Monday, July 03, 2017

Sonoran Desert National Monument: A Freeway Monument

Freeway Monument
Sonoran Desert National Monument.  Arizona.  December 18, 2016.
Copyright © 2017 A. F. Litt, All Rights Reserved

National Monuments in Danger

We are down to the final days of the comment period!  Please, take the time today to comment on the fate of this national monument, any of the other 27 monuments on the Interior Department's list, or on the fate of all of them.  

To comment on the monument review process (due July 10, 2017):

For me, this was a freeway monument. I-8 rolls right through the dry and wind-blasted heart of it, though, at speed on the interstate, little is revealed. Likewise, at the rest area, the mountains rise in the distance, but a true sense of the monument is impossible to capture...

I drove through it twice, actually, on this trip. Once after dark, through a sandstorm, and once in the middle of the day. Both times were rushed.  At least, a few photos were possible the second time through...

Of course, there are three wilderness areas, lava flows, mountains, and a few roads accessing these sights. More time could have been spent here, blissfully wandering the desert through the cooler temperatures of December, but this was a travel day for me. I knew the monument was here, I counted coup with the brief, transient photos I could capture on the fly, but I needed to make some miles while the short daylight hours remained.

If I knew at the time that this monument might be at risk, I probably would have explored more. Of course, it was after the election, so I knew that all our public lands might be in some sort of jeopardy, especially the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante monuments, but out here?

Though I saw little, it is still a good place and it deserves our protection. I do have more photos, and a lot more information to share. I will post another post on this monument soon.

Sonoran Desert National Monument Map (as of June 2017) - PDF

To comment on the monument review process (due July 10, 2017):

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