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Climate and Environment

The Mojave Desert Land Trust Added 7,000 Acres To Protected California Lands

A flat desert stretches far with two short mountains in the background. The sky is completely clear, sunny and blue. There are many stocky shrubs strewn throughout the sandy desert floor.
Recently acquired desert land in California, 2022.
Courtesy Mojave Desert Land Trust)
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Some 7,000 acres of land was permanently protected this year through conservation efforts by The Mojave Desert Land Trust — including a highly significant acquisition of property in the Cadiz Valley.

What Was Protected?

The 640-acre property in the Cadiz Valley located in Mojave Trails National Monument. It's significant because the property contains ample signs of wildlife with little human disturbance.

In total, more than 8,000 acres of this monument have been preserved over the years.

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Another property acquired this year is located in Crystal Hill, Death Valley, contains The Epsom Sites Monorail — a 28-mile-long Lartigue Monorail system — that operated in the 1920s.

Other notable acquisitions include parts of the Mojave National Reserve and parts of the Jacumba Mountains Wilderness.

The Impact

California’s desert lands store 10% of the state’s carbon underground, which helps combat climate change. When these lands are protected, carbon will not be released through the development and disturbance of soil. Additionally, animal habitats can be better cared for.

According to an MDLT news release:

“Wilderness has the highest form of protection of any federal wildland. Acquisitions in wilderness areas help preserve landscapes where people can experience silence and recreate, and flora and fauna can thrive undisturbed. MDLT acquired five parcels totaling 100 acres in wilderness areas this year.”

Why This Matters

Wildlife continually loses habitat to development and urban sprawl. Fragmented habitat impacts the future of species’ survival and quality of life. When animals have less space to roam and mate genetic diversity decreases.

Advocates for land preservation and conservation note that expanded wildlife protections help increase biodiversity and combat climate change, which are essential to survival for all life — animals, plants, and humans.

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