Haaland visits proposed national monument in California

May 21, 2024

Over the weekend, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland visited the proposed Chuckwalla National Monument in Southern California. If designated as a national monument, the 600,000-acre landscape would protect rich biodiversity and connect a historically important travel route for Indigenous peoples.

The proposed national monument is supported by numerous entities, including conservation groups, community members, and local Tribes who have significant cultural and ancestral connections to the area. Elected officials are also in support of the monument—last fall, U.S. Senator Alex Padilla and Representative Raul Ruiz called on President Joe Biden to establish the Chuckwalla National Monument.

As part of our Road to 30: Postcards campaignthe Center for Western Priorities released a short video showcasing the area’s stunning geology, colorful wildflowers, and diverse wildlife. The video features three people among the many who are working hard to protect these vital resources.

Not only would a national monument designation ensure the landscape remains intact for future generations, but it would also contribute greatly to President Biden’s nearly-historic conservation record—with just half a year left in his first term, he is about 100,000 acres away from protecting more public land using the Antiquities Act than any other first-term president since Jimmy Carter.

Quick hits

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Federal law banning import of Russian uranium includes funding to prop up U.S. uranium mining

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Polis signs bill allowing Colorado Parks and Wildlife to study and conserve invertebrates, rare plants

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‘Without water, you can’t live here’: Mining claims in Nevada like redeclaration of war for some

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Editorial: The future of conservation on BLM land

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Arizona Tribes were left out of water decisions until 1908. Here’s how they negotiate today

Fronteras Desk

Conservation efforts target monarch butterflies as ESA decision looms

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Quote of the day

If you like margaritas, you gotta love nectar-feeding bats because they pollinate agaves.”

—Tim Snow, retired nongame biologist, Arizona Republic

 

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Positive experiences in nature can improve mental health, increase creativity, decrease anxiety, and lower cortisol levels—all of which help reduce the risks from poor mental and physical health.

Shinrin-yoku, or forest bathing, offers a positive experience in nature. This Japanese practice emerged in the 1980s and 1990s, after researchers proved that being immersed in nature is good for our mental and physical health. Forest bathing is bathing in the forest atmosphere—connecting with the environment through our sight, hearing, smell, taste, touch, and state of mind.

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