New property anchors wildlife corridor to Joshua Tree National Park
It’s been seven years in the making, but we’ve finally done it! We’ve acquired Juniper Canyon, a 630-acre property on the edge of Joshua Tree National Park.
This canyon was once slated for housing development. In the future it will help anchor a wildlife corridor between the park and the Twentynine Palms Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center.
To help with the purchase, we participated in the 2017 Give BIG San Bernardino County charity drive, with supporters raising a total of $29,355, nearly three times the original goal of $11,000.
This desert tortoise and pinyon-juniper habitat will one day be turned over to the national park. There will also be public access opportunities.
Juniper Canyon was the biggest missing piece of the puzzle that MDLT has been working on to match the northwest boundary of the national park to natural resources like bighorn sheep. It follows on from the purchases of Quail Mountain (2011), the Joshua Tree Section 33 Gateway parcel (2013) and Quail Wash (2015).
“These areas are very desirable places to live. The alternative history would have seen areas like Quail Wash and Section 33 cut up for dense housing and this section of the wildlife linkage corridor would have been severed,” said Frazier Haney, MDLT’s conservation director.
“Acquiring Juniper Canyon ensures these habitats and wildlife corridors surrounding Joshua Tree National Park are secured for future generations. We couldn’t have done it without the support of the local community.”
Care and management of Juniper Canyon will include the cleanup and removal of dump sites, elimination of irresponsible off-road vehicle use, control of weeds, and restoration of native plants where appropriate. Much of this work is completed with the help of a trained corps of volunteers with staff guidance.