Monday, August 8, 2011

Three Female Conservationalists

In the beginning, there was only water as far as the eye could see, according to the Chemehuevi Indians, who once traversed the rocky peaks and steep slopes of what is now Joshua Tree National Park. Ocean Woman, afloat on a woven boat with wolf, mountain lion and coyote, created the land by rubbing dead skin from her body and sprinkling it over the primeval sea.

In this ancient story, a woman creates the desert land that is protected by Joshua Tree National Park from her own body. In contemporary times, three women worked tirelessly to understand and protect what is now Joshua Tree National Park. This year, Joshua Tree National Park will celebrate its 75th Anniversary. I'd like to commemorate that history by honoring the contributions of three women who are key to its preservation.

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