Red Rock Canyon State Park -- the crown jewel of California's state parks in the Western Mojave Desert -- needs your help! The park is currently revising its general management plan for the first time in 26 years. Please let California State Parks know that you support a plan that puts protection of resources first. This is critically important, because the new management plan will determine how the park is managed for at least the next 20 years.
Red Rock Canyon State park includes 27,000 acres of pristine desert landscape nestled in the southern Sierra Nevada and the El Paso Mountains in Kern County. Directly north and south of the park's boundaries are two Bureau of Land Management off-road vehicle open areas, where unregulated off-road riding is wreaking havoc on the landscape. Increased motor vehicle access will further damage the park's unique resources as even more off-road vehicles rip up the rugged terrain. Precious riparian areas, which have been hurt in the past by de facto roads, are particularly vulnerable to destruction and degradation.
The park is home to many unique plants and animals, including the endangered Mohave ground squirrel and two plants that exist nowhere else in the world: the Red Rock poppy and the Mojave tarplant. The unique geology of the area, with canyons incised into sheer rock walls, is what gave the park its name. These canyons support lush riparian areas -- a rarity in the arid western Mojave desert, and a magnet for wildlife including golden eagles.
Please write State Parks now to let them know you support increased conservation and protection of the irreplaceable resources in the park. The agency's plan needs to reduce vehicular access into rare habitats including riparian and rare species habitat. Park improvements must be limited to those that only increase resource protection.