Like many veterans, I feel a great amount of patriotism when exploring public lands. Just as it is our duty to protect our country and its people, I and other veterans see it as our patriotic duty to safeguard special places like those in the California Desert. Our nation’s public lands are a key reflection of our country’s heritage — these lands belong to all Americans, as does the responsibility to protect them.

That’s why I encourage desert residents to join me in the fight to safeguard our California desert lands. It’ll take a united community to make sure our desert treasures are preserved for future generations, and it’s a responsibility we can’t take for granted.

Even “protected” places like our California Desert National Conservation Lands face ongoing threats from vandalism, as well as activities like overgrazing and irresponsible off-road recreation of designated routes. These activities threaten important natural and cultural resources, and endanger critical habitat for wildlife.

Read the full article at Daily Press.