Greetings from Joshua Tree National Park

I run a 19 year-old desert magazine, and this year we launched a desert show on PBS as well. I not only visit many of our national parks, monuments, and preserves every year, but I advocate for their preservation and encourage visitation. On a personal level, my wife and I love living within 15 minutes of Joshua Tree National Park. We have hiked its backcountry for over a dozen years now and are extremely grateful to be able to enjoy its natural beauty and solitude as a respite from our busy, demanding lives. Our national parks have been a source of personal spiritual renewal and connection for us, and what they have given to us is invaluable and lasting. On a professional level, I work a great deal with desert tourism and I know these parks are the economic drivers for many of our communities. Closing or underfunding them has a direct negative impact on the gateway communities nearby. Many of the gateway communities are smaller, rural communities, and the negative impact they experience is deep and lasting. Our national parks should be fully funded and supported by all Americans, regardless of political affiliation. How we treat our national park system is a direct reflection of the health of our nation. When we neglect them, we neglect the best of what is America. That just isn’t acceptable. We can do better. We need to do better.

Sincerely,
Steve

Joshua Tree National Park

This iconic park preserves portions of two spectacular desert ecosystems. The Colorado Desert in the eastern portion of the park features natural gardens of creosote bush, ocotillo and cholla cactus. The higher, slightly cooler Mojave Desert offers dazzling vistas of Joshua trees and yucca. The vast park also contains spectacularly sculpted formations of a type of rock known as monzogranite and is a mecca for rock climbers around the world.

State(s): California

Established: 1994

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