Renewable Energy

Renewable Energy issues are critical to our quality of life in the Morongo Basin. MBCA is supportive of California's renewable energy goals, but also concerned about some of the Mojave desert areas designated for renewable energy development.  We also want to keep you informed about the development of local commercial solar projects. 

 

Cascade_Solar_from_JTNP2.JPG 
View of Joshua Tree's Cascade Solar (Sunfair area) from the Park, south of Panorama Heights.

 

dust_storm_over_Cascade_solar_03_06_16_-_1.jpg
Dust storm near Cascade Solar as seen from Highway 62

 

On the local level, MBCA encourages residents to consider home/rooftop solar (see our list of Morongo Basin solar contractors).  The Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in Twentynine Palms continues to increase its installation of solar panels and employs cogeneration plants.  This brochure explains more about renewable energy development on the Base.

 

  • MBCA Files Ord Mountain DEIR Comment

    On November 16 MBCA filed a comment letter with San Bernardino County in response to the Draft Environmental Impact Report on the proposed Ord Mountain Solar and Energy Project near Lucerne Valley. Director Pat Flanagan once again researched and wrote a detailed analysis of the Ord Mountain DEIR, with technical input and data from a GIS analyst and others. A number of maps, charts, and aerial photos provide extensive documentation to explain the many potential negative impacts of such a project.

    Co-authoring MBCA's comment letter with exceptional assistance on the development of data-rich maps was Brian Hammer, Professional Data/GIS Analyst and Adjunct Professor at Victor Valley College in the Agriculture and Natural Resource Department. 

    For additional background, read MBCA's June 2017 Scoping letter on the Ord Mountain project.
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  • Supervisors Postpone RECE 4.10 Hearing

    Early in their November 6 meeting, the four San Bernardino County Supervisors present (District 3 Supervisor Ramos was absent) voted unanimously to postpone to a future meeting the public hearing that included consideration of the "revised" Renewable Energy Conservation Element section 4.10. (Read more details in our October 29 update and November 1 EBlast.) They cited concern that Supervisor Ramos should be present because of the large degree to which his district will be affected. 
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  • EBlast November 1, 2018

    San Bernardino County RECE Policy 4.10: Supervisors vote 11.6.18 
    San Bernardino Co. Fire Protection District Service Zone FP-5 expansion
    MBCA’s 50th Anniversary kick-off event: 1.26.2019

    Dear MBCA Members and Supporters,

    At long last the San Bernardino County Supervisors will consider the adoption of the Renewable Energy and Conservation Element (RECE) section 4.10 at their November 6th meeting. They will choose between two disparate visions to determine the fate of our desert regions for generations. Their decision will define Renewable Energy development in rural residential (RL) communities.

    On the Agenda of the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors Meeting will be "a public hearing to consider an amendment to the Renewable Energy and Conservation Element (RECE) of the County General Plan. The proposed amendment would add the original Policy 4.10, a policy that would limit the areas where utility-oriented renewable energy projects will be permitted."

    In late May, the San Bernardino County Planning Commission recommended to the Board of Supervisors that the original language of section 4.10 of the Renewable Energy and Conservation Element of the County Plan be retained rather than a variation that had been proposed by Land Use Services in 2017. Read our May 25, 2018 News Update for details on that vote. The original version of RECE 4.10 that the Planning Commission recommended (after extensive discussion) gives much greater protection to desert communities against inappropriate and/or excessive renewable energy projects compared to the LUS-recommended version that favors development.

    Do the Supervisors stand behind the residents or the developers of industrial RE? This is our final opportunity to speak out in defense of rural communities!

    The original version of RECE 4.10 embodies the perspective and wishes of many organizations and individuals across the high desert and reduces the chance that desert communities will be disadvantaged by a proliferation of large-scale renewable energy projects. There is however no certainty that the Supervisors will follow the Planning Commission’s recommendations in their final vote on RECE Policy 4.10.

