It's unfortunate that the majority of voters in California do not use the desert; if they did I think that even Cranston wouldn't be pushing so hard for his bill. The majority of people opposing this bill are either recreational users, live in or near the desert or make a living from it.
I agree that preservation of selected areas of California for wilderness is desirable; however just closing off large portions of the desert, which are now being used, does not make a whole lot of sense. The large portions to be closed off will be open only to foot traffic. How many of the readers of The Times know anybody who will hike out into the desert in the hot months of the year with only the water that they can carry? Probably few; yet go out on any weekend and see the off-road vehicles using the desert. If the National Park Service takes over, the access to the desert will be like trying to get into Joshua Tree National Monument on a weekend--no space!