Los Angeles County has withdrawn plans to turn an abandoned mine site adjacent to Joshua Tree National Park into one of the world's largest trash dumps, according to KCET. The mine site was among 265,000 acres of public land removed from what was then Joshua Tree National Monument by Congress in 1950 to benefit the mineral industry.
The owner of the mine sought to enter into a contract with Los Angeles County to accept thousands of tons of garbage, requiring new train and diesel truck traffic in the desert. The courts dealt the company's plans a severe setback in 2010 and 2011. It was only this month that Los Angeles finally decided to give up on its side of the bargain with the mine company.
As the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) points out, over 300,000 people have spoken out against the landfill project, a testament to the love people have for the desert. The County became willing to abandon the landfill plans because it is increasing its recycling efficiency, which also goes to show you how much we can do as individuals and communities to reduce the burden on wildlands.
The NPCA now pledges to work to return lands given to the Eagle Mountain mine company back to Joshua Tree National Park. The mine site was among 265,000 acres of public land removed from what was then Joshua Tree National Monument by Congress in 1950 to benefit the mineral industry.