Effective Land Use

MBCA believes that the effective use of desert land is important both on a personal, day-to-day basis and also at the larger scale of community and government efforts. To learn more, find Effective Land Use topics in the pull-down menu tab above, browse recent Effective Land Use articles below, or use the search feature.

 

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  • Rural Roads and OHV Limits

    Commentary and documents provided by Pat Flanagan
     
    The BLM believes they have the legal right to connect public land parcels together using county un-maintained dirt roads. I believe this is incorrect – our dirt roads, a legacy of the Small Tracts Act (STA), are considered by the County, based on case law and the STA, to constitute legal right-of-way (ROW) for those entitled to use them, i.e. the public and utility companies. 
     
    The documents provided here, especially the STA pamphlet and Penfold letter and County opinion, need to be readily available to anyone wanting to understand their legal position should BLM open County un-maintained dirt roads to OHV riding.

     

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  • New Comment on California's Renewable Energy Planning

    MBCA continues to keep an eye on California's Renewable Energy planning process.  In this letter crafted by our Board member Pat Flanagan, MBCA comments on concerns with the current planning process that, among other things, overlooks the extent of dust pollution created by excessive large-scale renewable energy projects. 
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  • Off Road Vehicles Comment Letter

    January 2016

    On January 22, 2016, MBCA submitted a detailed comment letter to the BLM about the proposed changes to the West Mojave Plan (WEMO), arguing against the Plan Amendment, particularly the preferred Alternative 3, as it "threatens our quality of life, property values, tourism economics, and public land conservation values by legalizing OHV riding on thousands of miles of dirt roads throughout our Morongo Basin and other area communities in the West Mojave."  Further, the letter demonstrates how the BLM's plan flies in the face of the federal Small Tract Act with its intent to provide a comfortable framework for residential desert communities.

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  • MBCA sends Comment Letter on Eagle Crest Transmission Line Environmental Assessment (EA)

    MBCA, as part of a coalition of 7 other organizations and scientists, has sent a detailed Environmental Assessment Comment Letter to the BLM State Director Jerome Perez opposing the Eagle Crest Pumped Storage project and requesting a full Environmental Impact Study (EIS) instead of the planned and less comprehensive Environmental Assessment (EA) on the Transmission Line. It provides a thorough and detailed record of all the stages of insufficient analysis that have been completed for this project.  

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  • Nov. 3 Planning Commission Meeting Commentary

    November 6, 2016
    Commentary on November 3rd Planning Commission Meeting
    MBCA Board member Pat Flanagan shares her impressions of the Community Plan portion of the Planning Commission Meeting:
     
    The desert and Joshua Tree were presented at the end of the Workshop, following maps from the Valley and Mountains communities. The order was a plus because we had the chance to see how the other communities (Community Plans not mentioned) were treated. If they had any issues we didn't hear about them, except from Lucerne Valley. The presenters used an app that allowed the viewer to see maps in more detail as they were discussed by the planner. 
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  • County Community Plans - Joshua Tree

    November 6, 2016
    Commentary on November 3rd Planning Commission Meeting
    MBCA Board member Pat Flanagan shares her impressions of the Community Plan portion of the Planning Commission Meeting:
     
    The desert and Joshua Tree were presented at the end of the Workshop, following maps from the Valley and Mountains communities. The order was a plus because we had the chance to see how the other communities (Community Plans not mentioned) were treated. If they had any issues we didn't hear about them, except from Lucerne Valley. The presenters used an app that allowed the viewer to see maps in more detail as they were discussed by the planner. 
     
    Early on Commissioner Smith asked if these maps were meant to change the zoning without going back to the community. We were assured by Planning Director Terri Rahhal that they are not zoning maps. (Nevermind that they show zoning and the zoning is different from the zoning in the Community Plan) I think I also heard Director Rahhal say they were not really land use maps either. If true who knows what they are except "necessary to be used to do land use modeling and environmental analysis for the Countywide Plan."
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  • County Renewable Energy and Conservation Element

    The San Bernardino County Planning Commission will receive information from staff about the Renewable Energy and Conservation Element (RECE) on Thursday, November 3, 9:00 AM.
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  • Eblast: October 31, 2016

    County Planning Commission Meeting
    • Draft Renewable Energy and Conservation Element (RECE)
    • Community Plan Workshop (Land-Use Map)
    IMPORTANT COUNTY PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING 
    WHEN: Thursday, November 3, 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
                      (break for lunch 12-1:30)
    WHERE: San Bernardino & Joshua Tree (videoconference)
    • SB Co. Govt. Center - 385 N. Arrowhead Ave., 1st Floor, SB
    • Burke Co. Govt. Center, 6427 White Feather Rd., Joshua Tree
    The meeting this Thursday will include a Public Hearing for the Draft Renewable Energy and Conservation Element (RECE) followed by a Community Plan Workshop. Both topics are especially important to Joshua Tree & Lucerne Valley. (Planning Commission Mtg Agenda.) 
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  • MBCA Opinion Piece in Hi Desert Star

    Read MBCA's editorial published in the Hi Desert Star on October 29, 2016.  It describes the problems with the County Supervisors' decision about the Altamira Housing Development and the lawsuit that has been filed by Joshua Tree residents. 

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  • REPORT on Desert-Wise Lecture Fall 2016

    Moving Toward Community-Based Renewable Energy
    On September 24, MBCA hosted a Desert-Wise Living Program focused on intersecting issues of water and energy and the need for community-level renewable energy solutions.
     
    PDF viewable versions of the presenters' Powerpoint slides are available:
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