If you can't save the world, how about a (beautiful and unique) little piece of it?

There are some unique and irreplaceable living creatures in that arid cancerous construction/ de-construction zone we call "Southern California. " In that sort of environment, reproduction and growth is tight-fisted, slow, careful.

But they were all doing more or less just fine until humans came along, or to be more precise, until the Americans came along and displaced the Indios and the Spanish, both of whom actually had a clue about what was going on in the natural order.

The Desert Tortoise (Gopherus agassizii), for example, was doing fine for about 67 million years until the advent of dirt bikes and off-road vehicles.

Other SoCal Desert denizens who are up against it include the Arroyo Toad (Bufo californicus), the Coachella Valley fringe-toed lizard (Uma inornata), and the California Condor (Gymnogyps californianus), the last which is right now holding its own due to a multi-multi million dollar full court press of breeding, reintroduction, and protection.

And then there is the beautiful Joshua Tree (Yucca brevifolia), not endangered but Threatened. Joshua Trees don't transplant well, grow best when in large groups of their own species, and do not tolerate close human presence.

The Friends of the Prime Desert Woodlands are trying to protect them, and specifically, protect a stand of them in the City of Lancaster, CA, a city which actually represents the Joshua Tree on its flag.

They're not looking to make the desert off-limits to campers and hikers -- they're trying to do one small thing -- protect 21 acres inside the city on which are some 250 trees, many of them more than 200 years old. Those 21 acres are scheduled to be razed for construction.



The construction people have fenced off the area, usually meaning they're about to bulldoze it.

This is a chance to do one thing. This is a part of government which is still under our control. If you think it's worth a few moments of your time, go to their web site, read what they have to say, and contact them at

It's a good thing to do.


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