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The California Desert Protection Act is Waived for Border Wall

In 1994, Congress passed a bill that protected a slice of the American West—the iconic deserts of California. The California Desert Protection Act (CDPA) established the Death Valley and Joshua Tree National Parks, the Mojave National Preserve, and 69 wilderness additions to the National Wilderness Preservation System—all told, about 1.6 million acres.

Congress felt these public lands needed to be protected by federal law because of the difficulty of managing and protecting their unique desert resources, like rock formations and iconic desert plants (Joshua trees and saguaro cacti). The law directs that these protected lands must be managed to preserve their ecosystems, geologic resources, and cultural history for the benefit of future generations. Most importantly, the law directs that these lands be left “undisturbed,” so that scientific research can be carried out in these living laboratories.

The California Desert Protection Act is one of the 48 federal laws waived to expedite construction of a border wall (click here for a list of all laws waived). Some of the lands protected by the CDPA lie along California’s border with Mexico; these lands, therefore, are no longer protected by federal law. The unique desert resources they contain now can be harmed or destroyed, without consequence.

Please contact your U.S. Senators and Representatives ( and let them know that you oppose waiving The California Desert Protection Act to expedite construction of a border wall. Click here if you would like to make a donation to help us fight the border wall.

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