    WHAT: San Bernardino County Supervisors meeting
    WHEN: Tuesday, November 6th, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
    WHERE:
    In person:
    San Bernardino County Government Center
    385 N Arrowhead Avenue
    San Bernardino, CA 92415

    Via remote video-conference:
    Bob Burke Joshua Tree Government Center
    63665 Twentynine Palms Highway
    Joshua Tree, CA 92252

    The presence and voices of residents definitely made a difference in the decision Planning Commissioners reached in May. A strong showing for our position is once again critical to a good outcome! The developers’ interest will undoubtedly be present – community interests must be present to tip the balance. Each public speaker will have 3 minutes to present comments. Residents in the unincorporated rural communities – once again – must urge Supervisors to select the original language to protect our rural lifestyle and natural environment. This vote would, as per the rest of the RECE, still permit utility-scale projects in the rest of the unincorporated County.The alternative opens a very dangerous door to utility-scale RE development in our unincorporated communities.  

    To differentiate between the Community Values option being considered for 4.10 vs. the “Developer Wants” option for 4.10 – your comments to Supervisors on Nov. 6th could focus on:

    • Small-Scale over the Large-Scale
    • Local Use over the Remote Use
    • Minimal Impact over the Maximum Impact
    • Water is Life over the Water is for Wasting
    • Clean Air over the Dust Storms
    • Scenic Vistas over the Industrialized View
    • Local Benefits over the Remote Benefits
    • Reality version over the Fantasy Community Compatibility Report version

    When the Supervisors vote, this strategy for comments will leave no doubt what side each Commissioner voted for! Utility scale RE is not compatible with rural residential communities!

    MBCA Director Pat Flanagan has submitted an opinion letter to the Hi Desert Star in support of the original RECE 4.10. A similar piece has been published in the Victor Valley Daily Press by Lucerne Valley resident Neil Nadler. UPDATE 11/2/18: A comment letter from LVEDA, the Lucerne Valley Economic Development Association, has been sent to the Supervisors.

    San Bernardino Co. Fire Protection District Service Zone FP-5

    The recent vote approved the expansion of the boundaries of Service Zone FP-5 and increased assessment fees. This was proposed as the best way to generate needed revenues to maintain existing fire protection and emergency services. Each legal parcel within Service Zone FP-5 is assessed an annual parcel fee. The current assessment is set at $157.26/year, and can increase up to 3% each year.

    In closing

    How could November 6th be a more important day for the future of both our local communities and our Country? We care, we VOTE and we will make our opinions known to our County Supervisors!

    A special note: MBCA will celebrate its 50th Anniversary working to protect our rural desert communities and environment in 2019. Please mark your calendars for Saturday, January 26, 2019 for what will be a stellar program with speakers of national stature at our Annual Meeting and Program. We will reflect on MBCA’s storied past and look forward to the next 50 years!

    Sincerely,
    Sarah Kennington, President
    Morongo Basin Conservation Association 

    Your 2018 MBCA Board
    David Fick, Vice President                Steve Bardwell, Treasurer
    Marina West, Recording Secretary     Pat Flanagan, Director      
    Meg Foley, Director                          Mike Lipsitz, Director
    Ruth Rieman, Director                      Claudia Sall, Director
    Seth Shteir, Director                         Laraine Turk, Director

     

    www.mbconservation.org

    MBCA advocates for a healthy desert environment 
    that nurtures the region’s rural character, cultural wealth
    and economic well-being.

     

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  • MBCA Joins RECE 4.10 Coalition Comment Letter

    The County Supervisors will be considering adoption of the Renewable Energy and Conservation Element section 4.10 at their November 6 meeting. MBCA has signed a comment letter with a coalition of organizations and individuals urging the Supervisors to vote for the original version of RECE 4.10 rather than the revised version presented to the Board by Land Use Services. (More details and background can be found in the coalition's May 2018 letter.) Embodying the perspective and wishes of many organizations and individuals across the hi desert, the original version of RECE 4.10 reduces the chance that desert communities will be disadvantaged by a proliferation of large scale renewable energy projects.

    Excerpts from official San Bernardino County documents that show the County's past inclination to protect and support its communities have been collected in this document: SBC Documents Supporting Communities.

    Learn more from an editorial statement in the Victor Valley Daily Press by Lucerne Valley resident Neal Nadler in support of the original RECE 4.10 and a comment letter from the Lucerne Valley Economic Development Association.
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  • Ord Mountain Solar Project EIR Published

    The Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the proposed Ord Mountain Solar Project has been published by San Bernardino County. The 60 megawatt project is proposed next to a rural residential area north of Lucerne Valley. Negative effects on local residents and wildlife (including bighorn sheep and tortoise) are expected if the project were built. Here is a link to the online Notice of Availability, where you can read a summary and see a map.

