Land Trust Purchases 640 Acres On The Periphery Of Joshua Tree Park

The Mojave Desert Land Trust has used donations and grants obtained from the California Natural Resources Agency and the Marine Corps to make a $908,000 purchase of 640 acres of land adjacent to the western edge of Joshua Tree National Park.
Located south of Yucca Valley and the intersection of Acoma Trail and Golden Bee Drive and more than eight miles from the outskirts of Desert Hot Springs, the land had been owned for over a decade by Danmark Development, which had designs of subdividing the property for residential development. The property, an expanse of Joshua trees, piñon pines and brush, populated by no people and a smattering of desert tortoise, badgers, mule deer and an occasional bobcat, includes a ridge in the Little San Bernardino Mountains that presents a spectacular vantage over Long Canyon, both Yucca and Coachella valleys and the San Gorgonio Wilderness peaks to the west.
The land, nevertheless, is marred by debris, trash, old tires, discarded appliances, abandoned vehicles and upwards of 40,000 bullet casings, as over the years people have used it as a dump and unauthorized shooting range. An effort to clean the property up over the next several years is being planned.
It is the Mojave Desert Land Trust’s intention that the 640 acres will be absorbed into Joshua Tree National Park, becoming a protected area, meaning it will be off limits for development of any sort but will be open to hikers, mountain bikers and equestrians, and will stand as a wildlife preserve. This last function is significant, as the property is located within the wildlife corridor between Joshua Tree National Park and the Sand to Snow National Monument.
The Mojave Desert Land Trust, a nonprofit, will manage the land until it is transferred to the federal government for inclusion into Joshua Tree National Park.

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