California has managed to retain its iconic status as the land of golden opportunity in the face of earthquakes, droughts, wildfires, and an economy that has lurched between boom and bust. Despite, or perhaps because of, all this, the state remains one of the most desirable places in the United States to live, work, and visit, thanks in great part to its natural beauty.
On Feb. 12, President Barack Obama took a critical step toward buttressing the state’s legacy of environmental protection and resilience by designating three new national monuments in the California desert, adding to a corridor of protected land that now stretches north from Joshua Tree National Park to the edge of Death Valley National Park.
These new monuments are an important part of a broader approach by federal, state, and local agencies to integrate land and wildlife conservation with the development of renewable energy sources in the California desert. The monuments will complement the administration’s Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan, which identifies lands for potential renewable energy development and conservation.
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