Cannabis Grows and Water Thefts

MBCA's Board of Directors has kept abreast of the ongoing and worsening situation of illegal cannabis grows in the Morongo Basin and nearby desert areas. In May, the Morongo Basin Municipal Advisory Council (MAC), which includes two MBCA Board members, Pat Flanagan and Steve Bardwell, passed a resolution asking that more San Bernardino County resources be provided to fight the problem. In June, the Supervisors adopted a resolution urging the state to increase penalties for illegal cannabis cultivation. A July 21 article from the Desert Sun describes the increasingly dire water theft increase across the state, mostly due to illegal cannabis grows. The article includes a quotation (highlighted) from Marina West, former MBCA Board member and general manager of the Bighorn-Desert View Water Agency.
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Recent News on Light Pollution

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Eblast July 5, 2021

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  • Support California Rooftop Solar
  • Support AB 1183 for California Desert Conservation
  • Yellow Pine Solar is Devastating Desert Tortoise
  • Eagle Mountain pumped storage-again!
  • Cadiz water harvesting-again!
  • 2021 Virtual Landscape Tour is Live!
 
 
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Plant Spotlight: Sugar Bush

A workhorse of a shrub for Morongo Basin gardens is the native Sugar Bush (Rhus ovata). Use this plant as a windbreak, for hedging or by itself as a specimen plant. It enjoys full sun and plenty of space to spread out. 

 

Young Sugar Bush in 29 Palms, CA. Photo by Cole Gibson
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Desert Plants Lost to Heat and Drought

A recently-published research project by UC Irvine scientists reviewed 34 years of satellite data to analyze vegetation changes in the Sonoran Desert and nearby southern California mountains. They found a "widespread decline in perennial vegetation cover," that is, a significant reduction in even the hardiest desert plants. Researcher Stijn Hantson commented that "They're (desert plants) already so badly beaten by drought or heat that they're at the brink of existence." Read more in the Desert Sun article or view the research study, which includes a "Plain Language Summary." 
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SB County Takes Steps on Vacation Rentals

The San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors approved an urgency ordinance at their June 22 meeting that significantly increases fines for illegally-operating short term rentals in unincorporated areas. The rural residential lifestyle in a healthy desert environment that MBCA works to preserve has been negatively affected by the proliferation of short-term rentals in the Morongo Basin. One problem is poorly managed or illegal properties with problematic guests and another is the greatly reduced availability of reasonable long-term rental housing for local residents. Articles in the Hi Desert Star and Desert Sun and KCDZ 107.7's report interview local hosts and residents and explore the problems and status of this issue.
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Eblast June 20, 2021

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  • Stop the Threat to California Rooftop Solar  
  • Housing Crisis in Morongo Basin!
  • 2021 Virtual Landscape Tour is Live!
 
 
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Eblast June 18, 2021

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  • 2021 Virtual Landscape Tour is Live!
  • Light Trespass Workshop follow-up  
  • MBCA in support of Electric Vehicle Charging Stations  
  • Increase Funding for National Conservation Lands?
  • Fee Increase for Campsites in Joshua Tree?
 
 
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Letter: MBCA Supports EV Charging Stations in Joshua Tree

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MBCA Supports EV Charging Stations in Joshua Tree

The Special Districts Department of San Bernardino County is applying for a grant to install electric vehicle charging stations at the Joshua Tree Community Center. MBCA has submitted an enthusiastic letter of support for the project to Frank Haggard, Recreation Supervisor of the Special Districts, based in Joshua Tree. 
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