    Please review the information about the project and then comment by the deadline of November 16, 2018. We are providing you with two methods of reviewing the EIR.

    1.  For those comfortable with navigating a large PDF document via their browser, here is a link to the full Ord Mountain EIR, published October 3, 2018.  You can view the Appendices individually via links to the County's website (listed below the EIR sections).

    2.  If you would like to review the EIR in smaller "chunks," in viewable and/or downloadable PDF format, we have provided below an index with links to individual sections of the EIR document (thanks to Pat Flanagan). The Appendices are too large to present as PDF's on our website, so we provide links to the County's website to view those files (below the EIR sections).

    Is the Ord Mountain Solar and Energy Storage Project exempt from the Renewable Energy and Conservation Element (RECE)? Consider the question with the help of this document. The answer is important for all communities facing utility-scale projects in or near their backyard where applications, but not final plans, have been filed. 

    After reviewing the EIR, please comment by email or postal mail by November 16. Be sure to include your name, phone number, and address.

    Email to:  
    Chris.Warrick@lus.sbcounty.gov

    Send letter to:
    County of San Bernardino, Land Use Services
    Chris Warrick, Senior Planner
    385 North Arrowhead Ave., First Floor
    San Bernardino, CA  92415

    909.387.3223

    Ord Mountain Solar Project EIR Documents
    (These are PDF documents available to view or download or print, all less than 10 MB.)

    CEQA final-approved-appendix-G
    EIR Table of Contents and Abbreviations
    Executive Summary, Environmental Impact Summary

    Section 1.0 Introduction
    Section 2.0 Project Description
    Section 3.0 Environmental Analysis
    Section 3.1 Aesthetics (1 of 2)
    Section 3.1 Aesthetics (2 of 2)
    Section 3.2 Air Quality
    Section 3.3 Biological Resources (Legal)
    Section 3.3 Biological Resources (Impact)
    Section 3.4 Cultural Resources
    Section 3.5 Geology and Soils
    Section 3.6 Green House Gas Emissions
    Section 3.7 Hazards and Hazardous Materials
    Section 3.8 Hydrology and Water Quality
    Section 3.9 Land Use and Planning
    Section 3.10 Noise
    Section 3.11 Traffic and Transportation
    Section 4.0 Effects Found Not to be Significant
    Section 5.0 Other CEQA Considerations
    Section 6. Alternatives to the Proposed Project
    Section 7.0 References and Preparers

    APPENDICES (these are links to the County's website)

    Air Quality Greenhouse Gas Energy
    Biological Resources
    Calcite Substation Project
    Cultural Resources
    Geological Resources
    Hazardous Materials
    Noise
    NOP and Scoping Documents
    Traffic
    Visual Resources
    Water Resources

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  • EBlast August 19, 2018

    San Bernardino Countywide Plan – LUS regional meetings
    San Bernardino County Fire Service Zone parcel fees – special meeting
    San Bernardino County RECE 4.10
    Joshua Tree Airport Solar Project
    Eagle Crest Pumped Storage Project

    Dear MBCA Members and Supporters,

    When it rains in the desert, it pours! We have another round of issue updates for you this week. A few “save the dates” along with other updates. Thanks for your attention.

    San Bernardino Countywide Plan & Community Plans: regional meeting

    When: Monday, Sept.10, 5:30 to 7:30 pm

    Where: Joshua Tree Community Center, 6171 Sunburst Ave

    The County is hosting a second round of regional meetings in September to hear feedback on the revised Countywide Plan and Community Plans (see below for note on Community Plans,) draft goals and policies, community actions, and the land use map. It will be the main agenda item for the monthly Morongo Basin MAC meeting. After a presentation by LUS staff, the audience will have the chance to respond with “feedback.”

    Per the County’s announcement of the meeting, earlier public input lead directly to substantial changes to the Draft Countywide Plan documents and maps.

