FURTHER UPDATED: Laurel Williams of the California Wilderness Coalition reminds me that many photos and descriptions of the land involved can be found at californiadesert.org.
UPDATED! Ryan has sent along maps for the National Park properties, and I’ve amended the post to include those. Thanks, Ryan.
Courtesy Ryan Henson of the California Wilderness Coalition, I’ve made available a number of maps, prepared by Senator Dianne Feinstein’s staff, of lands that would be affected by the California Desert Protection Act of 2010.
These maps do not cover all the lands involved in detail: In particular, additions to Death Valley and Joshua Tree national parks and the Mojave National Preserve are not fully covered. See update. These maps give a good summary, for those of us who are somewhat familiar with the California desert, of what the Act would do.
The maps are current as of January 2010, but the areas covered by the Act will no doubt change as the bill makes its way through Congress. If you’re reading this post much later than the date I published it, be advised these maps may be out of date.
All the maps are in PDF format. I’ve shrunk the file size as much as possible, but be aware that each map generally runs between one and two megs. Downloading them all may take a few minutes on broadband. Feel free to repost or otherwise share the maps.
To start with, here’s the text of the California Desert Protection Act of 2010, and a map with an overview of the lands affected. I wrote a summary of the bill here.
As regards the most dramatic positives of the bill, the new National Monuments, we have:
the Proposed Sand to Snow National Monument connecting Joshua Tree National Park with protected lands in the San Bernardino Mountains, and
the Proposed Mojave Trails National Monument stretching from the Nevada state line nearly to Barstow.
National Parks: The Act would add significant tracts to the three National Park units in California’s desert, and designate five wilderness areas in Death Valley NP. The list:
Joshua Tree National Park Boundary Addition:
Mojave National Preserve Boundary Additions:
Baker: this one is not really of ecological significance, it would seem, being basically right in Baker. I imagine it’s planned as an operations center or somesuch.
Other wilderness: The Act would also designate a number of new wilderness areas outside National Park units, some administered by the BLM and some by the National Park Service. They include:
the Kingston Range Proposed Wilderness Additions north of Baker;
the Avawatz Mountains Proposed Wilderness between Baker and Death Valley (this map shows some of the Death Valley National Park expansion and wilderness additions as well);
the Soda Mountains Proposed Wilderness west of Baker;
the Great Falls Basin Proposed Wilderness northeast of Ridgecrest;
the Golden Valley Proposed Wilderness Additions southeast of Ridgecrest, and;
the Palo Verde Mountains and Indian Pass Mountains Potential Wilderness Additions, Milpitas Wash and Buzzards Peak Potential Wilderness, and Vinagre Wash proposed Special Management Area, all clustered together along the Colorado River in Imperial County.
Another wilderness-related provision of the Act would transfer Table Mountain wilderness study area to Anza-Borrego Desert State Park: the State Parks would be required to manage the area as wilderness.
On the rampant destruction side of the equation, the Act would designate a number of sacrifice areas to the off-roaders. They are:
the Stoddard Valley Proposed National OHV Recreation Area between Barstow and Victorville;
the Proposed El Mirage National OHV Recreation Area between Barstow and Lancaster;
the Johnson Valley Proposed National OHV Recreation Area which also serves as potential expansion area for the 29 Palms Marine Corps Base;
the Spangler Hills Proposed National OHV Recreation Area just outside of Ridgecrest, and;
the Rasor Proposed National OHV Recreation Area adjacent to the western edge of the Mojave National Preserve.
As I find more maps of the areas involved, I’ll post them. Thanks again, Ryan.