Sand to Snow National Monument
San Gorgonio Mountain rises above Sand to Snow National Monument
Sand to Snow National Monument is a 154,000-acre property set aside by President Barack Obama using an Executive Order signed on February 11, 2016. The National Monument includes about 71,000 acres of San Bernardino National Forest and about 83,000 acres of the BLM's California Desert District. Included in the National Monument is the San Gorgonio Wilderness and part of the Bighorn Mountain Wilderness. The Pacific Crest Trail spends about 30 miles of its journey on the property, a good portion of that above 10,000' along a 7-mile ridge in the San Gorgonios. The San Gorgonio Wilderness is the most visited wilderness area in southern California.
The property rises steeply from the Mohave Desert floor to the top of San Gorgonio Mountain at 11,502', crossing through several ecological zones as the vegetation changes from yucca and Joshua tree on the desert floor to aspen, Douglas fir and Ponderosa pine in the upper mountains. More than 240 species of resident and migratory birds have been cataloged in the area and 12 federally-listed threatened and endangered species call the National Monument home. The area also sports the largest population of black bears in southern California and offers large areas of California spotted owl habitat.
On that same day in February, 2016, President Obama also signed Executive Orders creating Mojave Trails National Monument and Castle Mountains National Monument, also in southern California.
The National Monuments created in southern California in February, 2016
View from orbit courtesy of NASA
Map courtesy of the US Department of the Interior