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Guess who looses when they buy up land:
"The purchase encompasses hiking, camping, hunting and off-road recreation areas." There agenda is no access to these lands....


Mojave Desert deal moves ahead

A House/Senate panel agrees to help The Wildlands Conservancy buy 100,914 acres.


A drive to greatly expand the amount of Mojave Desert land set aside for wildlife and recreation passed a key congressional hurdle this week.

It is the third major purchase of desert land engineered by The Wildlands Conservancy, based in Oak Glen. The group has dedicated about $30 millionto help buy more than a half-million acres scattered across the eastern Mojave Desert.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., a key supporter, said it is the largest conservation acquisition in U.S. history.

The former railroad property is a checkerboard of acreage located mostly between Barstow and Needles. The conservancy's goal was to protect the land from potential development.

The latest deal will secure 100,914 acres. The House/Sentate Conference Committee agreed Wednesday to spend $3.1 million toward the $8.1 million purchase. The funding proposal is expected to clear the House and Senate before it goes to President Bush.

Those steps are expected to be a formality, said David Myers, executive director of The Wildlands Conservancy, which raised the additional $5 million through donations. The acreage will be turned over to the U.S. Department of the Interior.

"Our money is a gift to the American people," Myers said.

Much of the 100,914 acres is along historic Route 66 and Interstate 40.

The purchase encompasses hiking, camping, hunting and off-road recreation areas. It also includes key pieces of land that create wildlife and recreational corridors between Joshua Tree National Park, Mojave National Preserve and Death Valley National Park.

Desert tortoise and bighorn sheep habitat will be protected, and the Cadiz Dunes and Cady Mountains wilderness areas will be expanded with the acquisition of inholdings.

The conservancy -- with the cooperation of Catellus Development Corp., a former arm of the Santa Fe Railway -- previously negotiated the purchase of 405,205 acres of former railroad holdings to be converted to public land. The group also donated 26,000 acres and engineered land exchanges that will bring the Mojave Desert acreage to 568,120 acres.

"My thanks go to the Wildlands Conservancy and the private donors for their efforts in this successful public-private partnership," Feinstein said in a prepared statement.

"We are were extremely pleased," Myers said.

David Danelski can be reached by e-mail at [email protected] or by phone at (909) 782-7569.

[ 10-13-2001: Message edited by: Crowdog ]

1962 YellowSubmarine
11,423 Posts
<font color="yellow">This has been going on for years on the east coast, now they've expanded to the west...they should be called The Wildlands Confiscators...If your not a "willing seller" when they first make an offer, you can bet your ass you'll be a "willing seller" by the time they are done checking for endangered spieces and habitat...</font c>

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54,554 Posts
i grew up in northern ca in a little town where the highway runs though the center of town. the traffic was horrible in summer. the city, county, & state worked out a bypass & every time a alternet route was proposed the enviromentalist would find something to stop the growth. first it was these little snails, then it was this little flower. not even going to talk about the timber industry.protection of the enviroment is important but closing it is not the answer
when all the land is closed then what do we do <IMG SRC="smilies/fj.gif" border="0"> theres something great about being out where few have been orwill go its like a rite of passage
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