In my career as a caretaker of America’s national parks – including years spent as the superintendent of Joshua Tree National Park – I have been honored with the duty to follow the fundamental principle of using sound science and balanced policies to guide decisions affecting these lands that are owned by all Americans.
Mojave National Preserve
If California senator Dianne Feinstein has her way, Congress will finally vote on a new national monument encompassing 965,000 acres in the Mojave Desert. Other preservation measures are also planned. Lying roughly between the Mojave National Preserve and Joshua Tree National Park, this particular monument would in effect round out the California Desert Protection Act of 1994.
For more than a century, freight trains have rumbled up and over Marias Pass, skirting the south boundary of Glacier National Park, casting rolling shadows on the Middle Fork of the Flathead River below. Until recently the major threat was a grain car derailment, which on occasion left bears woozy from eating fermented grain. Today a derailment involving a 100-car train hauling highly combustible Bakken crude oil risks an environmental catastrophe unprecedented in National Park Service history.
NPCA: Desert Sunlight Solar Farm Evidence Of Why California Desert Protection And Recreation Act Is Needed
The timing no doubt was coincidence, but while Interior Secretary Sally Jewell was celebrating the country's largest solar project in California, two U.S. senators were introducing legislation to protect desert landscapes in the state.
If you’ve got some extra time in California this winter, take a detour to three fascinating desert parks. Winter in the Mojave Desert brings blue skies, cool temps, and fewer visitors.
Renewable energy projects can pose a challenge for environmental organizations—they may like the "green" aspects of solar and wind power, but in the wrong location such projects can have big impacts on values such as scenery and wildlife. A proposed solar project near Mojave National Preserve has united opposition by numerous groups, and now the question is whether the developer will succeed in defeating years of good planning for siting major solar projects.
Desert tortoise research at Mojave National Preserve in California has gotten a boost from Chevron Corp. and the National Park Trust.
A plan to pump groundwater from beneath the desert and send it to thirsty cities in southern California has attracted a rather unusual group of opponents, including a Republican Congressman, a Democratic Senator, conservation groups, a mining company, a labor union and ranchers. Now the latest wrinkle in the debate involves a proposal for steam train excursion trips into the Mohave Desert.
Bighorn sheep were once common in Southern California and Nevada, but by the 1960s their numbers had been sharply reduced by disease, unregulated hunting, and habitat loss. Forty years of cooperative efforts to rebuild the herds were paying off, but now a major disease outbreak poses a major threat to the majestic animals.
The National Park Service recently announced an extension for proposals to operate the Beanery, the food concession at the historic Kelso Depot in California’s Mojave National Preserve.