- Several years ago we won a ruling in U.S. District Court dismissing Inyo County’s claims to three of the routes and to half of the fourth. The case continued with respect to the remaining half of the fourth route – known as Last Chance Road. Last Chance sits at the very northern tip of DVNP, and is about a ½ mile long. On June 6th U.S. District Court Judge Ishii issued a ruling dismissing Inyo County’s case concerning Last Chance Road, based on the Park Service’s and our motion to dismiss. The ruling is attached. Now we have defeated each and every one of Inyo’s claims to highways, and the case before the District Court is over.
- In May Fresno County Planning Commissioners denied a permit to large international corporation Cemex to mine for gravel in a manner that is essentially mountain top removal near Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park. Due to strong and visible opposition from concerned groups like NPCA, the Planning Commission postponed the decision earlier this year and then last night in a vote of 4-3, rejected the permit
- In June an agreement was reached between San Bernardino County and National Parks Conservation Association, Center for Biological Diversity and Sierra Club. This ends a five years of settlement negotiations and protects species such as Big Horn Sheep and fragile desert areas
- Thanks to NPCA’s long-standing advocacy and commitment to Channel Islands National Park, Santa Rosa Island is now a fully protected part of this national park and open to the public year-round. Santa Rosa is one of five islands that comprise the Channel Islands National Park, known as “North America’s Galapagos,” and was purchased for inclusion in this park in 1986 for approximately $30 million dollars. But because cattle grazing and trophy hunting were conducted on the island, visitation was restricted and park resources weren’t fully protected.
- In March 2011, the Supreme Court of the United States declined Kaiser LLC’s appeal to have the Eagle Mountain Landfill case heard in the country’s highest court. This denial reinforces the decision made by the 9th circuit in favor of NPCA, finding that the environmental documents produced by Kaiser were flawed. This effectively ends the two-decade legal battle over the validity of the land exchange that would have allowed the country’s largest landfill to be built adjacent to Joshua Tree National Park wilderness.
- In April 2011, San Bernardino County decided not to pursue a feasibility study for an off-highway vehicle park adjacent to Joshua Tree National Park’s Northeast boundary. This victory protects important desert tortoise habitat and wildlife connectivity corridors serving the park, and protects the future opportunity to return this BLM property to the park.
- In October 2011, the Department of the Interior issued its supplemental draft of the Solar PEIS. This reworked version includes significant new protections for desert national parks, including the removal of the Iron Mountain solar energy zone, and the reduction of the Riverside East and Amargosa Valley zones. These reconfigurations protect resources within and connectivity between all three desert parks. In total the removals, reductions, and exclusions add up to over 230,000 acres of development that would have negatively impacted desert national parks.
- In January, the Wild About Reading program launched to help educate students in the Central Valley on air quality issues.
- In March, Toquop, a proposal was defeated that would have allowed a coal-fired power plant within threatening proximity of Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument, and Zion National Park.
- The book Tortoises Through the Lens: A Visual Exploration of a Mojave Desert Icon was released in August. The project was a culmination of a year-long venture to work with students to create conservation education through art.
- In August, more than 900 NPCA members urged the creation of a San Gabriel Watershed National Recreation Area with NPS involvement.
- NPCA led a coalition that preserved the historic fabric of the Presidio against a developer's wishes to build a modern art museum in a historic area of the park.
- NPCA sponsored a bill in the California Legislature that will reduce the daily emission of 5.2 tons of smog forming pollutants into California's air by requiring motorcycles to pass biennial smog checks.
- NPCA intervened in the development of a commercial train route proposed between Victorville and Las Vegas. We steered the developer toward a route that would not damage Mojave.
- NPCA hosted the sixth annual National Parks Family Day, with 2,500 people in attendance, more than 40 exhibitor booths, and featured exhibits from five national park units. Rep. Jim Costa attended the event and provided public praise of NPCA's work across the country.
- In Fresno County the "Future Stewards for the Parks" curriculum program reached over 1,600 students in 40 classrooms.
- Due to NPCA’s work over the past two years, Port Chicago Naval Magazine National Memorial, located in the Bay Area, became the 392nd unit of National Park System in October 2009. This national park commemorates the largest home front disaster in WWII, an event scarred by racial injustice towards African Americans and was key to the desegregation of the armed services.
- In November, the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a district court ruling in favor of NPCA, blocking the development of what would be the nation’s largest landfill right next to Joshua Tree National Park.
- In December, Senator Dianne Feinstein introduced her California Desert Protection Act of 2010, which includes key conservation provisions that NPCA worked for the last 2 years to shape, including two new national monuments and 74,000 acres of land additions to Death Valley and Joshua Tree National Parks and Mojave National Preserve.
- On August 4, 2008, a federal judge largely threw out Inyo County’s lawsuit to open highways through remote areas of Death Valley National Park, a major victory for NPCA and its co-intervenors in the case, as well as for the largest national park in the lower 48 states. NPCA’s desert staff continues to meet with Senator Feinstein’s staff and LADWP in order to identify a route for a transmission project that does not damage Joshua Tree National Park or its wildlife corridors.
