Eblast June 1, 2022

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  • Fish and Game Commission to consider Joshua Tree Listing
  • Protect Rooftop Solar!
  • Comments due on San Bernardino County Housing Element
  • Short Term Rental ordinance amendments
  • Landscape Tour was a success
  • Stagecoach Solar project put on hold
 
 
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Plant Spotlight: California Buckwheat

California Buckwheat with Russian sage in background
California buckwheat with Russian sage in the background. Photo by Stacy Doolittle
An outstanding small shrub for Morongo Basin landscapes is California Buckwheat, a native which is likely to volunteer in your yard. Long-lived creamy white flowers eventually turn into attractive rust-colored seed heads. It is attractive all year long. 
Eriogonum Fasciculatum var. polifolium is the grey-leafed variety we see in the desert, and according to Calscape is sometimes available in nurseries. (See our native plant nurseries for potential sources.) It is also easily grown from seed. 
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Buckwheat at Mojave Desert Land Trust demonstration garden. Photo by Stacy Doolittle.
Virtually pest-free and able to withstand long period of times without water, buckwheat is used for slope stabilization and as low hedges. 
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MBCA Letter on Alta Loma x Sunset Proposed Housing Project

Photo by Stacy Doolittle
News of this proposed Alta Loma and Sunset Avenue housing project in Joshua Tree was received on short notice and the deadline for comment is today, but we are publishing our our letter of concern sent today to the County planning staff. You will find in it a summary of our concerns about issues ranging from water use to native plant removal. 
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Letter: MBCA Supports Future Desert Protection Legislation

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Letter: MBCA on Alta Loma and Sunset Housing Project

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Eblast May 24, 2022

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  • Save the Western Joshua Tree
 
 
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MBCA Releases Statement and Video on Short Term Rentals

Photo by Bonnie Hawthorne
In a May 14 press release, MBCA published a position statement about the short term rental crisis in the Morongo Basin. In addition, MBCA announced the release of an 8-minute locally-produced video it commissioned, intended to show decision-makers how residents and businesses have been negatively affected by the STR-triggered housing crisis. 
 

A HUGE THANK-YOU TO THE 476 PETITION SIGNERS AND 133 COMMENTERS. THE SUPERVISORS AGREED TO A 45-DAY HIATUS ON APPROVING NEW STR APPLICATIONS THROUGH THIS URGENCY ORDINANCE.

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MBCA Awards 3 Scholarships for 2022-23

The Morongo Basin Conservation Association scholarships go to local standout students with demonstrated commitments to include conservation or environmental interests in their education and career plans. Each $1,000 scholarship goes toward higher education expenses in the 2022-23 academic year.

The three recipients, all graduating seniors at Yucca Valley High School, include Griffin Hilderbrand, Aidan Parmley, and Aunalisa Terreri.

This is the first year MBCA has awarded three scholarships. A science, technology, engineering, arts and math, or “STEAM” Scholarship, provided anonymously by two generations of women who held careers in the STEAM fields, is new this year and was awarded to Aunalisa Terreri. Recent donations in memory of renowned local artist, conservationist, and longtime MBCA member Steve Rieman, made it possible to offer a third scholarship.

Best wishes to these graduates as they begin their next educational adventure!
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Plant Spotlight: Apricot Mallow

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Photo by Arch McCullough
A favorite springtime native flower of many Morongo Basin residents (and hummingbirds) is the Apricot Mallow. With its upturned, bright orange-cupped flowers, and grey-green foliage, mallow fits into most any landscaping scheme. With any luck, you won't need to plant it as it will volunteer in your water-wise garden! 
Sphaeralcea ambigua is common along our Basin's roadsides in spring, with its flowering dependent upon seasonal rains. Though most mallow flowers are apricot-orange, there are also pink, purple, red, white and shades in between. Prune once a year after blooming to 6"-12" above ground to help eliminate unproductive woody growth and reseeding. Do not try and shear this plant regularly as it will not respond well. Wear gloves when pruning as its leaves can be a skin irritant.
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MBCA Comments on Relocation of Lucerne Valley Solar Project

MBCA joined Lucerne Valley homeowners and Mojave Communities Conservation Collaborative in a letter to protest the "relocation" of the Sienna Solar Project in Lucerne Valley. The letter points out to the San Bernardino County Supervisors how the reapplication of the project is not simply a relocation allowed by regulations, but an expansion that violates the County's Renewable Energy Conservation Element, intended to minimize negative effects and optimize benefits to unincorporated communities.
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