1/1/2011 Friends reaches 40,000 acre preservation milestone
The Friends of the Desert Mountains started 2011 off with a bang, reaching the new milestone of 40,000 acres conserved for present and future generations across the Coachella Valley.
Over the last 24 years, the Friends nonprofit organization has been able to fulfill its mission of preserving and protecting land across the Coachella Valley. The conserved acres are located in Friends’ key priority acquisition areas: private inholdings within the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument; lands along State Scenic Hwy 74; important BLM Wilderness areas south of Interstate 10 as you approach our Valley from the east; crucial habitat and ecosystem areas on the valley floor; and critical wildlife movement corridors that link the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains with the San Bernardino Mountains, and the latter with the Little San Bernardino Mountains and Joshua Tree National Park. In all it forms a necklace of open space gems surrounding the Coachella Valley and helping implement the Multiple Species Habitat Conservation Plan.
The acquisitions that have brought us to this milestone have varied in size from less than a quarter acre to an 8,881 acre partnership acquisition; have ranged from below sea level to as high as 7,000 feet in elevation; and have protected sensitive species that are literally the size of a shirt pocket (Coachella Valley pocket mouse) to the 200-pound Peninsular bighorn sheep — a testament to the diversity that is our backyard.
The Friends have several more acquisitions planned for this year, and with continued support from our partners and benefactors, we are looking forward to sharing with you our next big milestone of 50,000 acres.
12/2/2010 DIRT is Back!
Arriving just in time for the holidays the Friends of the Desert Mountains are releasing the second edition of the DIRT Catalog. This highly innovative catalog offers a wide range of creative ideas for donations or for purchases and helps us in our mission to conserve open spaces and supports the efforts of the Friends of the Desert Mountains and the Santa Rosa & San Jacinto Mountains National Monument.
Not sure what to get that special someone or even yourself? – check out the unique items such as Name a Tortoise or Adopt a Desert Acre. Or how about that commemorative 2011 Wildflower T-shirt? Another option to consider – making an annual financial gift or land donation. The possibilities are limitless and it’s time to let your fingers do the shopping. Be sure to check out the latest edition on the Friends Website
11/06/2010 Premier Showing of the “Saturdays at the National Monument Art Show and Sale” A Huge Success!
On Saturday, November 6th, 2010 the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument hosted the premier show in the 2010/2011 Saturday Art Displays series. Staff and volunteers were joined by 13 local artists from in and around the Coachella Valley. Artists included photographers, pottery makers, wood workers, plein-air artisits, musicians,painters, and arts and crafts.
Visitors enjoyed a sunny and warm fall day filled with live music and beautiful artistry. The next art show will take place on January 8, 2011 from 9am-3pm at the National Monument Visitor Center.
10/18/2010 National Monument 10th Anniversary Kick-Off!
By: Gina Tenorio, The Desert Sun
More than 150 people gathered Monday to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument.
Gathered at the monument’s visitor center on Highway 74, Rep. Mary Bono-Mack, R-Palm SPrings, talked about the legislation she introduced in 2000 that would eventually establish the monument.
“It was my first major piece of legislation,” she said.
On Oct. 24, 2000, President Bill Clinton signed into law the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument Act of 2000, officials said.
The act designated 272,000 acres, including lands in the San Bernardino National Forest and the Mount San Jacinto State Wilderness Park, as a national monument, protected by federal law similar to protecting the national park system.
The monument stretches 13 miles wide by 60 miles long from sea level on the valley floor to the top of Mount San Jacinto at 10,804 feet.
“He signed it on my birthday. I like to think he did it for me,” Bono Mack said with a laugh.
Monument staff and volunteers will spend the next year celebrating the anniversary with special events, such as “Passport to Your National Monument” hikes.