The effort has already garnered diverse local support, including over a dozen current and former local elected officials, the Fort Yuma Quechan Indian Tribe, the Torres Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indians, the Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians, the cities of Banning, Palm Springs, and Desert Hot Springs in Riverside County and Calipatria in Imperial County, over a dozen businesses, Chambers of Commerce, and over 1,000 residents of the eastern Coachella Valley and neighboring areas.
“The proposed Chuckwalla National Monument in the California Desert would help address the gap that Latinos face in accessing nature,” said Iris Gutierrez, President, High Desert Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. “Studies have shown that people of color, low-income communities, and families with children are most likely to be deprived of the wellness benefits that nature provides.”
Protect CA Deserts is a coalition of local, regional, and national organizations that are working together on this historic opportunity to designate the Chuckwalla National Monument and expand Joshua Tree National Park. This will help ensure access to nature for residents and visitors, protect unique biodiversity, safeguard the desert’s rich history, and honor the cultural landscape of the Iviatim, Nüwü, Pipa Aha Macav, Kwatsáan and Maara’yam peoples (Cahuilla, Chemehuevi, Mojave, Quechan, and Serrano nations).
For more information, and to sign the petition, go to https://protectchuckwalla.org/takeaction/
Cover Photo: Bob Wick. Sunrise from the Bradshaw Trail looking towards little Chuckwalla Mountains.
Photo: Colin Barrows, CactusToCloud Institute. Community members in the Mecca Hills.