Eagle Mountain is a well-preserved, fairly recently operating ghost town. It’s privately held land just southeast of Joshua Tree National Park, surrounded on three sides by federal property. It was once a mining town. Then, when that got unprofitable, it became a prison site. Now that’s gone, so the owners are trying to turn it into a dump.

According to the Associated Press, the owners already have the rights to do so, and Los Angeles County wants to buy. The county

agreed to buy the Joshua Tree property for $41 million once the lawsuits were resolved and wants to send about 20,000 tons of garbage there each day for 100 years.

They would have started shipping my beloved county’s garbage in by 1987, if it weren’t for the shrewd legal action of the Charpieds – two jojoba farmers who’ve made it a personal mission to stop the Kaiser Company from getting into the trash transit trade. They were (rightly) concerned about the increased noise and air pollution, not to mention the trash dump leeching into water supplies in the area.And, you know, the fact that they were trying to put a landfill right outside a National Park.

The case is up for another appeal next year, and although the Charpieds have already gotten two judges to rule Kaiser’s environmental impact study incomplete, you never know.

Here’s to hoping we won’t be seeing clouds of seagulls southeast of J-Tree anytime soon.

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