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Around the Campfire 1954…

The Desert Protective Council began around a campfire in Palm Desert in 1954. Over 100 caring individuals, including desert botanist Edmund Jaeger and Desert magazine editor Randall Henderson, resolved to protect Joshua Tree National Monument from proposed mining. It's been 50 years since that battle was won, and in that time the DPC has grown both in numbers and in scope, but our cause remains the same...the protection, appreciation, and enjoyment of some of nature's most marvelous bounty: our deserts. We speak for landscapes – and the plants and animals that depend on them – that are threatened by exploitation, development, poaching, and other abuses.Desert Gardens by Diana Lindsay © All Rights Reserved

Since our small beginning, we have spearheaded many hard-won successes that have resulted in the preservation of wildlife habitats and natural resources of the four great deserts of the southwest. In addition to our early success in Joshua Tree, we also were there for the battle against dams in Grand Canyon National Park, the genesis of the Anza-Borrego Foundation, the successful passage of the California Desert Protection Act, and recent off-highway vehicle legislation.

The new century has brought many changes for our organization, including the recruitment of our first paid Conservation Coordinator, an organizational restructuring, and a legal settlement in our Mesquite Landfill lawsuit. The fund from this settlement has increased our effectiveness and focus in California’s Imperial Valley. We use the funds from this settlement to support vital conservation work in this often overlooked area (see our Mesquite Fund page to learn more). So, while we carry on the mission set over 50 years ago, there’s a lot that’s new about us. We hope you’ll join us as we continue to change and grow during our next 50 years!

As a non-profit organization, we depend on our membership to increase the power of our conservation activities. Working together, we can spread our enthusiasm for the desert to a greater audience, ensuring a lasting constituency for desert conservation. Our board of volunteer Directors determines policies and strategy and oversees the activities of one paid staff member. For people who love the desert, we offer opportunities to help protect this remarkable landscape, including grants for Imperial County conservation and education projects, stewardship outings, action alerts, wilderness area monitoring, and more. To learn more about what we do, explore our website further, including our newsletter archives. Then we hope you’ll consider supporting the Desert Protective Council by joining or donating.

For even more information contact Terry Weiner, Imperial County Projects and Conservation Coordinator