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Joshua Tree Possibly Adding 32,000 Acres

Drive through one of Joshua Tree National Park's main stretches of road, and it seems as though the desert stretches on forever and ever. That, after all, is one of the big draws of heading out there in the first place. But a new plan may add upwards of 32,000 acres to the park.

The area in question is located in the Eagle Mountain area, just past the eastern section of the park. Currently, park officials are going through the logistics of how adding the land to the National Park will affect, well, all sorts of things. Here's a brief history of that area:

 

Originally part of Joshua Tree National Monument when designated in 1936, the study area was later removed for mineral extraction activities in 1950. Major mining activities in the study area ceased in 1983. In 1989, the area was proposed for a landfill. After decades of challenges and litigation, the landfill proposal was withdrawn in 2013.

 

Seeing as this is a big addition, the park is holding a series of public meetings to allow for comments and questions. The schedule is as follows:

- July 29, 1:30 p.m. - 3 p.m., Online Meeting
- August 4, 6 p.m.-8 p.m., Lake Tamarisk Community Center
- August 5, 6 p.m.-8 p.m., Joshua Tree Community Center
- August 6, 6 p.m.-8 p.m., University of California, Riverside - Palm Desert Center

So, if you have thoughts about this new plan, or just live nearby and want to see how your National Park border sausage gets made, head on over to one of the meetings.

 

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