     Residents in the Morongo Basin expressed great concern in the first round of Open Houses that Community Plans were not to be included within the revised Countywide Plan. Eliminating Community Plans from the Countywide Plan denies the Community Plans the legal strength of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA.) Our Community Plans must be respected and have adequate power of law to function with authority. How will this be addressed in the revised Draft Countywide and Community Plans? The flyer for this round of regional meetings notes that Draft Community Plans have been renamed ‘Community Action Guides’. Please attend to understand the implications of this re-name, and what the other proposed revisions, could be!

    Check the County’s Open House page for the flyer announcement of all 9 Community Meetings across the County, plus more details about the Open House format and links to Community Plans.

     San Bernardino Co. Fire Protection District: special meeting

    A special meeting sponsored by County Fire to provide information about the expansion of the boundaries Service Zone FP-5 boundaries and increased assessment fees.

    When: Monday, August 27th

    Where: Joshua Tree Community Center, 6:00 PM

    The San Bernardino County Fire Protection District Board of Directors, as well as the County Fire Protection Districts Fire Chief, announced plans to expand Service Zone FP-5 as the best way to generate needed revenues to maintain existing fire protection and emergency services. They also state that current property tax revenues are insufficient to cover the costs of providing fire and emergency medical services. Each legal parcel within Service Zone FP-5 is assessed an annual parcel fee. The current assessment is set at $157.26/year, and can increase up to 3% each year.

    A 30 day protest period has been established along with a scheduled public hearing set for October 16, 2018 to allow the public to express their opinions regarding the expansion of the FP-5 Service Zone.

    • September 14, 2018: Public Notices mailed to all parcel owners.
    • October 15, 2018: Last day to receive mail in protest letters. Must be received by close of business.
    • October 16, 2018: Last day to receive walk in protest letters. Must be received by the closing of the public hearing.
    • October 16, 2018: Public Hearing 10am, San Bernardino County Government Center, 1st Floor Covington Chamber.

    Go to the County’s Service Zone FP-5 page for more detailed information including a map, FAQs, and listings of other community meetings about the issue.

    The Renewable Energy Conservation Element (RECE), section 4.10

    RECE, section 4.10 will be scheduled on the County Board of Supervisors agenda within the next two months. When it is announced, we’ll let you know to “save the date.” It will be important again for residents to weigh in as the Supervisors decide the future renewable energy in RL (Rural Living) zoned areas. If we don’t tell our story to defend our communities from large-scale RE, the RE industry will tell theirs and tip the balance! Desert communities have spoken clearly: no large scale RE in residential communities!

    Joshua Tree Airport Solar Project

    As reported in previous the e-Blast, Joshua Tree Community for Responsible Solar sued the developers of JT Solar in CEQA court and the project is in a court monitored “stay.” There is another impediment to the project: the developer NextEra’s Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Southern California Edison Power expired in early 2017.

    Eagle Crest Energy Company Pumped Storage Project

    The previous E-Blast reviewed the status of this project. We can now confirm that the Desert Protection Society (DPS) will file an Appeal to the BLM right-of-way approval. It is hoped this action will block Congressman Paul Cook’s sponsored bill H.R. 5817 to authorize an extension of Eagle Crest’s missed deadline to commence construction.

    While purported to be a renewable energy project, damage to Joshua Tree National Park’s ecological balance seems certain.

    We should note for those of you who are not aware, the passing of renowned desert activist, Donna Charpied on November 11, 2017.  A true champion of the desert and an inspiration to many, Donna and her husband Larry were recipients of the Minerva Hoyt California Desert Conservation Award in 2005. Donna devoted her life to fighting assaults on Eagle Mountain and founded the Desert Protection Society. While she is genuinely irreplaceable, the DPS carries on with the work Donna was so passionate about. Thank you DPS board of directors!

     

    Sincerely,

    Sarah Kennington, President
    Morongo Basin Conservation Association

     

    Your 2018 MBCA Board

    David Fick, Vice President                         Steve Bardwell, Treasurer 
    Marina West, Recording Secretary            Pat Flanagan, Director       
    Meg Foley, Director                                    Mike Lipsitz, Director
    Ruth Rieman, Director                               Claudia Sall, Director
    Seth Shteir, Director                                   Laraine Turk, Director

     

    www.mbconservation.org

    MBCA advocates for a healthy desert environment
    that nurtures the region’s rural character, cultural wealth
    and economic well-being.

