Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.

This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.


World's Largest Garbage Dump next to Joshua Tree National Park?

We need to hear from you.
Today during our spring member drive, put a dollar value on the trustworthy reporting you rely on all year long. The local news you read here every day is crafted for you, but right now, we need your help to keep it going. In these uncertain times, your support is even more important. We can't hold those in power accountable and uplift voices from the community without your partnership. Thank you.

Photo by Paraflyer via Flickr

Photo by Paraflyer via Flickr
In a major victory for environmentalists, the 9th District Court of Appeals today sided with the National Parks Conservation Association in a fight against a landfill, which would be surrounded by Joshua Tree National Park on three sides, meant for garbage from L.A. County brought in by train.

The two decades old proposal has been stuck in various court cases over the last 18 years and if defendants decide to appeal today's decision, there's no telling when this saga will end.

At issue is a 4,654-acre site (complete with canyons), about 1.5 miles from the park's boundaries. Owners of the property, along with a blessing from the government's Bureau of Land Management, want to sell it to L.A. County for use as a land fill that would take in 20,000 tons a day when in operation, which would be 16 hours a day for six days a week for 117 years.

Support for LAist comes from

Needless to say, that much trash and activity is harmful to the goals of conservation (for example: trash could increase the raven and coyote population. Both species also eat the endangered desert tortoises). Add to that, the proposed landfill would be near park wilderness, which is the highest level of designated protection the federal government can give a piece of land.

The National Parks Conservation Association, which calls the proposed project the largest landfill in the world, says L.A. County could avoid needing such a space if the Mesquite Landfill were to be used in addition to a recycling rate by 10 percent to 60 percent.

The Stanford Environmental Law Clinic fought the case on behalf of the association. Also involved in the case against the landfill were Larry and Donna Charpied. Huell Howser fans might remember them being featured in an episode about the jojoba plant.

Most Read