As climate change continues to accelerate, it is essential to protect natural habitats that act as carbon sinks. When these areas are developed and disturbed, additional carbon is released into the air and the plants and soils in those ecosystems are impacted, reducing their ability to absorb and store carbon. Studies around the world have shown that desert ecosystems can act as important carbon sinks. With desert ecoregions comprising 27% of California, protecting this biome can contribute to securing carbon stores in the state. By limiting development, excessive OHV use, livestock grazing and other activities that disturb desert soils, the state can help ensure these carbon reserves stay in the ground and out of the atmosphere.