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NMon status sought for "desert island in the sky" mesa near Death Valley NP

LONE PINE, Calif. —

Wendy Schneider stood on the edge of a windy cliff in an untamed plateau near Death Valley National Park, inhaled deeply and admired a vista of spiny plants, rock spires and sweeping plains that has changed little in thousands of years.

Billowing white clouds drifted off burnt-brown hills bristling with branched and twisted Joshua trees and fishhook cactus. The loudest sounds were the rattling calls of red-shafted flickers flitting in pinion pines.

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