Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia has introduced AB 2839 to create a new California Desert Conservancy dedicated to the conservation of California’s iconic desert. This bill highlights the statewide importance of the California desert and why this area merits increased public attention and investment.
With the creation of the federal Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan and the California Desert Biological Conservation Framework – which was developed between state and federal agencies, local communities, tribes, and other stakeholders – there are robust conservation strategies that connects a network of currently protected federal and state lands with areas identified for future conservation and management to ensure that the desert and its natural resources are resilient to the impacts of climate change.
Pamela Flick, California Program Director, issued this statement:
“While the California Desert comprises one-fifth of the state and is home to the largest still-intact ecosystem in the lower 48 states, funding initiatives have invested less conservation funding into the desert than other areas of California. A new state conservancy would provide for the coordinated protection of desert resources through projects to protect and restore the natural resources and the recreational and economic benefits they provide.
“We look forward to working with Assemblymember Garcia and the many desert stakeholders to create a Desert Conservancy and provide this resource of statewide significance the attention it so richly deserves.”
- California’s desert region is valued for its wide-open skies, beautiful vistas, solitude, world-class recreation, history, culture, and thriving plant and wildlife communities. With more than 25 million acres stretching to the Mexican border, the California desert region is the largest remaining relatively intact ecosystem in the lower 48 states and home to iconic species such as desert tortoise, Joshua trees, golden eagles, desert bighorn sheep and Mohave ground squirrels.
- Scientists have found that undisturbed desert lands have been found to play an important role in sequestering large amounts of carbon and contribute to climate change resilience. Unfortunately, the California desert region is facing numerous threats, including, but not limited to, climate change, fire, development, invasive species and resource extraction.