     

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  • EBlast August 9, 2018

    Cadiz / Assembly Bill 1000
    Eagle Crest Pumped Storage Project
    San Bernardino County RECE 4.10
    Altamira Gated Community Project
    Joshua Tree Solar Project

    Dear MBCA Members and Supporters,

    The previous e-Blasts in May and June encouraged you to submit comments to BLM for WEMO (West Mojave route network), along with a call to turn out for the County Planning Commission hearing on RECE (Renewable Energy Conservation Element) section 4.10 - since then we’ve had a welcomed hiatus from deadlines!

    I hope you’ve been able to catch your breath this summer, relax and attend to your personal lives. The need to respond in defense of the desert environment often competes for our attention and precious time! Along with the other MBCA directors, know that we appreciate the time you give - your attention, support and activism to the MBCA mission.

    So with optimism that you are recharged, there is something to put on your “to do” list, plus updates to long-standing issues.

    Cadiz / Assembly Bill 1000 – the “to do”

    The California Assembly has one more opportunity to curtail the Cadiz corporation plan to pump 16 billion gallons of ground water each year for 50 years from springs within Mojave Trails National Monument to sell to a water company in coastal Orange County. AB 1000 was introduced to the California Assembly last year and is now held by the State Appropriations committee. This bill is intended to reverse the Trump administration action that eliminated Federal requirements for the project. AB 1000 would require additional scrutiny before allowing plans to commence the export of desert groundwater for profit.

    If Cadiz begins pumping, the consequences will be dire to natural springs and the plants and animals that depend on them. It would do irreparable damage to Mojave Trails National Monument. Let’s do what we can do curtail this!

    Contact the Senate Appropriations Committee Chair, State Senator Anthony Portantino, with this simple message:

    • protect the Mojave desert’s natural springs and ground water;
    • as a leader you expect him to release & help pass AB1000. 

    Phone calls to Mr. Portantino’s district office are best:

    (818) 409-0400(ask for Vickere Murphy or the environmental staff member)

    - or send an e-mail.

    Also make calls to your state legislators. Morongo Basin residents can open MBCA's Decision-Maker Contact Information page to find clickable links to email State Assemblyman Chad Mayes and State Senator Jean Fuller.

    For more background read the Mojave Desert Blog’s overview, “Should Orange County Get Mojave Desert Groundwater?”

    Eagle Crest Energy Company Pumped Storage Project

    As reported in MBCA News recently, BLM approved the Eagle Crest Pumped Storage Project. The most recent News Update highlighted that the Company missed the mid-June construction deadline at the former Eagle Mountain Mine site near Desert Center. Intending to breathe new life into the project, Congressman Paul Cook sponsored Congressional bill H.R. 5817 to authorize an extension of Eagle Crest's commencement of construction. It was introduced into the House of Representatives and referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce.  The next action for the bill will be Mark Up where it can be amended and then Ordered to be Reported for a floor vote in the House.

    Eagle Crest Energy Company has yet to find a buyer for the power generated in the proposed hydro-pumping plant, it is also likely they would have to go through the NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act) process again, and there’s new science about aquifer recharge rates that could jeopardize the project.

    Environmental activist Donna Charpied devoted her life to fighting assaults on Eagle Mountain, including the Eagle Crest Pumped Storage project and other schemes that preceeded it. The organization she founded, The Desert Protection Society (DPS) continues the fight. It is expected DPS will appeal the BLM right-of-way approval. While purported to be a renewable energy project, damage to Joshua Tree National Park’s ecological balance seems certain.

    MBCA signed a letter along with conservation partners including the National Parks Conservation Association, Defenders of Wildlife, Western Watersheds, Basin and Ranch Watch, opposing the bill or any other legislative extension of the Eagle Crest construction permit.

    San Bernardino County General Plan RECE 4.10

    We’re still waiting to hear when the Board of Supervisors will hear and decide on Renewable Energy Conservation Element (RECE), section 4.10. You may recall in May the Planning Commission voted unanimously to approve the original version endorsed by MBCA and residents throughout the rural desert to prohibit industrial scale RE development in Community Plan areas. The Commission wisely rejected an Alternative 4.10 version that favored developers. When RECE comes back before the Supervisors it will be another call-to-action for us to emphatically demand defense of the rural residential quality of life in the desert areas. It is assured that the solar industry representatives are lobbying Land Use Services and the Supervisors on behalf of development. We must be present when the Supervisors decide the future renewable energy in RL (Rural Living) zoned areas - to tell our story and defend our communities from RE industrialization. When MBCA hears news about 4.10 appearing on the Supervisors’ Agenda, we will let you know to “save the date”!

