SCVNews.com | State Fish & Wildlife Call Joshua Tree Protections Unnecessary for Now

By Matthew Renda

(CN) – The California Department of Wildlife has advised not to include the iconic Joshua tree in the state’s endangered species, angering environmentalists who say a lack of protection will put vulnerable trees at greater risk.

State Commission for Fisheries was decided last year Provide temporary protection to the Joshua tree due to the effects of climate change Summary: According to the state Fish and Wildlife, “there is enough scientific information to show that the mediated action may be justified; it recommends that the mediation be accepted and considered.” It: The discovery came in response Following the rejection of the Trump administration at the request of environmentalists to protect the species.

But: Wednesday report The same agency says that the effects of climate change will come decades from now և may not be so bad if the tree shows the ability to adapt to changing conditions.

“The West Joshua tree is now widely distributed, which reduces the overall relative impact of species threats and significantly reduces the risk of extinction in the foreseeable future,” the report said.

The report will be discussed by Fish and Game in June, when the commissioners will decide whether to extend the temporary defenses or withdraw them.

Environmentalists criticized the report’s findings, saying that canceling any protection would only endanger symbolic species.

“California wildlife officials have just proposed the Joshua Tree Open Season,” said Brendan Cummings of the Center for Biodiversity. “Before the state defense came into force, the developers used thousands of bulldozers to build these beautiful, fragile trees to build roads, warehouses, power plants, strip malls, and rest homes. “If the Joshua trees are to survive in a warming world, we must stop killing them.”

Current temporary protections prevent Joshua trees from being taken without special permission.

Business groups: unsuccessfully sued State Fish and Wildlife – The U.S. Department of Fisheries and Wildlife Department has decided to include the species in the federal Endangered Species List, but such groups say development, expansion, and other economic activities are limited to California, where Joshua trees flourish.

Joshua trees are mostly confined to the Mojave Desert, but they bloom in the Lost Horse Valley of Joshua Tree National Park. They can be found in Utah, Nyada, Arizona, and the high desert deserts of northwestern Mexico.

a study He used climate modeling published in 2019 to analyze the future distribution of the Joshua tree, concluding that if the temperature continued to rise, Joshua Tree National Park would be too hot to support the iconic tree.

The scientists say their models “predict a sharp decline in the Joshua Tree Climate Area from 2070 to 2099, at least 10% of its current range, as the southern parts of its range become climatically unfit.”

But state biologists at Fish and Wildlife say the agency lacks specific data to show that the trees are in imminent danger of extinction due to climate change.

“Although the department recognizes the endangered species, ված the evidence presented in favor of the requested action, the scientific evidence currently in the possession of the department does not indicate that the species populations are negative, which will lead the department to believe that in the foreseeable future the species “It is likely to be in serious danger of extinction throughout its territory or for the most part,” the report said.

Biologists say that the dangers to Joshua trees due to encroachment on development and habitat are enormous due to the large number of trees that grow in protected areas such as the National Park.

“Many populations in the species range are protected from development, which means that much of the species range will not be lost to development alone,” the report said, adding that forest fire threats damage individual trees but do not threaten them. domain loss.

But environmentalists do not agree. They note that 40% of Joshua trees survive on private land, according to the 2020 Dome Fire, where almost all Joshua trees are part of the Mojave Desert Nature Reserve in Arizona. died.

“The department’s proposal is scientifically flawed, reflecting an agency that is either reluctant or unable to meet the challenges posed by climate change to California’s natural heritage,” Cummings said. “Fortunately, the commission has the final say on whether Joshua trees have the legal protection they deserve, so they need them.”

SCVNews.com | State Fish & Wildlife Call Joshua Tree Protections Unnecessary for Now
Source link SCVNews.com | State Fish & Wildlife Call Joshua Tree Protections Unnecessary for Now

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