STEWARDSHIP OF THE CALIFORNIA DESERTS
An Interfaith, Intercultural Statement of Principles
Supported by members of many religious and cultural organizations in the California desert region as noted by our signatures below.
1.) We declare interdependence spiritually and physically with the desert. Even when we are living in cities far from wilderness, we are nurtured by the knowledge that its grandeur spreads out behind the mountains. Its quietude enables us to hear the still, small voice of the Divine. It awakens us to what matters, and what does not, amidst our distractions. It awakens us to the preciousness of life.
2.) We affirm that when we humans must interfere with desert life and landscape, great care must be taken to restore ecological balance and preserve its native cultural heritage. As stewards of creation, we must be aware of the impact human decisions have on the cultural and ecological heritage of the land. Our decisions in this moment of human history affect our children and children's children.
3.) We affirm that the natural features of the California deserts have a right to exist that comes not from human beings, but from the divine Source of all creation. Therefore, it is our sacred duty to conform our human laws and practices to the land, to conserve its life-forms, and honor the indigenous cultural heritage of the desert.
4.) We pledge to connect more people to the desert, so that their souls may be nurtured by its serenity and beauty and share our commitment to preserving it. We pledge to invite more people to meaningful connection to the desert and we commit to educate the people of our communities of faith about the desert. Through intentional reflection and action, we will raise awareness of the desert's sacredness and its need for faithful stewardship.