Surfing in the California desert? Developer’s plan sparks outrage over water use, drought, and climate change
On the southern edge of the Mojave National Preserve, in California’s San Bernardino National Forest, lies the most remote area in the preserve’s entire 1,300-mile range. The Mojave National Preserve contains more than 50,000 acres of national forest, including three distinct areas in the Preserve’s northern, central, and southern portions: the Mojave National Preserve (Mojave N), the Las Vegas National Preserve (Las Vegas N), and the Black Rock Desert National Monument (Black Rock N).
Desolate, dry, and hot, the three units of the Preserve are located in the “crown jewels” of California’s northern California desert. The Preserve provides a stark contrast to the arid, barren landscape surrounding it.
According to NASA, the Mojave’s elevation rises from 600 to nearly 2,700 feet above sea level. Unlike the other units in the Preserve, the Mojave is the only one that is not within a National Wildlife Refuge, meaning that the Preserve is not part of any larger unit of protected land.
Because the Mojave is the most remote unit of the entire Preserve, and has the least amount of paved surface on the Preserve, it is the center of contention in developing the Preserve. This is in contrast to the other three units, which are within national forests and near paved roadways.
While the Preserve contains the least amount of roads to be affected by development, the Preserve also contains the most amount of open, un-forested land, according to the U.S. Forest Service. The result is that development along roads in this area is severely limited.
The Preserve’s management and environmental policies are designed to protect this area from the impacts of development and the associated impacts