When I last visited Joshua Tree National Park, I couldn’t help but notice the number of teetering Joshua Trees interspersed between the creosote bush, ocotillo and chollo cactus of the high Mojave and low Colorado desert landscapes. A friend explained that these iconic trees, which are unique to this landscape, can become too large for their own roots. Interesting learning opportunities like this coupled with world renowned recreational adventures draw visitors to the wilderness lands of Riverside County to camp, hike, rock climb, hunt, horseback ride, fish and relax.
Home to mountain lions, desert tortoise, large blotched salamander and bighorn sheep, the winding canyons, steep mountains and rugged desert landscapes of Riverside County boast some of the most unique ecosystems of the West. Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack (R-CA) and Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) recognize the importance of these ecosystems and, right now, are championing legislation that would designate more than 190,000 acres of wilderness and 31 miles of wild and scenic rivers.
Our efforts in support of this legislation will help protect places like the craggy Palm Canyon and the airy summits of Beauty and Cahuilla Mountains, allowing these ecologically significant ecosystems to endure and provide our children and grandchildren with places to recreate, learn and find renewal. We’ve learned from the Joshua Tree and hope to ensure the roots of this wonderful land remain strong, providing for a colorful and vibrant local economy that can grow while preserving our national treasures.