The Mojave Desert Land Trust has purchased two 40-acre parcels in the southwest section of Joshua Tree National Park.
The acquisitions are in a mountainous area within the park boundary when it was expanded around when it was elevated to national park status in 1994. The park boundary now follows natural features and includes complete ecological units such as the Little San Bernardino Mountains range. It also ensures better protection of the area’s natural resources.
The parcels were acquired from two private parties. One of the properties is at an elevation of 2,434 feet in the Fargo Canyon area, and the second is at 3,794 feet. The Land Trust will convey the parcels to Joshua Tree National Park. The National Park Service uses the Land and Water Conservation Fund to acquire these conservation lands.
To date, Land Trust has acquired 10,290 acres within Joshua Tree National Park, of which 77% have been conveyed to the National Park Service.
Purchasing private inholdings within the park helps protect the integrity of its ecosystems by preventing development impacts, while also easing the burden on park staff and securing public access.
The Land Trust has conveyed more tracts of land to the National Park Service than any other nonprofit since 2006.
“National parks preserve this country’s rich natural and cultural history. We work to increase protections for them by acquiring privately owned lands within national parks from willing sellers, and then conveying them to the National Park Service,” said Geary Hund, Executive Director of the Mojave Desert Land Trust. “These acquisitions provide for the permanent protection of important natural and cultural resources, reduce the potential for impacts resulting from the development of inholdings, and secure public access.”