Raven Abatement on Desert Military Bases

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.

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Eblast January 15, 2022

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  • Save the date for MBCA’s 53rd Annual Meeting
  • Light Trespass Ordinance Now in Effect
  • Protect Rooftop Solar in California
  • Stagecoach Solar Project Update
  • County to Amend Short Term Rental Ordinance
 
 
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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 lumen output for residential, not commercial, string lights. The Supervisors agreed to revisit the issue in the future." In the near future, MBCA plans to provide more educational content about the ordinance.

 

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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 the carbon-capturing potential of undisturbed desert lands. A two-page Science Brief created by several environmental advocates including MBCA’s Pat Flanagan provides a simple overview of the desert’s carbon capture capability and value. Finally, a short paper titled Notes on Models of Carbon Dynamics for the California Deserts by Dr. Michael F. Allen of UC Riverside is provided for additional scientific background.
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Plant Spotlight: Creosote

There is not a more perfect landscaping shrub for our Morongo Basin yards than the ubiquitous creosote bush, Larrea tridentataNative 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. 
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Supervisors Approve Light Trespass Ordinance

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 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 lumen output for residential, not commercial, string lights. The Supervisors agreed to revisit the issue in the future. MBCA will provide more details upon official implementation of the ordinance.
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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. Many prior news stories posted by MBCA about the Cadiz Water Project can be found by scrolling down our Water Issues pages.
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Eblast December 2, 2021

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  • Light Trespass Ordinance to be on Supervisor’s Agenda
  • Scenic 247 Proposal to Planning Commission
  • MBCA Supports California’s 30x30 Conservation Goal
  • Give the Gift of an MBCA Membership
 
 
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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.

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Plant Spotlight: Hollyleaf Cherry

Hollyleaf cherry (Prunus Ilicifolia) is a native and drought-tolerant shrub for home landscapes in the Morongo Basin. It is the most widely distributed native subspecies of holly in California.  
flowering hollyleaf cherry bush with white flowers
This shrub can be pruned into a quite tall hedge and should be trimmed to shape twice a year if need be. The red cherries appear in fall and are edible if you get them before the birds do! The plant is evergreen with glossy leaves that smell like almonds when crushed. The leaves and branches are useful for holiday wreathes and arrangements. 
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