9/18 UNDER REVIEW: In April, President Trump instructed the Department of Interior to review Mojave Trails’ national monument designation. We believe Secretary Zinke recommended no changes to the monument, according to a leaked copy of his report, but the monument remains in limbo for now.
Established: February 12, 2016
What is Mojave Trails Known For?"The area exemplifies the remarkable ecology of the Mojave Desert, where the hearty insistence of life is scratched out from unrelenting heat and dryness. This punishing environment has also forged the unique human history of the area, from ancient settlements uprooted by a changing climate to the armies of General George S. Patton, Jr., as they trained for battle in North Africa. With historic American trading routes, trails followed by Spanish explorers, a transcontinental rail line, and the Nation's most famous highway, the Mojave Trails area tells the American story of exploration, migration, and commerce. "Ongoing research in the Mojave Trails area has identified other plant species that are new to science, many of which have not yet been described." (Proclamation)
Why is Mojave Trails Threatened?
- Water Use: The Cadiz water mining project "proposed to extract more than five times the amount of water that is recharged naturally... for the next 50 years" This will destroy the aquifer, threatening the delicate desert ecosystem.
- Mining: There are mineral mines in the Mojave Trails area. Extreme geological activity has "left the desert a highly mineralized area, with large varieties of precious metals and industrial minerals scattered in small deposits of rich ore." Among other risks, mining waste contamination threatens scarce groundwater.
What can we do?We can challenge President Trump and Secretary Zinke's unprecedented move to potentially ERASE protections for Mojave Trails. The legal case against the president is strong -- the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 affirmed that only Congress has the authority to modify national monuments. But in addition to lawsuits we need the Senators from California to do all they can to make sure Mojave Trails protections remain in place.
Both Sens. Feinstein and Harris support Mojave Trails. We want to make sure they know we agree with them and challenge them to do even more to protect it.