LA sanitation ends plans for dump near Joshua Tree

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Los Angeles County's sanitation districts are no longer pursuing plans to build a 4,000-acre landfill near Joshua Tree National Park on former mine land.

David Rothbart, supervising engineer at the Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County, said Friday that the agency will use the $41 million set aside for the land purchase for more recycling and other projects.

Plans to build a mega-landfill less than two miles from one of the nation's ecological treasures had been tied up in litigation for more than 20 years.

RELATED: Joshua trees in the Southern California desert are in 'once-in-a-lifetime' bloom

The landfill would have been surrounded on three sides by the national park, which is internationally known for its otherworldly, spindly Joshua trees.

Environmentalists argued that developing the landfill would attract scavengers like ravens to the park and wreak havoc on the fragile desert ecosystem.

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