    Altamira Gated Community Project

    MBCA Director David Fick working with other Joshua Tree residents reports another ‘settlement meeting’ was held in July 2018 with the Altamira project developers. The project remains in a CEQA (California Environmental Quality Act) court-monitored “stay” which halts the legal process in a trial or other legal proceeding. It is unclear how much longer or even if the “stay” would be extended or how the issues with the developers will be resolved. The opposition remains vigilant in monitoring and negotiating a settlement that favors concerns about the harmful environmental and social impacts to the Joshua Tree community.

    We wanted you to know that MBCA has not forgotten about Altamira. When there is news to report, MBCA will relay it to you.

    Joshua Tree Airport Solar Project

    Joshua Tree residents opposing the solar project also sued the developers of JT Solar in CEQA court. This project is also in a court monitored “stay.” The developer, NextEra, has completely fenced 110 acres of one million dollar land, but can proceed no further during the “stay.”

    Again, we have not lost sight of the project. This is another case of opponents slowing down a controversial project from moving forward. You will be notified when there is news about JT Solar.

    Calendar of Community Events

    The MBCA website’s Calendar of Community Events is a terrific way to keep tabs on events in the Basin of interest to the environmental, historical and community minded. You’ll find the Morongo Basin Municipal Advisory meetings, Morongo Basin Historical Society lectures, MBCA Board meetings, Hi Desert Nature Museum Brown Bag Lunch lectures, Old Schoolhouse Lectures by the Twentynine Palms Historical Society and The Desert Institute of JT National Park Association, and more. Check it out!

    In closing

    The MBCA directors will meet for our annual board retreat later in August. This is our opportunity to have a full day to take in the big picture, assess the past year and look ahead to what’s ahead. 2018 will mark MBCA’s 50thanniversary in service to the Morongo Basin. As the Basin’s oldest organization with a focus on the natural environment and our communities’ quality of life, we take our role seriously as challenges mount with increased pressures from growth and the effects of climate change. Directors will work to be prepared to anticipate and equipped to respond. We welcome your input – if you have ideas, critiques, or suggestions, please let us know: http://www.mbconservation.org/contact_us. We look to you to join us in the work, as well as in the 50thcelebrations ahead!

    Sincerely,

    Sarah Kennington, President
    Morongo Basin Conservation Association

     

    Your 2018 MBCA Board

    David Fick, Vice President                         Steve Bardwell, Treasurer
    Marina West, Recording Secretary             Pat Flanagan, Director      
    Meg Foley, Director                                   Mike Lipsitz, Director
    Ruth Rieman, Director                              Claudia Sall, Director
    Seth Shteir, Director                                 Laraine Turk, Director

     

    www.mbconservation.org

    MBCA advocates for a healthy desert environment
    that nurtures the region’s rural character, cultural wealth
    and economic well-being.

     

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  • Planning Commission Vote Supports Desert Communities

    At their May 24 meeting, in a 4-0 vote, the San Bernardino County Planning Commission supported the original version of Policy 4.10 of the Renewable Energy and Conservation Element of the County General Plan. In August 2017 the County Supervisors had asked for a review of 4.10. After nine months, Land Use Services provided the Commission with a revised version of 4.10 that clearly benefitted developers over desert communities.

    Passionate public comments from dozens of desert residents present at the County Government Center, and also at the Joshua Tree and Hesperia videoconferencing sites, lasted about 5 1/2 hours. Another hour-plus of questions to the LUS staff and intense discussion among the Commissioners ended when Commissioner Paul Smith of 29 Palms moved to approve the original version of Policy 4.10 as part of a three-item motion that additionally approved some minor revisions to other parts of the Policy. All four Commissioners present voted in favor.

    Update:  Here is the story on KCDZ 107.7 radio newsseveral stories on the Mojave Watch website, and coverage in the Victor Valley Daily Press.

