Community supports Chuckwalla National Monument at Interior Department meeting

Jun 18, 2024

Department of the Interior officials attended a community meeting Friday to gather feedback on the proposal to designate Chuckwalla National Monument, signaling that the administration is interested in moving forward with a monument designation. Attendees included BLM Director Tracy Stone-Manning and Acting Deputy Interior Secretary Laura Daniel-Davis. An estimated 700 people attended the meeting, and 86 percent of those who spoke were in support of the proposal.

The proposed Chuckwalla National Monument would protect approximately 660,000 acres just south of Joshua Tree National Park, including land important to the Fort Yuma Quechan Indian Tribe, the Torres Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indians, and the Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians. The monument would provide more equitable access to nature for local communities, and safeguard biodiversity, wildlife habitat, and wildlife migration corridors. The proposal is supported by conservation groups, community members, and local Tribes. Senator Alex Padilla and Representative Raul Ruiz have both introduced legislation to establish the national monument and have called on President Joe Biden to designate the monument using the Antiquities Act.

As part of the Road to 30: Postcards campaignthe Center for Western Priorities released a short film showcasing the area’s geology, wildflowers, and diverse wildlife. The video features three people who have worked hard on the campaign to protect this area.

Happy Juneteenth!

Look West will be off tomorrow in observance of Juneteenth, which celebrates the abolition of slavery in the United States. Entrance to national parks is free tomorrow in commemoration of the holiday!

Correction: Yesterday’s edition of Look West stated that the Ute Mountain Ute and Southern Ute Tribes support the proposed Dolores Canyons National Monument. While some Tribal members have been outspoken about their individual support, the Tribal governments have not released a formal endorsement of the proposal.

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Quote of the day

These lands encompass our origins, history, songs, religious ceremonies, ancient sites, trails, petroglyphs, artifacts, and intaglios that are spread throughout our traditional territories.”

—Jordan Joaquin, president of the Fort Yuma Quechan Indian Tribe, E&E News

Picture This

mountain goat with tongue out
@glaciernps

Goats licking rocks may have gone viral on Tumblr 10 years ago, but they still crave that mineral (swipe to see a couple of the viral posts we’re referring to). We’re happy to say Glacier National Park is home to plenty of rock-licking goats. More specifically, our mineral-loving mammals are mountain goats (Oreamnos americanus) and we thought they were cool BEFORE they got internet famous.
See that tongue? That was MADE to get calcium, potassium, magnesium, sodium, and phosphorus from mountainsides after thousands of years of evolution. Why? To help correct mountain goats’ chemical balance after eating lots of vegetation in the spring. They’re herbivores after all!

You can see this Montana Species of Concern in action too! Remember to keep your distance and to NEVER feed wildlife, but places like Goat Lick here at Glacier are known for having mountain goats nearby.

 

 

Featured photo: Mecca Hills in the proposed Chuckwalla National Monument; Source: Bob Wick/BLM