Press Release Sep 7, 2017

California State Senate Leadership and Trump Administration Take Aim at California Desert Water and Parks

The Department of Interior recently helped pave the way towards green-lighting the Cadiz Inc. water mining project, which threatens Mojave National Preserve and Mojave Trails National Monument. The memo followed decisions by California State Senate pro Tem Kevin de Leon and State Senator Ricardo Lara to block AB 1000 “California Desert Protection Act” from proceeding.

Background: The Department of Interior recently issued a legal memorandum reinterpreting an 1875 railroad law, paving the way for the Trump Administration to green-light the Cadiz Inc. water mining project. The Trump administration took this action immediately following decisions by California State Senate pro Tem Kevin de Leon and State Senator Ricardo Lara to block the AB 1000 “California Desert Protection Act” from proceeding.

Statement by David Lamfrom, California Desert Director for National Parks Conservation Association

“Even before taking office, members of the Trump administration have taken unprecedented actions to waive required environmental protections for the California desert’s national parks, protected lands and water. The actions all point to green-lighting the harmful Cadiz Water Mining Project. Trump Administration has done everything possible to advance this project that would drain 16 billion gallons of water each year and put Mojave National Preserve and Mojave Trails National Monument at risk. The Cadiz project was also placed on the administration’s ‘Emergency and National Security’ projects list and rescinded federal environmental review of the project. The president also placed Cadiz’s lobbyist as the head of his transition team, and has now appointed him Deputy Interior Secretary.

“We are stunned that Senate pro Tem Kevin de Leon and Senator Ricardo Lara are sitting idly by when they have a clear chance to protect California’s desert parks, water and wildlife. Especially while they are leading the charge against the Trump administration with the Preserve California package which seeks to ensure environmental protection are not undermined by the federal administration. AB 1000 is in line with these efforts and Cadiz represents the federal administration’s most direct threat to California’s national parks and monuments.

“AB 1000 has the support of Governor Brown, Lt. Governor Newsom, US Senator Feinstein, the environmental community, California desert businesses and Native American tribes. If Senators de Leon and Lara care about our parks, monuments, groundwater and Native American sacred lands in the California desert, then they must act immediately and allow AB 1000, The California Desert Protection Act, to move off the suspense file in Senate Appropriations, and allow a vote on the Senate floor.”

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About National Parks Conservation Association: Since 1919, the nonpartisan National Parks Conservation Association has been the leading voice in safeguarding our national parks. NPCA and its more than 1.3 million members and supporters work together to protect and preserve our nation’s natural, historic, and cultural heritage for future generations. For more information, visit

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