    The recommendation from the Commission will be sent forward for consideration by the Board of Supervisors.

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  • MBCA Urges Freedom from Large Solar in Rural Communities

    Will the County of San Bernardino truly stand behind their claims of support for residents of rural communities who have been confronted in recent years with one after another ill-suited development projects?  The answer will become evident at this Thursday’s 9AM Planning Commission Meeting in San Bernardino. The single agenda item is the Renewable Energy Conservation Element (RECE) section 4.10. Read the original version and the staff-recommended revision and see how unprotected the revision leaves us. The original version prohibits large scale renewable energy development in rural desert communities; the revised version simply benefits energy developers.

    In MBCA’s May 21, 2018 official comment letter to the Planning Commission, we strongly defend the original version of RECE 4.10. Our rationale is supported by extensive citations from County documents that show how the revised language is in contrast to earlier County stances on development in rural areas.

    Show your support with your presence at the Planning Commission Hearing, either in San Bernardino or at one of the two remote videoconferencing sites. 

    Other links and details on the videoconferencing sites in Joshua Tree and Hesperia can be found in our May 18 Eblast.

    Again, we urge desert residents to attend the meeting in San Bernardino or at the remote videoconference sites in San Bernardino or Hesperia for a show of solidarity against the RECE 4.10 revision by Land Use Services staff.

     

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  • Eblast May 18, 2018

    SB County RECE 4.10: Planning Commission hearing, THURSDAY, 5/24/18

    • Complimentary MBTA bus transportation from JT – RSVP!

    WEMO: comments due Thursday, 6/14/18

    Dear MBCA Members and Supporters,

    One last reminder about the critically important …
    San Bernardino Co. Planning Commission hearing: RECE 4.10
    WHEN:  May 24th, 9AM
    WHERE:  County Government Center, 385 N. Arrowhead Ave., San Bernardino, CA. 92415 and remote video-conference facilities in Joshua Tree and Hesperia (see below for locations)

    Speak up to protect our Communities from utility scale Renewable Energy development in existing community plan areas and Rural Living land use districts!

    Advocate for Policy 4.10 as proposed on Aug. 8, 2017! The newly revealed Staff Recommendation for Policy 4.10 opens the door to developers for the industrialization of our communities!

    We can make a difference if we show up and speak out! Speakers have 3 minutes to present their comments. To prepare, carefully read the County's recent report on the original and edited versions of RECE 4.10, then review MBCA’s perspective in this summary that opposes the revisions.

    Participate remotely from the JT or Hesperia’s video conferencing
    WHERE: Burke Government Building, 63665 29 Palms Highway
    OR:Jerry Lewis High Desert Government Center, Hesperia
             15900 Smoke Tree St., suite 131
    WHEN: 9AM

    If you cannot attend the PC Hearing, submit written comments to
    Linda Mawby, Senior Planner (Linda.Mawby@lus.sbcounty.gov).

     

    WEMO
    The BLM has published the latest draft of the West Mojave Route system (aka WEMO) on March 16, 2018. Public response comments wlll be accepted through June 14th.

    There is some good news in Alternative # 2 – many dirt roads in Wonder Valley and other areas have been designated “street legal vehicles only” per many residents’ suggestions!

    For a full update, go to this May 17 MBCA News Update with links to the COW (Community ORV Watch) website for insights and recommendations on making substantive comments.

    In closing
    See you in San Bernardino next Thursday at the Planning Commission hearing or I’ll watch you comment remotely on the video screen there as you make comments from JT or Hesperia. We’ll make a full-report on RECE in the next E-Blast – hopefully with good news!

    Sincerely,
    Sarah Kennington, President
    Morongo Basin Conservation Association

    Your 2018 MBCA Board
    David Fick, Vice President                      Steve Bardwell, Treasurer   
    Marina West, Recording Secretary           Pat Flanagan, Director
    Meg Foley, Director                                Mike Lipsitz, Director
    Ruth Rieman, Director                            Claudia Sall, Director
    Seth Shteir, Director                               Laraine Turk, Director

     

    www.mbconservation.org 

    MBCA advocates for a healthy desert environment
    that nurtures the region’s rural character, cultural wealth
    and economic well-being.



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