The Mojave Desert Land Trust, which in the past has engineered successful campaigns to protect lands for Joshua Tree National Park, is now embarking on a campaign to preserve a wildlife corridor important to the park.
The Joshua Tree North linkage area connects the ecosystems of Joshua Tree National Park with the Bartlett Mountains and the 29 Palms Marine Corps Base to the north.
To date, Mojave Desert Land Trust has invested $2.8 million to preserve 2,126 acres in this wildlife corridor. Previous acquisitions include 639 acres adjacent to the national park known as Nolina Peak, 957 acres known as the Quail Mountain Project, and in December of 2011, the Land Trust acquired an additional 530 acres adjacent to Nolina Peak. The preservation of this linkage will support a diverse set of animals, dozens of large and small bird species, and the natural water drainage required to sustain their habitats as they travel to and from Joshua Tree.
Mojave Desert Land Trust has published a Wildlife Linkage brochure outlining the corridors in the Morongo Basin that can be downloaded from their web site. Residents and visitors can learn where these corridors are located, what to do and what not to do if you live within a linkage area, and answers to frequently asked questions about the topic.
The Joshua Tree North Wildlife Linkage provides habitats for animals such as the threatened desert tortoise, bobcat, golden eagle, fox and prairie falcons. It also provides residents and visitors to the Morongo Basin with a beautiful natural area to enjoy now and forever.
“On behalf of those who value open space conservation, it is essential that the National Park Service rely on partners in the conservation arena to assist with the protection of resources," said Joshua Tree Superintendent Mark Butler. "The Mojave Desert Land Trust is truly the American public's gold nugget in the desert.”
The Land Trust has committed to raising $1.75 million for The Linkage Campaign by reaching out to local communities, Land Trust members, and desert enthusiasts.
“With support from our community and conservation partners we’ve been able to preserve a significant portion of this wildlife corridor. In order to sustain these precious resources, we need to take it all the way,” said Nancy Karl, the land trust's executive director. “Our goal is to preserve these dwindling habitats that sustain not only wildlife, but also sustain our much needed experience of nature. Protecting them today ensures that the beauty and quality of desert life will exist for generations to come. That’s our goal. We hope those who love the desert will agree and support this effort by investing in the desert’s future.”