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The iconic Joshua Tree gets federal protection

Words by Tess Becker

One of the most iconic national parks in the US is Joshua Tree National Park, where two distinct deserts, the Mojave and the Colorado, meet, forming a distinct ecosystem. Sharp winds and occasional torrential downpours shape the park and is home to rich cultural history in the south of California. 

The park is named for the Joshua Tree, a spindly, spiky tree that wouldn’t be out of place in a Dr Suess book, and now it has government protection.

In a win for environmentalists, California lawmakers voted to permanently protect the iconic western Joshua Tree with the Western Joshua Tree Conservation Act.

The act prohibits the killing or removal of the trees without permission, requires the development of a conservation plan, and creates a fund to protect the species. It’s California’s first act to protect this climate threatened species.

“It’s been a long journey to get here,” said Brendan Cummings, the conservation director of the Center for Biological Diversity. “We can finally move on from the debate over whether joshua trees should get protection, to focusing on actually implementing measures to help ensure that they get through the very difficult decades ahead.”

Charity check-in

At Smiley Movement, we like to elevate the work of charities across the world. Here are three charities whose causes align with the themes in this article.

The Women Invested to Save Earth Fund. This organization helps support underrepresented and underfunded Black, indigenous, and women of color-led organizations across the world. Find out more and support them here

Giraffe Conservation Foundation. They help nonprofits protect and conserve giraffes. Check them out here.

The Life You Can Save. An organization that helps mobilize aid to regions affected by malaria. Find out more

This article aligns with the UN SDG Life on Land.

This article aligns with the following UN SDGs

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