California Senators Introduce Legislation To Expand Death Valley, Joshua Tree National Parks, Create National Monuments

Congress, which in December passed legislation that created a number of new national park units, is now being asked to expand by 75,000 acres the Mojave National Preserve as well as Death Valley and Joshua Tree national parks, while also being called upon to create two new national monuments.

U.S. Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer are working to build upon a landscape-level legacy for the California desert that began more than 20 years ago through their California Desert Conservation and Recreation Act.

“This piece of legislation is the final chapter in a long effort to preserve one of the most magnificent landscapes in the United States,” Sen. Feinstein said. “We must ensure that critical parts of the California desert—with its mountain vistas, bighorn sheep, mule deer, desert tortoises, Joshua trees, Native American petroglyphs and much more—will be protected for all time.”

The Act if enacted would provide new and expanded wilderness area designations, as well as provide Wild and Scenic River protections to the Whitewater River, Deep Creek, and the Amargosa River – crucial waterways for the California desert. Areas of cultural and historic significance, including Flat Top Mesa and Black Lava Butte, are also included in the legislation.

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