Support a New National Monument in California
Senator Dianne Feinstein has boldly supported creating a new national monument in the California desert that would connect Joshua Tree National Park with the Mojave National Preserve, protecting some of the most pristine, ecologically important, and beautiful desert in the world.
Much of the proposed monument consists of lands donated to the federal government by The Wildlands Conservancy with the understanding that the lands would be permanently protected. The new monument would uphold the government's original promise to protect these lands and affirm the principle that lands donated for conservation must truly be conserved.
Unfortunately, the Interior Department is currently considering allowing industrial-scale energy development on many of these lands. Some energy companies and their investors are opposing the proposed monument, arguing that it will interfere with meeting our renewable-energy goals. While a rapid transition to renewable energy is essential to address global warming, we must not destroy pristine public lands and endangered species habitat in the rush. Hundreds of thousands of acres of already-degraded lands are available outside the proposed monument that are far better suited for energy development.
In a positive move in the much-contested debate about solar energy projects in the proposed monument, BrightSource Energy, Inc. -- one of the companies involved -- just canceled its plans to develop a 5,000 acre solar thermal facility in a remote wildland area of the Mojave Desert. The Center for Biological Diversity applauds this wise decision and calls on other companies contemplating similar projects in the proposed monument to cancel them immediately. Passage of Senator Feinstein's proposed monument bill will ensure that threats to our lands from the remaining projects are kept at bay.
Please take a moment now to let Senator Feinstein know that you strongly support her proposed monument.