully, we have a great friend in MDLT. Over the years, they have preserved tens of thousands of acres of public land in all the California desert parks. These two new properties are just the most recent in a long history of providing aid to Joshua Tree. By helping to limit the potential impact from development on in-holdings in the park, MDLT frees up my staff to work on serving the park visitors and ensuring that their land is preserved for the next generation.” – David Smith, Superintendent, Joshua Tree National Park
“This acquisition is alive with important flora and fauna. It is a beautiful representation of the Colorado Desert. National parks protect the country’s rich cultural and natural history. The existence of private land within national parks leaves the door open for inappropriate development which can impact these treasured areas. We are working to acquire these areas and convey them to the National Park Service, so that both wildlife habitat and public access is secured within the California Desert.” – Geary Hund, Executive Director
Care and management of the parcels will include the elimination of unauthorized off-road vehicle use, control of weeds, and restoration of native plants where appropriate.
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 nearly 80,000 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.