Plan would open up desert areas to mining projects, eliminating up to 2.2m acres of conservation lands

The outgoing Trump administration is proposing to strip away protections for millions of acres of California desert, threatening damage to Joshua trees, desert tortoises and landmarks.

The plan would open up California’s desert areas to mining projects, eliminate up to 2.2m acres of conservation lands, as well as remove 1.8m acres designated as Areas of Critical Environmental Concern (Acecs).

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