Major Land Purchase Boosts Juniper Flats Conservation Area

Joshua Tree, Calif. – A significant piece of the Juniper Flats landscape has been purchased for conservation by the Mojave Desert Land Trust. The 595-acre property borders the Juniper Flats National Conservation Lands, strengthening the status of this protected land.

At almost 4,000 ft above sea level, the property lies in the transition zone between the Apple Valley desert floor and the San Bernardino Mountains. It consists of pristine desert with panoramic views, riparian zones, stunning boulders, and important flora and fauna. Three natural springs traverse portions of the property, including Rock Springs.

Rock Springs Ranch is between Apple Valley’s desert floor and the forested San Bernardino Mountains.

In all, eleven adjoining properties were acquired for fair market value with funding from the California Natural Resources Funding Agency and facilitated by the Trust for Public Land. The property is largely undeveloped. A ranch was developed on the southeast corner of the property in the early 1920s, and over time several structures were added.

Horned lizards, red breasted sapsuckers, jackrabbits, and hawks have been seen on the property. It is also home to many species of wildflowers including poppies, desert mariposa lily, desert hyacinth and Grape Soda lupine. Bird species and migratory species such as mule deer depend on the greater Juniper Flats area as a wildlife linkage corridor. Juniper Flats is also critical habitat for several rare, threatened, and endangered species such as the gray vireo and Arroyo toad.

The Mojave Desert Land Trust intends to preserve the natural resources while also introducing public access and educational opportunities.

“This property is a beautiful and wild space right on the doorstep of Apple Valley. This purchase further enhances the strong conservation values of the Juniper Flats National Conservational Lands, a spectacular natural area loved by local residents. We are thrilled about the future conservation possibilities and are looking forward to exploring opportunities for public access.” – Geary Hund, Executive Director

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