Protecting California’s deserts is critical to the state’s past, present and future. As some of the most geographically vast and ecologically diverse areas of California, they are part of the most intact ecosystem in the lower 48 states and are incredibly valuable to plants, wildlife, and people. Protecting California’s deserts is essential to the success of our efforts to address the climate and biodiversity crisis, protecting 30% of lands and waters by 2030.
Some of the most impressive parts of the desert are its smallest things, like its tiny soil microbes and dwarf ancient plants. Thanks to the 30×30 initiative, more and more people are realizing the desert not only provides breathtaking beauty, sacred lands, and biodiversity, but its microscopic soil beings and diminutive ancient plants also naturally capture and store 10% of the state’s carbon both above and below ground that would otherwise be released back into the atmosphere if disturbed. Proper planning can protect our intact desert lands to keep both its seen and unseen treasures functioning.”
Executive Director, SummerTree Institute, 30×30 Inland Deserts, Science Team Lead