The Mojave Desert Land Trust, in partnership with local chambers of commerce from the California Desert, has released a marketing toolkit to help local businesses and governments get the most out of tourism opportunities created by the new California Desert national monuments. President Barack Obama designated the Mojave Trails, Sand to Snow and Castle Mountains national monuments, in early 2016, permanently protecting these public lands.
The toolkit is designed as an Adventure Kit, to encourage locals and visitors alike to explore the new national monuments and surrounding communities. Adventure Kits include maps of each monument, highlighted activities within each monument, local services found in surrounding communities, a desert survival skills bandana, a Mojave Desert drive music playlist, Leave No Trace information, and other materials to encourage desert exploration. As part of this effort, the trust is working with local chambers of commerce, cities, and tourism entities to distribute the promotional materials to the business community throughout the California Desert.
Danielle Segura, executive director of the trust, said promotional materials outline the great value national monuments have to offer, and provide information for businesses to distribute to their customers. Segura brought her presentation before the Needles Chamber of Commerce during its quarterly general membership meeting in November.
“Our new California Desert national monuments are wonderful places to explore, whether you’re a local resident or traveling from afar,” said Segura. “Providing the business community with information and resources to market the monuments is a good investment in the economic future of our region.”
National Parks and public lands throughout the California Desert are already an important part of the local economy. In 2015, visitors to Joshua Tree and Death Valley National Parks and the Mojave National Preserve contributed more than $225 million to the region’s economy and provided more than 3,100 jobs. According to Segura, business leaders in California Desert communities are optimistic about the opportunity to highlight the new monuments as attractions for the region.
“In developing this toolkit, we met with business leaders throughout the region,” added Segura. “It became clear in these conversations that the business community is hungry for information and resources to share with their customers about the monuments. We are already known for the beauty of Joshua Tree, Death Valley and the Mojave. Now, we have the opportunity to share the wonders of our new national monuments.”
In the coming month, the trust plans to partner with additional chambers to hold events in which businesses can learn more about this marketing opportunity. Chambers partnering with the trust so far on this effort include Barstow, Needles, and Twentynine Palms, with additional groups to be added on.
The California Desert monuments offer places to learn about history and wildlife and to hike, camp, fish and pursue many more outdoor activities. Visitors may experience the history of Route 66 in Mojave Trails National Monument, see plants and animals not found anywhere else on the planet in Sand to Snow National Monument, and hike among rocky peaks and Joshua tree forests in Castle Mountains National Monument.
by Robin Richards, editor, Needles Desert Star