Conservation

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.

To learn more, find Conservation topics in the pull-down menu above, browse recent Conservation articles below, or use the search feature.

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Photos by Laraine Turk
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Photo by Alexandra Hicks
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  • Featured post

    Golden Currant Solar Project Needs RMP Review

    Posted by · September 24, 2022 1:58 PM
    MBCA and 7 other conservation groups have requested a pause in the Golden Currant Solar project variance review until a revised Bureau of Land Management Resource Management Plan is completed to replace the 1997 version. The 25-year old plan predates many changes in desert management, including updated desert tortoise status, water availability, visual resource and habitat conservation plans, plus water availability, public land access, tribal consultation and many more concerns. While this Nevada project is not within the Morongo Basin, MBCA has always viewed the entire Mojave Desert as part of "the healthy desert environment" that we seek to preserve.
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    MBCA Joins Support for AB 1757, Setting Natural Carbon Sequestration Targets

    Posted by · September 19, 2022 2:45 PM

    MBCA joined more than 30 organizations and companies signing a letter in support of California AB 1757, a bill to aid California’s efforts to deal with climate change by setting targets to remove carbon from the atmosphere through natural carbon sequestration.  Setting ambitious natural carbon removal targets is both crucial and achievable,” states the letter. The bill is in the Governor’s hands for signing as of this writing.

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    Decision on Listing Joshua Trees as Threatened is Postponed

    Posted by · June 17, 2022 11:45 AM
    At their June 15 meeting, the four members of the California Fish and Game Commission were split on decisions relating to the status of the Western Joshua tree. Their tie votes of 2-2 applied both to a motion to list the tree as threatened and a motion to continue the decision to the August meeting, with a recommendation to develop a recovery and conservation plan. With no decision on the Joshua tree's status, it continues to be protected in “candidate” status. The topic was continued until the October meeting of the Commission. This Desert Sun article provides a comprehensive summary of the presentations, arguments, and actions taken at the meeting. Additional information and links to the recording of the meeting can be found in this email from the group ProtecttheJoshuaTrees.com.
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    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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    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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    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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