We at MBCA are big believers in the idea that conservation begins at home. Every year we sponsor a highly-popular landscape tour to encourage locals to consider wildlife- and water-friendly gardens.
Part of successful desert-wise living is knowing what constitutes desert-wise. These values include landscaping that keeps in mind water and energy conservation, off-the-grid living, native and/or drought-tolerant plantings, and permaculture ideals.
Finding native or drought-tolerant plants can be challenging, but you've got to know where to look. Here is a listing of nurseries sourcing such plants. Note also that the Joshua Basin Water District has a native plant sale in the spring, as does the Mojave Desert Land Trust, in the spring and fall.
One way to learn about desert-wise plants in the landscape throughout the microclimates and elevations of the Morongo Basin is to participate in our Desert-Wise Living Landscaping Tour, usually held in April. The tours for 2020 and 2021 are virtual due to COVID-19, so you can watch and learn in the comfort of your own home.
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.
Final SB County Light Trespass Ordinance Published
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...
MBCA Comments Again on Stagecoach Solar near Lucerne Valley
More than a year after submitting initial comments on the Stagecoach project near Lucerne Valley, MBCA has submitted new comments that focus on harm to the Scenic Highway 247 plan and damage to the desert’s valuable and significant natural carbon sequestration. Within the comment letter on pages 2 and 3 are maps and photos that illustrate the potential viewshed deterioration along Highway 247. Photos later in the letter also illustrate...
There is not a more perfect landscaping shrub for our Morongo Basin yards than the ubiquitous creosote bush, Larrea tridentata. Native and very common throughout the Basin, creosote is not fussy about soil and can be trimmed into a specimen topiary or into a hedge/windbreak. With regular water it becomes denser.
Small yellow flowers cover the plant in the spring.
Photos by Heather Sommerfield
In a unanimous vote, the San Bernardino County Supervisors approved the Light Trespass Ordinance that has been championed by MBCA and three successive Third District Dark Sky Committees as part of a decade of citizen action. Third District Supervisor Rowe posted this press release announcing the action. Two of the primary "wins" of the final version of the ordinance are a shielding requirement and modernization of the terminology and measurement...
Federal Action Taken Against Cadiz Water Project Pipeline
The Biden Administration has pulled approval of the pipeline which was approved by the prior administration without required review. The Cadiz water mining proposal has been fought against as detrimental to the health of the Mojave Desert by MBCA and dozens of other conservation organizations for years. Press releases by the National Parks Conservation Association and the Center for Biological Diversity explain the details, as does this Los Angeles Times story....
MBCA Joins Equity Appeal for California's Climate Change Strategy
In a coalition letter sent in late November, MBCA joined with 25 other non-profit organizations to recommend that equity and environmental justice must become key elements in California’s plans to deal with climate change. Numerous specific recommendations in the letter suggest improvements to the draft Climate Smart Strategy document published this fall by the California Natural Resources Agency.