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DC Favors Joshua Tree National Park, but Leaves Butterfly Hanging

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In late February, the Department of Interior reversed its longstanding position in favor of a landfill just outside of Joshua Tree National Park.  For 24 years the Department of Interior supported legal efforts by a company to establish the world's largest landfill just outside of Joshua Tree National Park, where several square miles of canyons would have been filled with 20,000 tons of garbage each day.  The trash, and 24 hour dumping operations would have brought air pollution and subsidized predators that threaten the protected ecosystems that provide peace to many visitors each year.  Over 1.4 million Americans visited Joshua Tree National Park last year, and they came to see beautiful desert vistas, wildlife, and wildflowers, not trash.

The efforts to reverse Department of Interior's position were spearheaded by two citizens concerned about misguided policy in California's deserts--Donna and Larry Charpied.  At issue is the landfill company's proposed land swa…