- On July 15th NPCA helped pass HR 32, Ca. State Assembly resolution in favor of full and complete funding for Land Water Conservation Fund(LWCF). This resolution will be used as a way to encourage full federal funding for LWCF.
- In July NPCA worked with allies to get SB 974, a bill mitigating ports' emissions in California, to the Governor's desk after a six year battle.
- The Desert office mobilized regional support to convince the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power to abandon a destructive plan to build 500 KV power transmission towers adjacent to Joshua Tree National Park’s western wilderness.
- NPCA obtained three resolutions in favor of the National Park System and the Centennial Challenge at the National Latino Congreso
- NPCA partnered with Yosemite National Park to complete educational program in Fresno elementary schools. Over 1,200 students were taught environmental stewardship, conservation history, and national park science lessons by NPCA staff and a Yosemite Park Ranger.
- NPCA and five other conservation groups win federal court case, protecting Surprise Canyon, one of Death Valley's rare, fragile desert streams from off-road vehicle use. The unique habitat of the canyon provides shelter for desert bighorn sheep, endangered birds, and rare species found nowhere else on earth.
- NPCA worked with Representative Miller's office to introduce legislation that will ensure Port Chicago National Memorial becomes a full national park unit, increasing public access to the site and making it easier to pursue funding for an educational information center.
- NPCA helped influence the California Governor to sign AB 821 into law, thus protecting the California condors by requiring non-toxic ammunition use for big game hunting in condor country, including Pinnacles National Monument.
- Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks launches the Sequoia Shuttle, which provides public transportation from Visalia to features in Sequoia. This success comes after many years of negotiations with local communities and NPS staff, a process that NPCA has been heavily involved with since day one.
- NPCA contributed to the passage of SB 719, improving the future effort to clean the air in the Central Valley and nearby national parks such as Yosemite and Sequoia and Kings Canyon.
- NPCA urges Congressman George Radanovich to get the EPA involved with air quality issues in the Central Valley, home to local parks such as Yosemite and Sequoia and Kings Canyon. In 2007, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator, Stephen Johnson, comes to the Central Valley for a roundtable meeting on air quality, at Radanovich's request. Johnson refers to the San Joaquin Valley as "a priority area for the EPA."
- NPCA sends delegations to the annual National Latino Congreso in Los Angeles to promote and pass three resolutions on increasing park funding, reducing air pollution in parks and introducing a national park unit honoring Cesar Chavez.
- NPCA creates the "My National Park Journal," which allows children to record their park experience and learn more about protecting and enhancing our national parks for future generations. The book was first unveiled at The Record's Literacy and Book Fair at University Park in Stockton, California.
- National Parks Family Day is voted "Program of the Year" by the California State Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. NPCA partnered with the Central California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce back in 2004 for the event, which aims to educate residents about local national parks.
- The Pacific Regional office played a key role in publicizing and ultimately defeating the Department of Interior’s attempted rewrite of the National Park Service management policies (the parks’ operating manual). The Pacific Region won support from key Congressional Representatives, such as Speaker Pelosi, whose highly critical comments helped to ultimately defeat the rewrite.
2005 - NPCA and co-plaintiffs win federal court case, thus reversing the federal land exchange needed for the proposed Eagle Mountain garbage dump to go forward. The dump would be the world’s largest and severely impact Joshua Tree National Park, which surrounds the proposed project site on three sides.
2004 - NPCA helped defeat a proposed new city—Joshua Hills—bordering Joshua Tree National Park. The Pacific Region opened is second field office in the Central Valley to provide local support to Yosemite and Sequoia Kings Canyon national parks. The region released a report highlighting the educational opportunities and challenges in California’s national parks that was endorsed by over 50 educators and education organizations.
2003 - NPCA helped to defeat the Indio power plant proposed near our desert parks. NPCA also deterred Joshua Tree National Park from building new, unnecessary equestrian trails in the habitat of desert tortoise and other sensitive wildlife. The region also released (with more than 60 endorsements ranging from business leaders to elected officials) an economic impact report that detailed the significant economic impact of the region’s park units. This well received and highly publicized report reminded decision makers that these natural treasures benefit our economy but will only continue to do so if the parks are protected and funded. The Pacific Region opened its first field office in Joshua Tree, California.
2002 - NPCA helped defeat the Cadiz Water project, which would have mined up to 10 billion of gallons of groundwater needed by five wilderness areas and Mojave National Preserve.
2001 - NPCA and allied organizations defeat a proposal to build a coal-fired power plant near Joshua Tree National Park.
2000 - NPCA and allies ensure completion of a new plan for Yosemite National Park that will restore native habitat and reduce auto traffic in Yosemite Valley by 60 percent in peak months.