MBCA believes that conservation of the desert’s natural resources is a concern both on a personal day-to-day basis and also at the larger scale of community and government efforts.

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Photos by Laraine Turk
Photo by Alexandra Hicks
  • Featured post

    State Agency Recommends Against Threatened Listing for Joshua Trees

    Posted by · April 17, 2022 3:22 PM
    The California Department of Fish and Wildlife has published a status review concluding that Western Joshua trees do not warrant threatened status in California. The ultimate determination is in the hands of the California Fish and Game Commission, which in September 2020 granted the species interim threatened status and implemented guidelines for its protection. The official presentation of the status review by the Department to the Commission is scheduled for April 21; however, the Commission’s vote is not expected until its June 16 meeting. This April 13 press release by the Center for Biological Diversity, which filed a petition that initiated the status review by the Commission, provides background and outlines the expected sequence of forthcoming actions. Additional information can be found in this Los Angeles Times story and the Times' editorial opinion in favor of listing the Joshua tree.
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    MBCA and Desert Scientists Urge Better Science in CARB’s Analysis

    Posted by · April 16, 2022 8:43 AM
    MBCA is among 16 signatories on an April 4 letter to the California Air Resources Board (CARB). The letter expressed an appreciation for the Board's enhanced model of carbon sequestration in the desert (see letter of August 2021). However, the group also expressed concern that the newest model still underestimates the desert's carbon sequestration potential and that CARB should engage in a more comprehensive analysis of current research on desert-centric sequestration systems. 



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    MBCA Joins Request for Extension on Amargosa Basin Water Management Hearing

    Posted by · April 16, 2022 8:41 AM
    MBCA is among 15 organizations requesting more time to prepare for involvement in hearings concerning water management and related biological resources in the Amargosa Basin. The Basin lies within the Mojave Desert and spreads across two states and four counties, including San Bernardino County. The group recommends that Nevada Department of Water Resources engage with stakeholders to examine potential negative impacts on groundwater for rural communities and on tourism drawn to the area by this unique ecosystem.
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  • Featured post

    Communications Tower Concerns in Morongo Valley

    Posted by · March 26, 2022 10:24 AM · 2 reactions
    MBCA joined Friends of Big Morongo Canyon, Mojave Desert Land Trust, Basin and Range Watch, SummerTree Institute, and The Wildlands Conservancy in a letter to the Bureau of Land Management with serious concerns about the construction of a proposed 196-foot communications tower in Morongo Valley. The letter states "The undersigned individuals/organizations have fought long and hard for the designation of Sand to Snow National Monument and strongly oppose this project and the changing of the VRM (Visual Resource Management) classification." In great detail and with maps and illustrations, the accompanying Public Scoping Comments document from the group points out why "The proposals are not in conformance with the applicable Federal purpose for which the public lands are managed in this area." 
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  • Featured post

    The Desert's Role in California's 30x30 Plan

    Posted by · February 20, 2022 5:42 PM
    MBCA joined with many non-profit environmental and conservation organizations in recently signing comment letters related to California's 30x30 land and water conservation plan. The California Natural Resources Agency published the Draft Pathways Report that will guide the state's implementation of California Governor Newsom's Executive Order N-82-20 calling for conservation of 30% of California’s land and water to be protected by 2030. The draft plan underestimates the value of the desert's carbon sequestration and inaccurately describes the desert's real borders. MBCA joined 22 other organizations in creating an Inland Desert Regional Comment Letter to provide guidance on desert issues. MBCA also joined 61 organizations in a statewide comment letter on the Draft Report.
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  • Featured post

    A Third Option for Homeowners to Preserve their Joshua Trees?

    Posted by · February 17, 2022 9:05 PM
    A Yucca Valley property owner was directed by the Yucca Valley Planning Commission to either transplant or remove a Joshua Tree impacted by trenching near the tree. The property owners believe they should have the option of maintaining the tree. MBCA agrees that there should be a third option intended to retain trees that are not gravely affected by nearby excavation. This MBCA letter to the California Fish and Game Commission expresses MBCA’s request for them to consider such an option in their forthcoming decision-making process about designating the western Joshua Tree as a threatened species in California.
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    Recording of 2022 Annual Meeting Now Available

    Posted by · February 07, 2022 8:07 AM
    The video recording of MBCA's 2022 Annual Meeting with speakers on "The Last Joshua Tree? Climate Change and the Future of this Iconic Species" is now available. For more background, here is the January 22, 2022 Press Release announcing the meeting. You can find the time stamp for the several sections of the meeting on the YouTube page or below.

         0:06  Introduction and Issue Overview by President, Steve Bardwell
       17:16  Laraine Turk Honoring Ruth Rieman, retiring Board member
       20:15  Remarks by Ruth Rieman
       21:16  Introduction and Remarks by Chris Clarke
       41:16  Presentation by Brendan Cummings
    1:20:05  Questions and Conversation with Chris Clarke and Brendan Cummings

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  • Featured post

    Stewardship and Conservation at Coyote Hole in Joshua Tree

    Posted by · February 02, 2022 1:25 PM
    The Coyote Hole historic petroglyph site in Joshua Tree, an area of long-time concern due to incidents of graffiti and trash dumping, is now being patrolled and conserved by the Native American Land Conservancy, with volunteer assistance. Transferred by San Bernardino County to the Conservancy for stewardship purposes in 2018, a recent grant from the Rose Foundation provides the Conservancy with funds to increase oversight of 30 acres in the wash area. This Desert Sun article describes the Conservancy's role and provides a series of photos of Coyote Hole.
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  • Featured post

    Raven Abatement on Desert Military Bases

    Posted by · January 18, 2022 9:11 PM

    In November a Draft Programmatic Environmental Assessment was published by the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center and other agencies, proposing actions to manage widespread raven problems in California desert military locations. In response, Ed LaRue of the Desert Tortoise Council sent a comment letter that approves of the raven abatement project so far as it’s necessary to protect desert tortoise, but also recommends a number of changes.

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  • Featured post

    Final SB County Light Trespass Ordinance Published

    Posted by · January 14, 2022 9:09 AM
    The San Bernardino County Light Trespass Ordinance is now official. As we noted in our December 8 news post, "Two of the primary 'wins' of the final version of the ordinance are a shielding requirement and modernization of the terminology and measurement process concerning light trespass. Decorative string lights were one of the final issues of contention, and the approved version of the ordinance will only limit the color temperature and lumen output for residential, not commercial, string lights. The Supervisors agreed to revisit the issue in the future." In the near future, MBCA plans to provide more educational content about the ordinance.


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