By Rose Marcario, Patagonia CEO
When I first moved to Los Angeles, my friends took me on a camping trip to Joshua Tree National Park. I had never been in a desert landscape and had no idea what to expect. I thought I’d find it boring. But I can only describe that first trip as a spiritual experience. I’d been meditating for years in some of the most beautiful places in the world, but nothing compared to going deep into the desert, surrounded by prehistoric rock formations, Joshua trees, abundant wildlife and stripped down, elemental landscapes. I thought then how glad I was that Joshua Tree was a national park and I hoped the surrounding landscape would be found worthy of protection and preservation for all generations to come.
Now, President Obama has officially recognized new California desert national monuments—known as Mojave Trails, Sand to Snow and Castle Mountains—totaling 1.8 million acres. These lands signify and solidify this region’s place as one of America’s truly remarkable—and now truly valued—landscapes. That’s good news for all of us; the people who look to these lands for recreation and relaxation; the desert towns that will develop into gateway communities for these national landmarks; and the wildlife that migrate through and live in the desert.
Above: Amboy Crater, part of the Mojave Trails National Monument in California. Photo: Bob Wick, BLM