Eblast: July 11, 2016

  • Soda Mountain Solar Energy: SB Co. Supervisors decide on Aug. 23rd
  • Big Bear Lake Xeriscape Garden Tour
  • MBCA Founder Susan Luckie Reilly celebrated
Soda Mountain Solar Energy: SB Co. Supervisors decide on Aug. 23rd

MBCA and our conservation partners are urging San Bernardino County Supervisors to deny approval for the Soda Mountain Solar Energy Project. It is important the Supervisors hear from constituents with strong objections to approving the Soda Mountain Solar Energy Project prior to the Supervisors next regular meeting on August 23rd when a decision will be made.

The Bechtel Corporation received approval from the BLM to develop Soda Mountain Solar Energy. The 3-square mile photovoltaic project would be located approximately 6 miles southwest of the town of Baker and within a mile of the boundary of the Mojave National Preserve.  The site would cover both sides of highway 15 and be clearly visible from the Preserve.

Soda Mountain Solar proposes to be located within the approximately 25,000 acres in San Bernardino County identified as “unallocated lands” in the DRECP (Desert Renewable Energy Plan.) A vast majority of the “unallocated lands” are located in rural living and conservation areas. Permitting use of these vulnerable lands will undermine the County’s zoning and natural resources authority. Other industrial scale energy project proposals are certain to follow.

It is now the County’s turn to consider the Environmental Impact Report for final project approval of Soda Mountain. Supervisors can show leadership by sending a clear message to the BLM that the County protects the interests of citizens and the area’s natural resources by denying this inappropriately placed industrial scale project.

MBCA’s Call for Action on Soda Mountain is posted on the MBCA website. It contains the letter MBCA sent to the Supervisions sent July 4, 2016, as well as a model letter. A personal letter in your own words is most powerful. If you wish, use elements of the model letter to write your own – or print it out and add your own handwritten note. Remember to sign the letter, include your street & e-mail address and mail it to MBCA by August 19 at:  PO Box 24, Joshua Tree, CA 92252.

If you can get friends and neighbors to sign the letter, please mail as many copies as you can collect! Letters need to arrive at the MBCA P.O. Box by August 19 to be hand delivered to the County Supervisors in advance of their meeting date. We will also forward copies to Congressman Cook and Senator Feinstein. Our goal is to have dozens, or better yet hundreds of letters in this package! If you are able, print copies of the letter for your friends and neighbors to sign and include them when you mail yours to MBCA.

Any letters received by MBCA after August 19th will be forwarded to the Supervisors by mail or scanned for e-mail delivery.

In addition to written comment, is also important for us to fill the Supervisors Chambers and the overflow rooms in San Bernardino for the Tuesday, August 23rd Supervisors meeting. The meeting begins at 10:00 AM. A strong collective presence in opposition will provide Supervisors further justification to vote to deny the project. The Supervisors will decide on the future of Soda Mountain and they need to know their constituents care in significant numbers and they have definite opinions!  (Additional background on Soda Mountain is provided at the end of this email.)

Big Bear Lake Xeriscape Garden Tour

We know how much you enjoy MBCA’s annual Landscape Tour. Here’s an opportunity to escape the desert heat and experience the Big Bear Xeriscape Tour next Saturday, July 16th. For latest information: Big Bear Garden tour.

MBCA Founder Susan Luckie Reilly celebrated

MBCA Board of Directors joined other community members and the family of Susan Luckie Reilly to celebrate Susan’s 100th birthday. Susan, the founder of the MBCA and a great source of inspiration for today’s desert activists. We have posted Susan’s bio on our website.

Thanks for taking your time to read this E-Blast and also hopefully acting to express opposition to Soda Mountain Solar Energy – let’s provide encouragement and support for the Supervisors to take a stand on behalf of their constituents and deny this and any future industrial projects proposed for pristine desert areas! There are good places for solar panels – on rooftops!


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