Washington August 14, 2019 – Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today released the following statement on the Trump administration’s decision to not list Joshua trees as an endangered species:
“The iconic Joshua tree defines the California desert, but it could be lost forever if the administration has its way. The decision to not protect the Joshua tree under the Endangered Species Act threatens the very survival of this rare beauty that’s found almost exclusively in the Mojave Desert.
“A recent study by University of California researchers and Joshua Tree National Park found the plants are extremely vulnerable to climate change and could be extinct by the end of the century. In a rule change announced early this week, the administration said that scientific factors like climate change would not be used to determine which species warrant protection under the Endangered Species Act.
“By ignoring science, the administration is leaving Joshua trees and other plant and animal species vulnerable to extinction. While they can live for hundreds of years and grow to 10 feet or more in size, the Joshua tree grows very slowly in the harsh desert climate – on average just 2 to 3 inches a year – and takes decades to fully mature.
“If we fail to protect them now, there may not be time to save them in the future.”