Cadiz Water Project Moves a Step Forward

An administrative move within BLM management at the federal level has reduced the obstacles still in place for the Cadiz Valley Water Conservation, Recovery and Storage Project that seeks to move water from desert aquifers to urban areas of southern California.  This April 5 story by our local radio station includes a map of the Cadiz location, and this LA Times article provides more details.
Add your reaction Share

Rural Roads and OHV Limits

Commentary and documents provided by Pat Flanagan
 
The BLM believes they have the legal right to connect public land parcels together using county un-maintained dirt roads. I believe this is incorrect – our dirt roads, a legacy of the Small Tracts Act (STA), are considered by the County, based on case law and the STA, to constitute legal right-of-way (ROW) for those entitled to use them, i.e. the public and utility companies. 
 
The documents provided here, especially the STA pamphlet and Penfold letter and County opinion, need to be readily available to anyone wanting to understand their legal position should BLM open County un-maintained dirt roads to OHV riding.

 

Read more
Add your reaction Share

Altamira Project On Hold

While we cannot say that there has been an end to plans for the Alta Mira housing project in the Friendly Hills area of Joshua Tree, the JT 105 Alliance citizens' group has informed MBCA that the developers have recently offered the project land for sale.  Below is an update from the Alliance and also links to some of the documents involved in the ongoing legal efforts to stop or change the plan for the Alta Mira Housing Development in the Friendly Hills area of Joshua Tree.

1)  A summary of the current situation is presented in this Press Release from the JT105 Alliance.

2)  The Alliance provided a copy of the October 28, 2016 CEQA petition they filed that outlined all the points of concern about the development.

3)  In January 2017, the Alliance proposed to the developers a settlement offer that included two very specific alternative revisions to their existing development plan that would be much more acceptable to the alliance and many Joshua Tree residents who have been concerned about the very “urban” plan proposed by the developers.  As the Alliance wrote, “We are not anti-development; we respect smart and ecologically-sensitive development.”

Here's an explanatory paragraph about the stay from the Alliance update:

"A six-month stay was agreed upon, on March 17, so that the developers could explore these options, during which they are not to pursue any permits for construction. Shortly after the agreement, a community member notified the Alliance that the developers had listed the project for sale, with the tract map approval as a key marketing point. If they were to sell the land, the lawsuit, and the wrath of hundreds, would be inherited by the new owner." 

Add your reaction Share

DHS Development Stopped Again

Several MBCA Directors have attended recent Desert Hot Springs City Council meetings to support their Planning Commission's decision to deny an extension for a developer's plans to create a large housing complex near Mission Creek Preserve and the Sand to Snow National Monument. At the Council meeting on March 22, a procedural situation resulted in the denial being upheld.  This Desert Sun article explains more about the circumstances and possible future actions by the developer. 
Add your reaction Share

JT Airport Solar in a Legal "Stay" Status

NextEra /JT Solar project is officially in a "legal stay" for six months as requested by NextEra. The Southern California Edison’s RAM PPA for the project has expired and NextEra has stated no work on the project has gone forward. The group Joshua Tree Community for Responsible Solar took the lead in opposing the project and initiated legal action. This Hi Desert Star March 17 article provides more information about the status.
Add your reaction Share

Turn off lights for Earth Hour

A worldwide effort to bring attention to environmental issues and climate change is represented by the act of turning off as many of your home lights as possible for one hour, between 8:30 and 9:30 PM, on Saturday, March 25.  Much more information is available on the Earth Hour website.
Add your reaction Share

E-Blast February 24, 2017

  • UPDATE: Request for SB Co. renewal energy Moratorium 

 

Renewable Energy Moratorium Initiative Status UPDATE
WHAT: Solar Moratorium Resolution postponed for Board of Supervisors meeting on Feb. 28
 
The previous E-Blast announced that MBCA joined our Lucerne Valley conservation partners in support of the request for San Bernardino County to impose a moratorium on approving any new industrial-scale renewable Energy projects – with all current applications placed “on hold” - until the County’s Renewable Energy Element is approved and in place. 
 
Future E-Blasts will notify you of how we can support the request for a renewable energy moratorium. Stay tuned!
 
Sincerely,
Sarah Kennington, MBCA President
 
Your 2017 MBCA Board
David Fick, Vice President
Steve Bardwell, Treasurer    Marina West, Recording Secretary
Pat Flanagan, Director         Meg Foley, Director             
Ruth Rieman, Director          Seth Shteir, Director
Claudia Sall, Events              Laraine Turk, Director
 
MBCA advocates for a healthy desert environment
that nurtures the region’s rural character, cultural wealth
and economic well-being.
Add your reaction Share

Desert Sun Editorial on Eagle Crest Project

The Desert Sun Editorial Board has published an opinion piece criticizing Governor Jerry Brown's request for federal assistance to develop the Eagle Crest pumping station project.  This is the "giant battery in the desert" hydroelectric project proposed for the Eagle Mountain Mine lands at the southeast border of Joshua Tree National Park.  The privately owned mine area was not included in the recent study recommending return of about 22,000 acres of nearby land back to the National Park.  Read the Desert Sun editorial to learn more about why the project is "not a wise use of precious desert water."  You can also read more about the Eagle Crest project by scanning past articles on MBCA's Water Issues page.
Add your reaction Share

MBCA Supports Hwy. 247 as California Scenic Highway

330-sr247.gifOn Monday, February 20, MBCA President Sarah Kennington presented to Supervisor James Ramos a copy of MBCA's letter to San Bernardino County Director of Land Use Services Tom Hudson, reconfirming MBCA's support for Highway 247/Old Woman Springs Road as a California Scenic Highway.  Despite widespread support, the designation has been in limbo for 5 years.  Read MBCA's letter outlining our support and concerns.
Add your reaction Share

E-Blast February 14, 2017

  • Return Eagle Mountain lands to JTNP
  • Stop 2,220 home development - Mission Creek
  • Black Rock Symposium: "How to Make Your Voice Heard on Conservation Issues in an Uncertain Political Climate."
  • UCR Conference: Solar Energy Directions for Inland Southern California: Where is it going?
  • Renewable energy Moratorium request - San Bernardino Co.
  • Ruth Denison Environmental Conservation Scholarship
  • Refreshed and renewed website - mbconservation.org

 First of all, I want to remind you of several deadlines and events in coming days:

1) Return Eagle Mountain Lands to JTNP

WHEN: Comment letters due February 16, 2017 – this Thursday!

Support returning BLM Eagle Mountain lands back to Joshua Tree National Park. Take a minute to express your support to BLM for the Final Boundary Study recommendation to add approximately 20,000 acres of federal, state, and private lands to the boundary of Joshua Tree National Park that were withdrawn from the Monument in 1950. Click here for background info from JTNP Superintendent David Smith.

Read more
Add your reaction Share