U.S. Department of the Interior Officials Host Public Listening Session on the Proposed Chuckwalla National Monument with Strong Public Show of Support

Chuckwalla at sunset - Bob Wick
Branched pencil cholla (Cylindropuntia ramosissima) in Chuckwalla at sunset; Image: Bob Wick

Indio, Calif., June 14, 2024Today, the U.S. Department of Interior hosted a public listening session on the Chuckwalla National Monument, where an estimated 700 people gathered to speak on the proposed national monument. Over 86% of speakers expressed support. Numerous volunteers and staff representing the California Native Plant Society (CNPS) joined alongside Tribes, Protect California Desert coalition partners, community members, and local leaders.  

“Today was an incredible demonstration of the diverse and broad support for Chuckwalla National Monument, from the powerful testimony of Tribal leaders to inspiring comments from city councilmembers, mayors, community members, scientists, students, and educators. We are grateful to Biden Administration officials for visiting the desert to hear firsthand the passion of our desert communities. These are irreplaceable areas with undisturbed habitat, rare species, and cultural history that deserve the highest levels of protection. We eagerly await the day we will be able to celebrate the new Chuckwalla National Monument,” said CNPS Executive Director Dr. Jun Bando. 

The new monument would protect large swaths of intact habitat essential to California’s desert ecosystems, including the microphyll woodlands found in the Chuckwalla Valley Dune Thicket, a hidden stand of over 60 native California fan palms and nearly 60 rare plant species.


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