Legislation Will Preserve California Desert and Accommodate Renewable Energy
WASHINGTON, D.C.– The Wilderness Society is pressing for Congressional support of Senator Dianne Feinstein’s California Desert Protection Act of 2010 which will be considered at a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing.
LOS ANGELES — Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) introduced legislation today to preserve the spectacular heritage of the California desert by creating two new National Monuments and expanding Joshua Tree and Death Valley National Parks and the Mojave National Preserve. The bill would establish new wilderness areas in Death Valley National Park and on lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the US Forest Service. Finally, the legislation would also establish a permitting process for all renewable energy projects on BLM land.
Surviving the 140-degree heat of the Mojave Desert requires a mean set of survival skills that the desert tortoise holds second to none. But while the tortoise can live without water for a year or more, the loss of habitat has caused its numbers to decline by 90 percent since the 1980s. Today, the desert tortoise is listed as a threatened species.
Our focus at The Wilderness Society is preserving spectacular lands like the California Desert and our national forests, but the critical decisions that determine their future sometimes take place inside the rarified realm of a federal courtroom.