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Event celebrates creation of California Desert Conservation Program

Jonathan Linden
91.9 KVCR
Assemblymember James Ramos speaking during a May 13, 2022 ceremony to commemorate the passage of AB-1183.

Last week, The Wildlands Conservancy, based out of Oak Glen, hosted an event to celebrate the formation of the California Desert Conversation Program.

Environmental, business, and tribal representatives gathered to celebrate the passage of The Desert Protection Act (AB-1183), which was signed by Governor Newsom last September.

"Today is the symbolic acknowledgment of what that bill has done to preserve the desert communities," said Highland Assemblymember James Ramos, who authored the bill.

The new law establishes the California Desert Conversation Program and will be the first state program aimed at providing funds and support for conservation and restoration efforts for desert lands. "The desert is not just something you drive through... there's beauty, there's pristine, there's history that needs to be preserved," Ramos said.

But the program will not just be a state function, but a collaboration between local governments, non-profits, and Native American tribes."We're now working together, not in silos, to preserve endangered species and ecosystems," Ramos said. "Making sure we're preserving the desert, and along the way protecting animals and protecting petroglyphs and sacred sites of Native American people."

Ramos added that he hopes this new program is not the end but just the beginning of collaborations that will help tackle environmental issues.