CLF statement on Feinstein’s call to the President to protect California desert
August 22, 2015 – The Conservation Lands Foundation applauded U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein’s (D-CA) decision to ask President Obama to use his authority to designate the Mojave Trails, Sand to Snow and Castle Mountains National Monuments. In response to the Senator’s request, CLF issued the following statement from Sam Goldman, California State Director:
“The California desert is a remarkable area with one of the most diverse landscapes in our state. This request continues Sen. Feinstein’s long-term commitment to protecting California’s desert heritage in a way that will both protect the natural wonders that draw visitors to the California desert while supporting outdoor recreation and tourism important to our economy.
These national monument proposals come in response to nearly a decade of work by local leaders on legislative efforts to protect the California desert. There is strong support from elected officials, business owners, veterans, local faith leaders, anglers, historians, conservationists and others to permanently protect these special places, regardless of whether that protection is bestowed by Congress or the President.
Through Senator Feinstein’s leadership, we have an historic opportunity to ensure that some of the most spectacular and diverse stretches of intact desert in California – Mojave Trails, Castle Mountains and Sand to Snow – are permanently protected for our children. A national monument designation will ensure that the sensitive water resources, fragile wildlife habitat and popular recreation and historic trails in these areas will remain as they are today. This recognition will also attract new visitors to enjoy the stark beauty of California’s desert.”
If protected either by Congress or the President, the Mojave Trails and Sand to Snow National Monuments will become part of America’s National Conservation Lands and continue to be managed by the Bureau of Land Management. The monuments would preserve open space and wildlife habitat while also ensuring access for hunting and other outdoor recreation.
In California, the National Conservation Lands include nearly five million acres including national monuments, national conservation areas, wilderness areas, wild and scenic rivers and national scenic and historic trails.