The Center for Biological Diversity petitioned the California Fish and Game Commission today to protect western Joshua trees under the California Endangered Species Act.
Joshua trees, which are native to the Mojave Desert, are threatened by climate change and habitat destruction.
Brendan Cummings is the Center for Biological Diversity’s conservation director and a Joshua tree resident.
Cummings: “Joshua trees have become an icon of California, and millions of people visit the state to visit our national park, Joshua Tree National Park. Unfortunately, Joshua trees have also become a symbol of society’s failure to address the climate crisis and reduce our greenhouse emisisons. I’m hopeful that the process started with this petition will ultimately turn Joshua trees into a symbol of how society comes together and does what’s necessary to save an important part of our heritage in the face of climate change.”
Under the California Endangered Species Act, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife has three months to make a recommendation to the Fish and Game Commission, which will then vote on the petition at a public hearing early next year.