1993 Scorecard Vote
The scenic deserts of California contain extraordinary wilderness value. Varying from towering mountain ranges to expansive sand dunes, they contain thousands of archaeological sites and tremendous biological diversity, providing habitat for more than 2,000 species of wildlife and plants, including the threatened desert tortoise and the rare desert bighorn sheep. These lands are fragile and susceptible to permanent damage from activities such as off-road motor vehicle use, mining, and livestock grazing.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), joined by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), have introduced the California Desert Protection Act to retain a portion of these shrinking and threatened desert ecosystems in their natural condition for future generations. The act would enlarge both Death Valley National Monument and Joshua Tree National Monument, and designate them as national parks. It would create a 1.5 million-acre Mojave National Park and establish almost four million acres of wilderness areas under the Bureau of Land Management. The bill has been approved by the Energy and Natural Resources Committee and has not yet been considered by the full Senate. The League has included cosponsorship of S. 21, the California Desert Protection Act, as an important pro-environmental action. Currently, 37 senators are cosponsors.