MBCA Annual Business Meeting & Program – February 10, 2018
MBCA’s Palen Solar Project Comment letter
Dear MBCA Members and Supporters,
Welcome to the New Year! MBCA Directors have already started the countdown to next year. 2019 will be MBCA’s 50th anniversary! We’re proud to remind you that MBCA is the earliest (isn’t that better than oldest?) conservation group in the Morongo Basin, having been incorporated in 1969. We’ll be preparing for what we hope to be a remarkable celebration of the legacy of conservation activism in the Morongo Basin.
What else? Honestly I hope that we won’t repeat this year with what some have coined for 2017 - the Year of Comments. Seems there was a constant drum beat - in practically every E-Blast – with announcements that comments were due to the BLM or County or another decision making entity. Deadline after deadline seemed the routine. I guess it goes with the territory. But, I for one would welcome a break in the consistency of needing to collect myself and alert you for “substantive comments.” We’ll see how that goes!
2017 wasn’t an easy year for desert conservation. That’s a huge understatement given the reversal of environmental policy we’ve seen. Mounting pressures from those in Washington working to diminish national monuments, end the Antiquities Act, and starve National Parks for funding. That combined with the dramatic increase in visitation to public lands in the Mojave, along with a steep increase in Park entrance fees just doesn’t seem right. As a MBCA Advisor and others remind us, this is not “normal”! Let’s hope though that it doesn’t become “normal.” Make our New Year’s Resolution: threats to the public lands must STOP!
MBCA as a 501c3 organization cannot endorse a particular candidate for office. We can and will however ask candidates running for office for their positions on protecting public land and similar issues that relate to the MCBA mission. We intend to provide online candidate forums that you may use in evaluating candidates for state, federal and local positions.
I applaud the editorial board of the Hi-Desert Star for their New Year Resolutions to Hi-Desert leaders (December 28, 2017). The Our View editorial page column included: JTNP employees: to refuse to be bullied by climate change deniers into silence over the scientifically–proved phenomenon, which could have a catastrophic impact on the national park and the local economies.
MBCA Annual Meeting and Permaculture Program: SAVE THE DATE!
WHEN: Saturday, February 10, 2018
WHERE: Center for Healthy Generations, Yucca Valley
Although MBCA’s Annual Meeting is usually in January, it will be held on February 10 this year. This is when we review for our members and supporters our business and activities of the past year, look to the year ahead, collect membership dues, and present a topical program.
Jill Giegerich has generously agreed to lead the program, "Introduction to Permaculture for Arid Lands."
MBCA sends comment on Palen Solar
MBCA sent a comprehensive comment letter to the BLM regarding the Draft Supplemental EIR for the Palen Solar Power Project. We support the No Action Alternative “as the only alternative which will do no harm to the biological and cultural integrity of the landscape.” The detailed examination written by our scientist Board member Pat Flanagan described conflicts involving hydrology, biological resources, visual resources, and air quality. In the document you will find photography and maps that illustrate our position. Once again, Pat’s analysis and insights argue convincingly.
MBCA Board: one Director returns from hiatus & one joins in new year
Finally, we are pleased to announce the return of Seth Shteir to the Board. We are also delighted to announce the addition of Mike Lipsitz to the Board. Seth returns to the Basin having accepted a position in External Affairs at the Marine Base. We are fortunate to have him back with us with his invaluable insights into conservation in the Mojave desert. Many of you know Mike from his reporting at Z107.7. He has served as an Advisor to MBCA and now joins us with his many talents in communications and commitment to serve the community. It’s been said – I certainly do – that MBCA has a great board of directors! We are a true team and will continue our work to serve you and to keep the Basin the special place that it is.
Yes, 2018 dues are due! It’s easy to initiate a membership or renew online:
Sarah Kennington, MBCA President
Your 2018 MBCA Board
David Fick, Vice President Steve Bardwell, Treasurer
Marina West, Recording Secretary Pat Flanagan, Director
Meg Foley, Director Mike Lipsitz, Director
Claudia Sall, Director for Events Ruth Rieman, Director
Laraine Turk, Director Seth Shteir, Director
MBCA advocates for a healthy desert environment
that nurtures the region’s rural character, cultural wealth
and economic well-being.