National Parks Conservation Association Applauds Proposal To Add Critical Land to Death Valley and Joshua Tree National Parks, Mojave National Preserve

 
PRESS RELEASE
  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date:   December 21, 2009
Contact:   Michael Cipra, CA Desert Program Manager: 760.799.5911


National Parks Conservation Association Applauds Proposal To Add Critical Land to Death Valley and Joshua Tree National Parks, Mojave National Preserve

Joshua Tree, Calif--The nation’s leading voice for the national parks, the nonprofit National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA), today praised Sen. Feinstein’s efforts to expand Joshua Tree and Death Valley National Parks and the Mojave National Preserve, as well as designate two new national monuments, several wilderness areas, and wild and scenic rivers such as the Whitewater and Amargosa rivers.

The proposed California Desert Protection Act of 2010 would help to protect crucial wildlife corridors for animals such as the desert tortoise and bighorn sheep, while adding Joshua tree forests, rugged mountains, and cactus gardens to California’s desert national parks.

“Our desert parks are places of remarkable beauty, rich cultural history, and profound ecological importance,” said Michael Cipra, California Desert Program Manager for NPCA.  “Senator Feinstein's bill seeks to ensure that we can walk with our children and grandchildren in a world where bighorn sheep and desert tortoises still roam wild, where the Milky Way still shines bright, and where intact petroglyphs and historic trails teach us about our collective past."

National parks such as Joshua Tree and Death Valley generate more than four dollars in value for every tax dollar invested, and visitors to the desert national parks contribute more than $100 million each year to local economies in the form of tourist dollars, sustaining more than 2,500 jobs.

“Special places like Joshua Tree National Park and Mojave National Preserve are the lifeblood of our region’s tourism economy,” Cipra continued. “This is a chance to protect our world-class tourist destinations and strengthen our economy, while passing on a priceless treasure to our children.”

While NPCA is supportive of this legislation overall, the organization and its 325,000 members have concerns about provisions of the bill related to off-road vehicle use and commercial air tours.  NPCA hopes to work with Sen. Feinstein and those who recreate in the desert to craft solutions that balance fair recreation with the health of the desert.

Photos and details on the California Desert Conservation and Recreation Act can be found here: www.CaliforniaDesert.org

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