Press Release Sep 25, 2015

A Monumental National Public Lands Day Project at Big Morongo Canyon Preserve

National Public Lands Day volunteers help trail maintenance at Big Morongo Canyon Preserve.

Morongo Valley , CA – In celebration of National Public Lands Day at a site that is proposed for protection as a national monument, the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA), Mojave Desert Land Trust and Friends of Big Morongo Canyon Preserve will host a day of trail maintenance service at Big Morongo Canyon Preserve on Saturday, September 26, 2015.

“The restoration work we’re doing today will benefit sensitive native plants and wildlife and preserve our recreational experiences on pristine lands,” said Danielle Segura, Executive Director of the Mojave Desert Land Trust. “It’s particularly exciting to roll up our sleeves, connect with the landscape, and improve habitat for an area that has incredible biodiversity and is proposed to be included in the new Sand to Snow National Monument.”

Big Morongo Canyon Preserve’s unique water resources provide critical habitat for animals including bighorn sheep, mule deer, mountain lion, grey fox, bobcats, and birds. An important wildlife corridor, animals travel within the preserve to nearby Joshua Tree National Park. Home to 250 species of birds, Big Morongo Canyon Preserve is one of the United States’ Important Bird Areas, designated by the American Bird Conservancy, the American Birding Association, and Watchable Wildlife National Program. It is also one of the ten largest willow and cottonwood riparian areas in California.

Recently, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D- California) requested that President Obama use his authority under the Antiquities Act to designate the 134,000 acre Sand to Snow National Monument. The monument would encompass the oases at Big Morongo Canyon Preserve and preserve migratory pathways from Joshua Tree National Park to the high, snow-capped peaks of the San Bernardino Mountains. The Senator has also asked for the designation of Castle Mountains and Mojave Trails National Monuments, which would forever protect stunning vistas, military history, Native American cultural sites, iconic and rare plants and animals, and outstanding recreational opportunities.

“National Public Lands Day is a great opportunity to reinvest in our spectacular landscapes,” said Seth Shteir, desert program manager for National Parks Conservation Association. “We have a unique opportunity to create new national monuments in the California desert that will raise the area’s profile as a destination for recreational tourism, benefit local businesses, and protect wildlife corridors and special places like the oases at Big Morongo Canyon for future generations.”

###

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