Unique aspects of the Yuha Desert include the Oyster Shell Beds, De Anza Historical Monument, Crucifixion Thorn Natural Area, and the Yuha geoglyph. It is the homeland of the Kamia, also spelled Kumeyaay, and may have been used by other Native American groups such as the Cahuilla, Quechan, and Cocopah Native American people.
The Yuha Desert is designated an Area of Critical Environmental Concern by the Bureau of Land Management and is managed as a limited use area for biologic and archaeological resource conservation. The primary species of concern is the flat-tailed horned lizard. Off highway vehicles are limited to signed routes to protect both the flat-tail horned lizard habitat and the archaeological resources including prehistoric campsites and lithic reduction sites along the former edges of Lake Cahuilla, as well as sites representing the use of the region within the historic era.
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