Feinstein proposes 1 million-acre desert preserve in Southern California

BARSTOW, Calif. — California Sen. Dianne Feinstein has introduced legislation that would prohibit development on about 1 million acres of Southern California desert.

The legislation proposed on Monday would create two separate national monuments on areas of the Mojave Desert that are home to bighorn sheep, desert tortoises and other animals and plants.

The larger preserve is a 941,000 acre parcel along a 105-mile stretch of old Route 66 ending on the California-Nevada border.

The legislation also protects another 134,000 acres about 100 miles east of Los Angeles and makes permanent five existing off-highway vehicle areas in inland Southern California.

Environmentalists, hunters and off-road vehicle enthusiasts have expressed support for the proposal.