Written by Don Byrd
The legal controversy over the Mojave cross has been through countless rounds of litigation, been the subject of congressional legislation and a Supreme Court ruling, and now finally may be coming to a close. A federal judge has approved a settlement that exchanges the land for several acres elsewhere in the Mojave National Preserve. The Hill will be privately owned, the cross will be restored, and the Park Service will provide a clear indication that the religious memorial is a private not public display.
U.S. District Judge Robert Timlin in California on Monday signed an order that will allow the Mojave Cross to return to Sunrise Rock. According to the settlement, the National Park Service will transfer the title for the one-acre parcel on which the cross sat to the Veterans of Foreign Wars post in Barstow, Calif., in exchange for five acres of donated land.
“We look forward to working with the Veterans of Foreign Wars in completing the land exchange,” said Mojave National Preserve Superintendent Stephanie R. Dubois in a press release. “We are requesting that everyone be patient as we complete the land exchange, and we would like to remind folks that no cross can legally be displayed until the land exchange is complete.”
I’ve been writing this blog for a few years now and if there is one constant I’ve been able to rely on, it’s the neverending fight over the Mojave Cross. Every few months I could always count on some new unexpected procedural development. A settlement in the case is like the end of an era. Now what?