The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today published a notice indicating that it will NOT protect the Joshua tree under the Endangered Species Act. Guardians, which petitioned the Service to list the Joshua tree as “threatened” in 2015, vowed to challenge today’s decision in court.
The Service’s notice comes on the heels of a study conducted by UC Riverside predicting a dire future for Joshua trees. Unable to cope with the effects of climate change, the trees could disappear from Joshua Tree National Park by 2099 without intervention. Even more bad news for this iconic species: on August 12, the Trump administration published final rules seeking to weaken the Endangered Species Act’s protections, including preventing species from being listed based on threats from climate change.
Joshua trees “symbolize something wild and free in our otherwise constructed lives and their continued existence must be protected for future generations,” said Guardians’ Lindsay Larris.
Read the press release.