PRESERVE JUNIPER FLATS
THIS RARE DESERT/MOUNTAIN LANDSCAPE MUST BE GIVEN NATIONAL CONSERVATION LAND STATUS
The Alliance for Desert Preservation has jump-started a campaign to grant National Conservation Land status to Juniper Flats. This is the Bureau of Land Management’s highest level of protection—and the only way to assure that this extraordinary area, held by the federal Bureau of Land Management for the benefit of all of us, will remain as it is, protected from the blight of big renewable energy projects.
The North Peak Wind Project targeted the ridgelines of Juniper Flats with 71 wind turbines looming 500 feet high. The developer withdrew its applications only after it met outspoken opposition from the public. National Conservation Land status will prevent this near-catastrophe from happening again.
JUNIPER FLATS IS SPECIAL
The BLM recognizes that Juniper Flats is special: in the preferred alternative of the draft Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP), the BLM and its fellow governmental agencies propose to designate substantial portions of Juniper Flats as an Area of Critical Environmental Concern. However, this proposal is only tentative, and in any event, big development companies are experts at doing an end-run around this kind of designation. National Conservation Land status is the best way to keep Juniper Flats as it is, to be enjoyed by all of us for generations to come.
Almost every individual and group with any familiarity with Juniper Flats—from hikers to wildlife advocates to OHV enthusiasts—is getting behind our push to keep Juniper Flats as it is—free from spoiling by big energy companies on the lookout for profits. The Alliance for Desert Preservation is leading a full-court press to submit letters and petitions to the BLM and elected officials, telling them: “The people want you to protect Juniper Flats!”
We urge you to sign our petition and to join us in the effort to make Juniper Flats part of the National Landscape Conservation System, and save it from any possibility of industrial development.
Juniper Flats stretches across 100,000 acres in the northern foothills of the San Bernardino Mountains, where the high desert rises to meet a magnificent skyline above Lucerne Valley, Apple Valley, and Victorville. It is home to more than 50 endangered and threatened species and species of special concern, including plants that are found nowhere else on earth.
WHY JUNIPER FLATS MUST BE PRESERVED
A Rare Ecosystem
It is a rare and complex ecosystem that embraces both desert and mountains and the transition zone in between. It includes the signature Joshua trees of the High Mojave Desert as well as foothills and ridgelines rich with piñon, juniper, and oak woodlands. Within Juniper Flats are springs and seeps, so rare in the desert, and so important to desert wildlife.
Accessible to Everyone
Given its location so close to four High Desert communities, Juniper Flats is accessible to thousands of residents, visitors, educators, and students who prize the area for its hiking, bird-watching, rock climbing, nature study, and off-highway driving opportunities—and for the pleasures of quiet and solitude.
It is a place of breathtaking beauty. Its ridgelines, canyons, Joshua trees, boulder formations and desert views are among the finest in the entire Mojave Desert.
Juniper Flats and its surroundings are home to at least five pairs of nesting golden eagles, while visiting eagles migrate through the San Bernardino Mountains, taking advantage of the range’s updrafts and wind features. Bald eagles spend the winter in land adjacent to Juniper Flats, including Silverwood Lake, Lake Arrowhead, and Big Bear Lake. It is a breathtaking sight to see eagles on the wing high above the ridgetops of Juniper Flats.
Other Endangered Birds
It is also home to other endangered birds, like the southwestern willow flycatcher, least Bell’s vireo, and western yellow-billed cuckoo. These birds could disappear from this area forever unless we give full protection to Juniper Flats.
It is critically important as a wildlife corridor. The Cushenberry herd of bighorn sheep migrates through Juniper Flats from the San Bernardino Mountains north to the Granite Mountains. Mountain lions and badgers also rely on this corridor. Juniper Flats also links to the Upper Mojave River drainage, where nearly 200 species of birds have been sighted. Radar studies indicate large numbers of them pass through Juniper Flats during migratory seasons.
Hiking and Fishing
The Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail skirts the boundary of Juniper Flats for six miles. In the same area are Deep Creek, a state-designated Wild Trout Stream, and Deep Creek Hot Springs, enjoyed by thousands annually, many of whom participate in its care and upkeep.
A small portion of Juniper Flats is already an Area of Critical Environmental Concern because of its archeological treasures, which include six significant prehistoric sites and two historic mine sites. That same area also contains springs and riparian habitat within a dense stand of junipers. But ACEC is not enough for this one small area—nor is it adequate to fight the powerful big energy interests. Only National Conservation Land status for all of Juniper Flats gives the protection this exceptional landscape deserves.
Adjacent to National Forest
The entire southern boundary of Juniper Flats borders the 679,380-acre San Bernardino National, with its nationally renowned recreational opportunities and its 71 threatened and endangered species. Protecting Juniper Flats would create a critical buffer zone for the national forest.
ABOUT NATIONAL CONSERVATION LANDS
Here is how the Bureau of Land Management describes the National Landscape Conservation System mission:
“The mission of the National Conservation Lands is to conserve, protect, and restore these nationally significant landscapes that are recognized for their outstanding cultural, ecological, and scientific values.
“National Conservation Lands are part of an active, vibrant landscape where people live, work, and play. They offer exceptional opportunities for recreation, solitude, wildlife viewing, exploring history, scientific research, and a wide range of traditional uses.”
Juniper Flats meets all of these criteria. It must remain forever exactly as it is—
beautiful, undeveloped, and accessible. It must be preserved.
TAKE ACTION NOW!