April 22, 2009

California Desert national park units receive $20M

Wesley G. Hughes, Staff Writer
Contra Costa Times

The White House on Wednesday authorized $97 million from American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds for job-intensive work in California national parks, including more than $20 million for the job-needy Inland region.

Joshua Tree will receive more than $5 million, Mojave, more than $7 million and Death Valley, almost $8 million parks. The announcement details how the jobs will be created and on which projects.

At Mojave National Preserve, for example, there will be restoration of natural landscape and resource habitat, isolated uses of solar-powered lights and solar panels, temporary closure of multiple mines and spray Kelso Dunes Road with dust palliative.

Among the jobs at Joshua Tree are maintaining camp and picnic area sites; repair, treat and stabilize roads and trails parkwide and repair damaged section of 49 Palms Canyon Trail.

Death Valley projects include conversion of the Stovepipe Wells water plant to photovoltaic power and replace roofs on seven historic houses.

Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., said, "I am thrilled that money from the economic recovery package will help improve California's national parks and ensure these treasures are preserved for our children and our grandchildren."