MBCA Requests State Assistance on Delayed County Program 4 STR Report

In an effort to move San Bernardino County forward with its unfulfilled commitment to complete a "Program 4 Study" of short-term rental (STR) effects on housing in unincorporated communities, MBCA has sent a letter to the Governor and the state's Housing and Community Development Department. The letter also contains a history of the County and MBCA actions on this topic over the past several years.
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MBCA Comments on E Solar Project in Twentynine Palms

MBCA's comment letter on the proposed 184-acre E Solar Project in 29 Palms questions some aspects of the plan and cites concerns with fugitive dust, lack of local air monitoring sites, and destroying the area's carbon sequestration value, illustrated with photos and maps. The document contains links to scientific data sources, and also references documents including 1) the report "Why do birds crash into solar panels?", 2) "California Desert's Role in 30x30: Carbon Sequestration and Biodiversity," and 3) a group comment letter with concerns about California's land classification explained in this recent MCBA News Post.
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MBCA Comment on Easley Solar Project in Support of Lake Tamarisk Community

If expanded as planned, the Easley Solar Project would surround the small Lake Tamarisk Community in Desert Center, negatively affecting every aspect of their lives including air quality, views, and wildlife passage. The community has offered alternative suggestions to the developers to allow them some relief and MBCA has sent a letter in support of their plan. Read more in this article in the Coachella Valley Independent.
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The Water Flows Always - Native American Land Conservancy Video

Tuhaymani'chi Pal Waniqa or The Water Flows Always is a video from the Native American Land Conservancy and the Wayfinders Circle highlighting tribal connections to water in the desert and documenting the Cadiz corporate water mining project in particular. A father-daughter family story is also portrayed. 
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MBCA Joins 21 Groups to Correct Inaccurate Desert Land Classification in California’s Climate Smart Strategy

In a recent update to California’s Natural and Working Lands Climate Smart Strategy, a group of 22 organizations including MBCA have replied to the state’s request for comment with serious concerns about how desert lands are inappropriately classified as “Sparsely Vegetated Lands.” This inaccurate classification greatly reduces the carbon sequestration and other critical values gained by conserving desert lands in the state’s response to climate change. Our February 27 letter clearly states and scientifically corroborates four arguments for separating deserts from the “sparsely vegetated” designation. The letter was written by the Inland Desert Working Group (IDWG), which has been “the voice of the desert” in the ongoing state activities seeking to protect and conserve 30% of California’s lands by 2030. The IDWG also recently authored the comprehensive report The California Desert’s Role in 30X30: Carbon Sequestration and Biodiversity.  The California Natural Resources Agency website also contains a great deal of background and links to videos about the Climate Smart Strategy.
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Slide Shows from Annual Meeting Now Available

About 80 people attended MBCA’s 55th Annual Meeting on February 3, 2024. Ten presentations covered topics focused on “Keeping It Local” and also addressing wider issues of desert preservation and government regulation.

Here is the Annual Meeting program, and below are brief summaries and links to PowerPoint presentations where available for each topic.


Read more
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Wonder Inn Appeal Pulled by Developer

According to the grassroots group that fought the Wonder Inn for several years, the developers have retracted their appeal, so it appears that the ill-suited resort project in its current form has been stopped. Congratulations to the volunteers of the Stop Wonder Inn organization! More details here from radio station Z107.7.
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Report Outlines Critical Role of Desert Region in 30x30 Effort

The report, “The California Desert’s Role in 30X30: Carbon Sequestration and Biodiversity” presents a comprehensive explanation of the vital role the Desert Region plays in carbon sequestration and biodiversity as part of California’s goal of “conserving and protecting 30% of California’s lands and coastal waters by 2030.” The report’s recommendation is: “intact desert lands need to be left undisturbed.” MBCA is proud that Board members Pat Flanagan and Arch McCulloch were members of the team producing this critically important study.
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Eblast: 2024 Annual Meeting

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Update and History of Cadiz Water Project

This January 25 column in the Los Angeles Times updates the status of the Cadiz Water project and provides a good overview of its decades-long attempts to "mine" water from the Mojave Desert. MBCA has frequently provided public comments and joined group comments against the project, most recently in August 2023. While the pipeline approval we opposed was granted, the column points out that "Last month (December 2023) the agency reissued the approval for Cadiz to acquire the gas pipeline, but not to convert it for water." (our emphasis)

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