Sunday, July 2, 2017
This year, the world watched in awe as a sea of colorful flowers blossomed in the Carrizo Plain National Monument. The superbloom itself was much more than the focal point of thousands of photos; as a product of intense drought and extreme storms, it was a visual testament to the impacts of climate change.
Although the superbloom has ended, we won’t shift our focus from this iconic place. The Trump administration is currently issuing a review of our national monuments that could limit protections for places like Carrizo or eliminate them altogether.
Fortunately, Congressman Salud Carbajal (CA-24) is at the forefront of efforts to protect Carrizo Plain. He spoke out in Congress, in an editorial and in a letter urging the Department of the Interior to preserve Carrizo. He is engaging the public to protect this special place, and I was lucky to join him on a recent tour through part of the 205,000-acre monument with local environmental leaders.
Our first stop was Soda Lake, which is actually dried up most of the year and houses several endangered species. We also visited Painted Rock, a large sandstone formation with 4,000 year old pictographs that serves as a sacred site for the Chumash tribe.
As a person of color experiencing the majesty of the Carrizo Plain alongside Rep. Carbajal, I was inspired to witness his fight to protect access for people like me. You, too, can make your voice heard by submitting a comment to the Department of the Interior today.
Darien Davis is the congressional champions assistant at the League of Conservation Voters in Washington, D.C.