Brian Hammer, Director

I have lived in the Mojave Desert at the urban-rural interface for 40 years in the Victor and Lucerne Valleys. I enjoy sharing the land with the resident wildlife. I am passionate about preserving our Deserts in perpetuity for the flora, fauna and people that live in harmony with the ecosystem.

I am proudly a civil servant. As an analyst with a State Agency, I work with scientists to help sustainably protect and manage our precious water resources. I am an Adjunct Professor at Victor Valley Community College in the Agriculture and Natural Resources Department. I have the great joy of educating young minds about Geographic Information Systems for natural resources management, watershed management, and urban agriculture (gardening). I am delighted to educate and mentor the next generations that are anxious to be the next stewards of the land.

I have been active in Community issues since I was 13 years old. My first lesson in civic engagement was in 1971, marching and petitioning the County Supervisors to preserve the historic John Rains House in Cucamonga (now Rancho Cucamonga). I learned from my teacher, that civic action by a small educated group, with a worthy goal, acting together could make a difference. Since that time I have been involved with issues regarding land use and desert preservation.

Most recently I have been involved in ensuring that our desert lands are not destroyed by paving the desert with industrial solar facilities.  At a casual glance some see the desert as a barren patch of ground. If you slow down and look carefully you will see a symphony of an interdependent ecosystem. The desert is a vibrant “rain forest” with almost all of the activity underground. If you look closer, you will realize how truly amazing the desert is - it deserves to be protected.

As our planet warms we must look to sustainable energy sources. Time is short if we are to save our place on our planet. We must bring rationality to where we site solar facilities. Many sensible sites are available, some are in the built urban environment, some are in the brownfield sites, and our homes stand ready. Siting energy generation in these places will have no impact on our fragile desert ecosystem.

A few years ago I was asked to be a Board member and I humbly accepted. Working with my fellow Board members and my brethren desert dwellers, the “desert rats”, I hope to continue to contribute to a sustainable future of our deserts for generations to come. 

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  • Laraine Turk
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