"Joshua Trees Win Long Term Protection In Environmental Victory"

"The bill, to be signed by the California governor, requires drawing up a conservation plan and creates a fund to protect the species".

"California lawmakers have voted to permanently protect the iconic western joshua tree, delivering a hard-won victory for environmentalists who have warned that the climate crisis has imperilled these fixtures of the high desert.

The Western Joshua Tree Conservation Act was passed Tuesday, as part of the state’s budget agreement. It prohibits the unpermitted killing or removal of the trees, requires the development of a conservation plan and creates a fund to protect the species. It appears to be the first California legislation focused on protecting a climate-threatened species.

“It’s been a long journey to get here,” said Brendan Cummings, the conservation director of the Center for Biological Diversity, who has led efforts to list joshua trees as an endangered species for years. “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.”"

Maanvi Singh reports for the Guardian June 28, 2023.

Source: Guardian, 06/29/2023