California Native Plant Society Applauds Call for Chuckwalla National Monument
September 25, 2023, COACHELLA VALLEY, CALIF. –The California Native Plant Society (CNPS) enthusiastically joins Representative Raul Ruiz, tribal and community leaders in calling for the designation of Chuckwalla National Monument, critical desert habitat adjacent to Joshua Tree National Park.
Statement from Katie Barrows, CNPS Riverside San-Bernardino Chapter:
“The proposed Chuckwalla National Monument would protect 660,000 acres of public lands that contain rare and threatened native California plants, many of which are found nowhere else on Earth, making them particularly sensitive to climate change. Designating the Chuckwalla National Monument would provide needed protection to rare plants, such as the Mecca aster (Xylorhiza cognata), Orocopia sage (Salvia greatae), Munz’s cholla (Cylindropuntia munzii), and one of the few populations of giant saguaro (Carnegiea gigantea) found in California.
The Chuckwalla National Monument would also provide habitat corridors, an essential nature-based strategy to address the threats and impacts of climate change. If designated, the national monument would provide linkages to Joshua Tree National Park and provide protection to important plant habitat such as desert wash woodlands, chuckwalla dune thickets, and California fan palm oases. This landscape provides critical habitat for migrating bird populations, desert tortoise, and other wildlife.”
Statement from CNPS Conservation Program Specialist Álvaro Casanova:
“Designation of the Chuckwalla National Monument would significantly contribute to state and federal government commitments to protect 30% of public lands and waters by 2030, which translates to approximately 6 million acres of land in California. The national monument would also provide an example of what can be accomplished when local communities, youth, businesses, tribal nations, and decision-makers come together to show the world that access to nature for local communities, conservation, and renewable energy development can be achieved to meet both the challenges of a changing climate and the needs of people in the region.”