California Desert

With spectacular pastel vistas, spring wildflowers and popular destinations like Death Valley and Joshua Tree national parks, the California desert is an amazing place to discover.

Why the California Desert

The California desert is a spectacular panorama of the American West. It includes stunning sand dunes, carpets of Mojave wildflowers, bighorn sheep and desert tortoise.

Gems like Joshua Tree and Death Valley can be preserved with Senator Feinstein’s California Desert Protection Act. Our work to pass this would protect about 1.6 million acres of stunning public wildlands.

Work we are doing

The California Desert Protection Act would preserve many stunning areas of the Mojave, including:

Mojave Trails National Monument

The act would protect 941,000 acres of wildlands as a new national monument, bridging Joshua Tree National Park and the Mojave National Preserve. It would include:

  • Pisgah lava flow
  • Amboy Crater
  • Kelso Dunes wilderness
  • Historic Route 66

Sand to Snow National Monument

The act would create a 134,000-acre monument from the desert floor in the Coachella Valley to the forested peak of Mount San Gorgonio, Southern California’s tallest mountain. The monument would include:

  • Wildlife corridors linking Joshua Tree National Park to the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument
  • Bighorn sheep and desert tortoise habitat
  • The Whitewater River

Joshua Tree National Park

Scientists predict that Joshua trees may disappear as climate change alters their habitat. This act would add more than 2,800 acres to Joshua Tree National Park's northern boundary – an area rich in Joshua trees, granite peaks and habitat for desert tortoise and other rare and endangered species.  

Death Valley National Park

The act would add about 46,000 acres to Death Valley National Park, including a southern section and geological gem known as the “Bowling Alley.”

Mojave National Preserve

The act would add 29,000 acres to preserve including a former gold mining area that has been reclaimed.

Crucial rivers and creeks

The act would protect 76 miles of beautiful portions of Deep Creek, Amargosa River, Surprise Canyon and other rivers and creeks.

Five new wilderness areas

The act would create new wilderness designated areas in Death Valley National Park and other federal lands.

Our Partners

We couldn't do our work in the California Desert without the help of local partners. Learn about our partnerships. 


  • Neil Shader

    A report on landscape-based mitigation released by the Interior Department Energy and Climate Change Task Force, “A Strategy for Improving the Mitigation Policies and Practices of The Department of the Interior,”  provides a blueprint for better protection for fish, wildlife, recreation and wild land values for the tens of millions of acres of public lands open to oil and gas and other energy development.

  • Michael Reinemer

    This weekend, veterans from around the West will be visiting the rolling, boulder-strewn landscape of the Dragoon Mountains south of Tucson to participate in a writing workshop that will guide them on skills needed to create narratives of fiction, non-fiction, or poetry that is informed both by their service experiences and the natural environment.

  • Neil Shader

    The following statement on the confirmation of Neil Kornze to be the Director of the Bureau of Land Management can be attributed to Jamie Williams, president of The Wilderness Society.