Letter: MBCA Joins Scientists to Request Greater Consideration of Desert Carbon Sequestration in Climate Change Planning
Related MBCA News follows this letter.
Posted by· September 19, 2022 2:45 PMAdd your reaction Share
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.Posted by· August 26, 2022 3:31 PMAdd your reaction Share
Four MBCA board members continue to be involved in the planning and response for California’s 30x30 Project. The project was developed from Governor Newsom’s 2020 Executive Order N-82-20 which establishes a state goal of conserving 30% of California’s lands and coastal waters by 2030.
Arch McCulloch, Brian Hammer, Pat Flanagan and Gary Stiler are most concerned about some challenges in recognizing the importance and contours of the desert within the plan. "Our biggest concern is they don't acknowledge the desert as a whole, they only acknowledge a piece of it. Nor does the state acknowledge that the CA Desert sequesters 10% of the state's carbon. We want them to explore what's there," reports Flanagan.
In a February 2022 letter co-signed by MBCA, desert groups complained about "ecological fragmentation of the California desert" in an earlier version of the 30x30 plan, as Death Valley was considered part of the Sierra Nevada area and Anza Borrego was attached to the San Diego section. This issue was not corrected in the final plan (PDF).Continue reading →
What is 30 by 30 and what does MBCA have to do with it?
The “30 by 30” effort began as an international movement to set aside 30 percent of the earth’s land area to preserve wildlife habitat and protect against climate change. It also recognizes the rights, stewardship, and experience of indigenous peoples in managing natural resources. It prioritizes ensuring that the benefits of cleaner lands, waters, and air are shared by all.
California is the first in the nation to commit to protecting 30% of our lands and waters by 2030 (Gavin Newsom executive order October 2020). In January of 2021 the Biden administration issued an Executive Order on tackling the climate crisis at home and abroad and committed the United States to 30x30.
Why is this important? "Because our land and waters contain the planet’s biodiversity — from the smallest organisms to the largest predators. When species are diminished, it affects whole ecosystems, and when ecosystems suffer, their ability to provide clean water, clean air, pollination and the many other functions we rely on is vastly reduced," according to Noelle Chambers, vice president of conservation for Peninsula Open Space Trust.
Four MBCA board members were involved in the planning and response for 30x30: Arch McCulloch, Brian Hammer, Pat Flanagan and Gary Stiler. They share that there were some challenges in recognizing the importance and contours of the desert. "Our biggest concern is they don't acknowledge the desert as a whole, they only acknowledge a piece of it. Nor does the state acknowledge that the CA Desert sequesters 10% of the state's carbon. We want them to explore what's there," reports Flanagan.
In a February 2022 letter co-signed by MBCA, desert groups complained about "ecological fragmentation of the California desert", as Death Valley was considered part of the Sierra Nevada area and Anza Borrego was attached to the San Diego section. This issue was not corrected in the final plan (PDF).
(Word Cloud graphic from 30x30 California)Posted by· June 17, 2022 11:45 AMAdd your reaction ShareAt 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.Posted by· June 09, 2022 12:50 PMAdd your reaction ShareAlong with 18 other non-profit organizations, MBCA signed a letter encouraging the California Fish and Game Commission to reject the flawed findings of the California Fish and Wildlife Department staff and to permanently list the Western Joshua tree as a threatened species in California.Posted by· April 17, 2022 3:22 PMAdd your reaction ShareThe 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.See All Climate ChangeDo you like this post?
Joshua Tree National Park and Tribal Authorities Create New Agreement
MBCA's Annual Meeting on Housing Promotes Ideas and Dialogue
Western Joshua Tree Endangered Listing Decision Delayed
Response from Flamingo 640 Campground Developer
MBCA Comments on Sienna Solar 2 in Lucerne Valley
Letter: Comments on the Golden Currant Solar Project Variance Process
Letter: Coalition on Program 4 on County Housing Element
Letter: MBCA Joins Support for AB 1757, Setting Natural Carbon Sequestration Targets