Wildlife Crossings Needed for High Speed Rail Project

Earlier this fall (September 3), MBCA joined with 23 other nonprofit organizations in a letter to CalTrans officials about the planned High Speed Rail Project from southern California to Las Vegas. Known wildlife corridors are in its path, including for bighorn sheep, so it is important that over-crossings and under-crossings are incorporated as part of the project's development, which is the message outlined in the coalition letter.
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Letter: Stagecoach Solar Project NOP Comments

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Countywide Plan Adopted and Community Plans Repealed

At their October 27 meeting, the San Bernardino County Supervisors adopted all recommendations from Land Use Services concerning the new Countywide Plan, including repealing the 2007 Community Plans. During Public Comments preceding the vote, five MBCA Directors made public comments from the Joshua Tree and Hesperia video-connection sites, requesting the Supervisors adopt and update the 2007 Community Plans rather than repeal them. Third District Supervisor Dawn Rowe asked County staff a number of thoughtful questions, including several related to MBCA’s concerns, then asked that the recommendation regarding the repeal of Community Plans be a separate vote. When that occurred, she voted against the repeal though it passed 4-1.

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MBCA Requests County Retain Community Plans

Since the process began over 5 years ago, MBCA has closely followed San Bernardino County's efforts to develop a Countywide Plan. The resulting plan is scheduled for adoption at the Supervisors' October 27th meeting and includes the repeal of the 2007 Community Plans. MBCA maintains that the existing Community Plans are necessary for unincorporated communities to have a say in future development. MBCA's comprehensive letter sent to the County's Land Use Services staff and Supervisors on October 23rd addresses the background and rationale of this argument.  The letter concludes:
 
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Letter: MBCA Requests San Bernardino County Retain Community Plans

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Desert Tortoise Becomes Candidate for Endangered Status in California

tortoise_in_yard.jpegThe California Fish and Game Commission has temporarily designated the desert tortoise as endangered, a step beyond its current status as threatened. Similar to the action reported in our most recent News Update about the status of the western Joshua tree, a year-long review period will precede a permanent designation. Read more in this LA Times article.

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Joshua Trees Voted as Candidate for Threatened Status

Samuelson's_Rocks__JTNP.jpegThe California Fish and Game Commission voted 4-0 on September 22 to advance the western Joshua tree to the status of candidate for listing as threatened under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). This vote initiates a one-year review. In a second 3-1 decision, 15 large-scale solar projects nearing construction will be permitted to move forward under a seldom-used emergency provision "2084." Read the details in this Desert Sun article or in the Los Angeles Times.
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Comments on Environmental Justice in Countywide Plan

MBCA has sent a letter to San Bernardino County Land Use Services and the Countywide Plan Coordinator with concerns about the Environmental Justice Policy proposed as part of the Countywide Plan. The Plan is due for consideration at a September 17 Planning Commission meeting. Of special concern is why Lucerne Valley has not been designated an "Environmental Justice Focus Area" (EJFA), and why other communities that should qualify by state descriptions do not qualify for the same protections.
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Countywide Plan Public Comment Controversy

MBCA emailed San Bernardino County's Countywide Plan Coordinator Jerry Blum on September 4, 2020, expressing concern and dismay about the short timeline for public comment preparation before the Countywide Plan's appearance on the agenda of the Planning Commission on September 17. 
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Letter: Comments on Environmental Justice in Countywide Plan

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