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Proposed National Monument in the Mojave Desert would preserve Route 66

Mojave Desert

Mojave Desert

Years ago, while I was working on Route 66, the first book, I was squatting on the edge of the road in the Mojave Desert, making a photograph of the Sleeping Beauty Rock. A tank drove out of the desert and missed me by a few feet. Gen. Pattons tank men learned desert warfare in the Mojove, during WWII. In 1982 who knows who was practicing desert warfare in the desert, but that tank sure scared me.

On another trip across the desert sixteen years later, I became intrigue with the dry rivers that run through the landscape.

Preservationists, concerned that the expansion of the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center at Twentynine Palms, which would cut off access to miles of Route 66 and the growth of solar farms in the Mojave would have on the proposed  Mother Road National Monument, which would protect 70 miles of old Route 66 between Needles and Ludlow and 2.4 million acres of  desert where the Bureau of Land Management owns most of the land.

Dry River, Mojave Desert

Dry River, Mojave Desert

The proposal would preserve all existing uses of the federal lands and allow for military and solar and wind farms.  It would keep the Johnson Valley Off-Highway Vehicle Area open to off-road vehicles.

However, Pacific Gas and Electric’s proposed solar generation plant on 5, 120 acres east of Amboy would spoil the view from Route 66.

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