California - Today, the Conservation Lands Foundation joined members of our Friends Grassroots Network in California to launch a campaign calling on President Biden to designate Chuckwalla National Monument and expand Joshua Tree National Park.
Below is a statement from Maricela Rosales, California Associate Program Director for the Conservation Lands Foundation:
“Designating a Chuckwalla National Monument is a historic opportunity to protect the California Desert region and provide wildlife habitat and landscape connectivity at a key moment in time when we need to aggressively advance our nation’s and California’s conservation goal of protecting 30% of public lands and coastal waters by 2030.
“The proposed national monument would protect approximately 660,000 acres reaching west from the Coachella Valley region to the east near the Colorado River. Beyond supporting desert wildlife by connecting “islands” of protected areas, the proposal would help expand equitable access to nature for residents of the Eastern Coachella Valley, Blythe, and other local communities; honor Tribal cultural heritage by safeguarding a living and cultural landscape connected to the wellbeing and survival of Indigenous communities, including the Cahuilla, Chemehuevi, Mojave, Quechan, and Serrano peoples; protect the desert’s unique biodiversity, like the chuckwalla lizard; and preserve our nation’s history.
“These rocky mountain ranges, steep slot canyons, desert wash woodlands, and palm oases that make up the Chuckwalla are beloved for outdoor recreation activities and hold deep significance for our nation's veterans as they were used to train soldiers for WWII and are still used for missions today.”
“In partnership with our local Friends Grassroots Network members, Californians, and Representative Raul Ruiz, MD, we are asking President Biden to use his authority under the Antiquities Act to designate Chuckwalla a National Monument and expand Joshua Tree National Park.”
Learn more and add your name in support by visiting the Protect Chuckwalla website.