560-Acre Joshua Tree Forest to Become Park

A 560-acre forest of Joshua trees west of Lancaster, the legacy of an Antelope Valley rancher who collected guns, railway memorabilia and acres of desert land, has been acquired by the state and will become part of a nearby public park, officials said Monday.

The forest is one of the area’s largest concentrations of Joshua trees.

In a transaction that was finally completed in recent weeks, land was willed to the state by rancher Arthur Ripley, who died two years ago at the age of 88. It represents one of the largest single land acquisitions in the Antelope Valley in more than 20 years, said Gordon McDaniel of the state Department of Parks and Recreation.