Statement by David Lamfrom, Director, California Desert and Wildlife Program, National Parks Conservation Association
“The National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) joined hundreds of our neighbors today, from diverse walks of life, with a similar message for the Obama Administration: please designate the Castle Mountains, Mojave Trails, and Sand to Snow National Monuments.”
“For more than six years, NPCA has worked with our desert communities to further a common goal of preserving our unique and priceless lands. Senator Feinstein is an unwavering champion for the California desert, both through the California Desert Protection Act’s passage more than 20 years ago and her continued efforts to complete a legacy for current and future generations. Incredible headway has been made in gaining support for Feinstein’s legislation, by elected officials, business leaders, recreationists, residents, and other diverse voices. As the desert faces threats from inappropriate development to habitat loss for sensitive lands and wildlife, taking a first, important step to declare these monuments is critical as we support the legislation.”
“On behalf of our more than one million members and supporters, NPCA strongly supports each of the three California desert national monument proposals, with a particular focus on what would be a new national park site: Castle Mountains National Monument. Home to golden eagles, towering mountain peaks, rare desert grasslands, and expansive Joshua Tree and Juniper forests, Castle Mountains is rightfully considered one the most beautiful unprotected landscapes in the California desert.”
“It’s no secret that national parks do far more than their intended purpose of preserving landscapes – they are incredible economic drivers. In 2014 alone, more than 3.2 million visitors to Death Valley and Joshua Tree National Parks, as well as Mojave National Preserve, left more than just footprints – they spent more than $194 million in local communities, supporting local businesses and keeping jobs in our neighborhoods. We are already seeing increased tourism this year. With the 100th birthday of our National Park System in 2016 and in looking ahead to the next century, completing a conservation legacy for our California desert is an appropriate gift – and designating the Castle Mountains National Monument as a national park site is a crucial next step.”
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.