Issues

Articles about MBCA's most recent issues of concern are listed below in chronological order. To read a series of articles about a particular issue, use the brown buttons above.  
  • MBCA Joins Broad Coalition Opposing Eagle Crest Pumped Storage Project

    MBCA is one of 27 diverse non-profit groups opposing any further consideration of the Eagle Crest Pumped Storage Project in this June 23rd letter to Governor Newsom and the co-chairs of the recently created Task Force on Business and Jobs Recovery. Following three failed legislative efforts to seek bailout and authorization for its proposed Eagle Crest Pumped Storage Project, Next Era is now seeking consideration from the Task Force. Attached to the Coalition letter is a similar request signed by the California Municipal Utilities Association, Southern California Public Power Authority, and Northern California Power Agency. Prior coalition letters of opposition to this project signed by MBCA in April and May are also included in the document.
     
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  • MBCA Supports Listing the Joshua Tree as Threatened

    Read MBCA's letter to the California Fish & Game Commission supporting the listing of Yucca brevifolia, the western Joshua tree, as a threatened species. For background see our recent News Update on the topic and the second item in the June 8 EBlast.
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  • Comments on Joshua Trees as a California Threatened Species Due June 11

    On April 16 MBCA published a News Update about the requested listing of the Western Joshua tree as a threatened species in California. The petition was presented in October 2019 by the Center for Biological Diversity. In April 2020 the state's Department of Fish and Wildlife agreed that the information provided warranted the listing and referred their opinion to the California Fish and Game Commission. The Commissioners are scheduled to vote on the recommendation on June 25. If they agree, a yearlong review would begin and the trees would be protected during the review. We ask readers to review this very comprehensive Background and Talking Points document and submit comments in favor of the threatened species listing by the deadline of June 11. Send comments via email to fgc@fgc.ca.gov. 
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  • MBCA's Action on Eagle Crest Pumping Opposition

    In January 2020, MBCA sent a letter opposing state legislative action that would have enhanced the prospects for the Eagle Crest Pumped Storage Project on the border of Joshua Tree National Park. Chief among our concerns is the inevitable overdraft of underground aquifers in the area and for the Park, with dire consequences for the flora and fauna. MBCA also joined a coalition letter signed by 24 organizations, spearheaded by the National Parks Conservation Association, to oppose amendments to the related legislation, AB2255, that adds to the "stacked deck" for furthering the Eagle Crest project. And most recently, on May 6, MBCA signed on to a new coalition letter opposing another related piece of legislation, AB2736. The letter concisely reiterates the reasons to oppose the project. While pumped storage can assist with California's energy future, the letter notes that "other pumped storage projects are more viable and economical," and this legislation seems to be a "ratepayer-funded bailout of the failing project." 
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  • MBCA Joins Opposition to Yellow-Pine Solar Project

    The proposed Yellow-Pine Solar Project is another large-scale project inappropriately sited on BLM land in the Mojave Desert, and being fast-tracked without consideration of the COVID-19 pandemic and with many other flawed rationales. MBCA has joined six other concerned organizations to send a fact-filled document refuting the validity of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement. Among the statements in the letter supported with references and illustrations are these:
    • The Purpose and Need are Faulty.
    • The Proposed Action, Alternative, and Environmental Consequences Analysis Is Inadequate.
    • More Alternatives, Alternative Locations, and Distributed Generation Alternatives Need To Be Analyzed.
    • No Mitigation Measures Are Provided For Significant Impacts To The Environment.
    • Rare Plants Will Be Harmed.
    • Eagles May Be Impacted.
    • Burrowing Owls Will Be Significantly Impacted. 


    Details can be found in the
    Yellow-Pine Solar Project letter signed by MBCA, Basin and Range Watch, Western Watersheds Project, Sierra Club California and Nevada Desert Committee, Desert Survivors, and Shoshone Village.

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  • MBCA Urges Funding for Mojave Trails Acquisition

    MBCA has forwarded a letter of support to U.S. Interior Secretary Bernhardt and California Bureau of Land Management Director Karen Mouritsen for the BLM to acquire Land and Water Conservation Fund resources for purchasing lands within the Mojave Trails National Monument. The LCWF provides grants for federal-state partnerships for conservation and public recreation projects. The 6,213 acres of interest in the Mojave Trails National Monument contain cultural sites and are part of important habitat linkages.
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  • MBCA Opposes Habitat Conservation Fund Budget Trailer Bill

    Along with over 40 environmental conservation organizations, MBCA has signed onto two letters in opposition to the proposed budget trailer bill that would reinstate the July 2020 sunset date for the Habitat Conservation Fund (HCF). This sunset would end critical funding for local park districts, state agencies, and crucial habitat conservation programs at the Wildlife Conservation Board. The proposal is a retreat from the administration’s and legislature’s commitment to stable, ongoing support for conservation, biodiversity and public access to parks.

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  • MBCA Supports AB3030 for Land and Water Conservation

    MBCA was pleased to sign-on to a letter in support of improved protections for California’s unparalleled bio-diversity with creation of a state policy that sets a goal to protect at least 30 percent of the land base and waters in California and 30 percent of the ocean waters off the coast of California by 2030 (30 x 30). AB3030 objectives are to protect biodiversity, increase climate resilience, promote collaboration, increase opportunities to sequester carbon through natural measures, and enhance public access for all people in the state. A specific emphasis on increasing access for communities of color and economically disadvantaged communities is included within this bill.

     

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  • MBCA Signs on for Environmental Justice in Lucerne Valley

    The latest solar energy project proposed for Lucerne Valley has generated a groundswell of concern and opposition. In a letter to the California State Lands Commission signed by MBCA and 16 other groups and more than 50 individuals, the case is built against Aurora Solar LLC, a 3600-acre utility scale development. According to the Lands Commission's own Environmental Justice Policy, the effects on this disadvantaged community with a significant population of older and health-compromised individuals would violate the agency's policy. The letter supports California's renewable energy goals, but provides detailed analysis and maps that illustrate why permitting the Aurora Solar project in Lucerne Valley would be damaging to the community.
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  • Morongo Basin and JTNP OHV News

    Two news stories about OHV patrolling related to the Morongo Basin appeared recently. The Hi Desert Star reported that Lucas Niles, recently promoted to Captain of the Morongo Basin Station of the San Bernardino County Sheriff's office, "plans to continue to strengthen the department's off-highway-vehicle enforcement team." Through grant funding they have added a vehicle focused on patrolling illegal OHV hotspots and have increased staffing levels.

    The Desert Sun reported that Joshua Tree National Park has applied for $120,000 in grant funding from a new program of the California State Parks focused on OHV issues on public lands. For more details on this new state program, including a link for providing public feedback, see this Desert Sun article, which also elaborates on the King of the Hammers event and Riverside County OHV issues. (For an easier read of the lengthy online article, here is a text-only version.)
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