Desert Protection

Ken Carpenter’s inaccurate description (letter, Aug. 3) of the recently introduced California Desert Protection Act suggests off-road vehicle users are continuing to oppose protection of the desert without even looking at the specific proposal. The new initiative will ensure permanent protection of the desert’s threatened wildlife, scenic and recreational resources and access to them by all the people of this state.

The legislation is probably the most accessible wilderness and park proposal ever put forward. The desert contains more than 33,000 miles of road. The proposed legislation would protect a portion of the remaining wildlife habitat adjacent to these roads. Eighty-five percent of the land proposed for wilderness is within three miles of vehicular access. Access to wilderness for everyone is assured by the thousands of miles of road and jeep trails that form the borders of the wilderness areas.

The California Desert Protection Act not only protects wildlife and scenic values, but it protects our access into these areas in a way that will allow our children to experience this great American desert and all its glory. Without the legislation, only Carpenter’s off-road vehicle friends will have a place to go in the desert.



Senior Policy Analyst

Wilderness Society, San Francisco