Proposed Chuckwalla National Monument is a win for conservation and renewable energy

Nov 17, 2023

The proposed Chuckwalla National Monument encompasses a 660,000 acre landscape located south of Joshua Tree National Park and northeast of the Salton Sea in California. It includes vital habitat for threatened and endangered desert wildlife, including the desert tortoise, bighorn sheep, and chuckwalla lizard as well as being the proposed location for the reintroduction of Sonoran Pronghorn antelope, and also offers important outdoor recreation opportunities for nearby communities.

The proposal is the result of careful planning and outreach conversations that prioritized conservation and cultural preservation, while still allowing renewable energy generation in the areas most compatible with development. These areas were designated through the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP), a plan that balances conservation in the California desert with appropriate renewable energy development.

The proposed Chuckwalla National Monument rejects the idea that conservation and renewable energy development on public land are at odds and instead embraces the challenge of achieving what’s best for wildlife, people, and the planet through careful planning. Learn more about the proposed monument in the latest post on the Center for Western Priorities’ Westwise blog.

Quick hits

Logging group asks Supreme Court to review monument expansion

Bloomberg Law

Forest Service to release draft Thompson Divide withdrawal EA

Crested Butte News

The future is looking murky for Grand Lake


Coalition urges Haaland to move forward with protections for Greater Chaco region

Native News Online

New institute will provide resources to Tribal nations on water rights


Experts urge federal support for wildlife migration corridors

Missoula Current

New climate report shows hazards of drought to human health in the Southwest


BLM reconsiders Trump-era highway through desert tortoise habitat

E&E News | Conserve Southwest Utah [press release]

Quote of the day

This region has been managed as a sacrifice zone for far too long… Now is the time for the Honoring Chaco Initiative to chart a new path forward for Navajo communities, phasing out extractive economies and centering protection of the land, air, water, and the sacred in Greater Chaco Landscape management.”

—Daniel Tso, former Navajo Nation Council Delegate, Native News Online

Picture This

deer on snowy road in forest looking at camera

When winter comes around, it brings the opportunity to experience public lands in a whole new way. But colder temperatures can present its own set of risks and can make your trip challenging if you are unprepared. Photo by Bill Hayden / NPS

Feature Image: Mecca Hills in the proposed Chuckwalla National Monument; Source: Bob Wick/BLM