Washington, DC - Today, Congressman Juan Vargas (CA-51) introduced the “Imperial Valley Desert Conservation and Recreation Act of 2015” (H.R. 4060). This bill designates and transfers land in order to protect key habitats and creates new recreational areas including permitting motorized recreation on designated routes.

“The Imperial Valley desert is home to vast amounts of diverse terrains that are of incredible importance to the people of our region and to the State of California,” said Rep. Vargas. “This bill would enable residents and visitors to enjoy the unique desert while partaking in outdoor activities in the appropriate designated areas.”

The bill would impact three major areas within Imperial Valley and transfer or designate over 86,000 acres of land. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) would transfer land to the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park to be managed as state wilderness.

BLM would also be authorized to transfer land to Imperial County to expand the Holtville Airport. Finally, the Imperial Valley Desert Conservation and Recreation Act would establish the Vinagre Wash Special Management Area, a total of 81,000 acres in eastern Imperial County, to protect and enhance wildlife management, recreational, cultural and ecological resources. 

“Imperial County is one of the most environmentally diverse areas in California, with thousands of miles of BLM wilderness areas, wildlife and desert vistas,” said Rep. Vargas. “I want to make sure we take care of the incredible natural resources Imperial Valley offers, to ensure that our children may enjoy them for generations to come.”