Chuckwalla National Monument Would Conserve, Connect Public Lands

For Immediate Release

April 16, 2024 

Contact: Thomas Plank, 303-720-0111 [email protected] 

Chuckwalla National Monument Would Conserve, Connect Public Lands 

WASHINGTON, D.C.— As the voice for our wild public lands, waters, and wildlife, Backcountry Hunters & Anglers (BHA) shared support today for the proposed Chuckwalla National Monument which would conserve approximately 627,000 acres of public lands in the vast desert of southern California.  

This afternoon, Sens. Alex Padilla (D-CA) and Laphonza Butler (D-CA), along with Rep. Raul Ruiz (D-CA), introduced the Chuckwalla National Monument Establishment and Joshua Tree National Park Expansion Act of 2024. BHA joined the bill sponsors and a coalition of conservation organizations, Tribes, area businesses, and local residents in calling on the President Biden to designate the proposed national monument using his authority under the Antiquities Act. This announcement follows the introduction of legislation by Rep. Ruiz in September of 2023. 

The Chuckwalla National Monument would conserve vast, intact public lands within the California desert, home to desert bighorn sheep, burro and mule deer, and the proposed location for the reintroduction of Sonoran pronghorn. Lands within the proposed monument would remain under the authority of the Bureau of Land Management, maintaining access for hunters. The state of California would retain wildlife management authority, including active management for water resources to sustain wildlife populations. This proposal would also connect habitat and wildlife movement corridors from the Joshua Tree National Park to the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge in Arizona. 

“Undeveloped public lands in the California desert are critical for maintaining intact habitat and movement corridors necessary for wildlife, perhaps none more iconic than the desert bighorn sheep, which our members have supported through hands-on projects in this region,” said Eric Hanson, chair of the California chapter of BHA. “We thank Sens. Padilla and Butler and Rep. Ruiz for their leadership in recognizing the importance of this unique landscape and ask President Biden to designate the Chuckwalla National Monument through the Antiquities Act.”  

Public lands conserved through the Antiquities Act have sustained and improved incredible opportunity for hunters and anglers across the United States. To achieve this outcome requires a process that is locally driven, transparent, incorporates the science-based management of habitat, and upholds existing hunting and fishing opportunities. Additional information can be found in our report: National Monuments: A Hunting and Fishing Perspective.  

Backcountry Hunters & Anglers seeks to ensure North America's outdoor heritage of hunting and fishing in a natural setting, through education and work on behalf of wild public lands, waters, and wildlife.  

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