MBCA joined more than 30 organizations and companies signing a letter in support of California AB 1757, a bill to aid California’s efforts to deal with climate change by setting targets to remove carbon from the atmosphere through natural carbon sequestration. “Setting ambitious natural carbon removal targets is both crucial and achievable,” states the letter. The bill is in the Governor’s hands for signing as of this writing.
Pages tagged "Conservation"
Local winter rains provide hope for some good wildflower viewing in the coming months, but also have fed the growth of some of the Basin's worst invasive weeds that can reduce wildflower displays. Check out this news report on invasive plants by local radio station KCDZ and also MBCA's Invasive Plants page, to learn how to recognize and deal with these environmental threats.
The Soda Mountain Solar project along the I-15 corridor that was denied six and a half years ago is again being evaluated. In this comprehensive comment letter submitted as a Draft Environmental Impact Report is being prepared, MBCA outlines still-pertinent and new concerns ranging from fugitive dust and environmental justice to issues of widespread unobstructed views that entice visitors and the "lake effect" that entices birds to their deaths.
MBCA has supported the Southern California Council of Governments (SCAG) draft Regional Advanced Mitigation Policy (RAMP) draft plan. It is proposed "to allow state and federal agencies to consider the environmental impacts and mitigation needs of multiple planned infrastructure projects and urban development all at once, and satisfy those mitigation requirements early in the project planning and environmental review process." Benefits would include cost savings and climate change considerations. This comprehensive presentation about RAMP provides more background and details.
A historic co-stewardship agreement was signed by Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians Tribal Chairman Darrell Mike and Superintendent David Smith of Joshua Tree National Park this week. The of tribal lands and federal land acquisitions over time in the area are described in this news story in the Desert Sun. The agreement “will enable the park and the tribe to collaborate on interpretive and educational services, natural and cultural history training, mutual aid for search and rescue and wildland fire operations, and other projects. The park and the tribe also plan on collaborating on a trail connecting the reservation to the park.”
In an outcome not entirely unexpected, the California Fish and Game Commission today chose to delay the decision on whether listing the Western Joshua tree as an endangered species under the California Endangered Species Act is warranted. Today's meeting focused on additional tribal input, which will continue, while general public comment is closed. Much of the concern comes with how the restrictions will be implemented as relates to development, and the idea of more widespread conservation planning is another issue being considered. The item will next be on the agenda at the Commission's February 8-9, 2023 meeting. Here is the story in more detail as reported by the Desert Sun and here is a short summary by local radio station KCDZ.
As reported on local radio station KCDZ, the RoBott Land Company replied in writing to questions asked at a recent Homestead Valley Community meeting with a 17-page document. Their detailed replies are to a great extent based on the acceptance and approval of San Bernardino County in their application process and their belief that the growth in visitors to Joshua Tree National Park supports their project.
MBCA and 7 other conservation groups have requested a pause in the Golden Currant Solar project variance review until a revised Bureau of Land Management Resource Management Plan is completed to replace the 1997 version. The 25-year old plan predates many changes in desert management, including updated desert tortoise status, water availability, visual resource and habitat conservation plans, plus water availability, public land access, tribal consultation and many more concerns. While this Nevada project is not within the Morongo Basin, MBCA has always viewed the entire Mojave Desert as part of "the healthy desert environment" that we seek to preserve.
At their June 15 meeting, the four members of the California Fish and Game Commission were split on decisions relating to the status of the Western Joshua tree. Their tie votes of 2-2 applied both to a motion to list the tree as threatened and a motion to continue the decision to the August meeting, with a recommendation to develop a recovery and conservation plan. With no decision on the Joshua tree's status, it continues to be protected in “candidate” status. The topic was continued until the October meeting of the Commission. This Desert Sun article provides a comprehensive summary of the presentations, arguments, and actions taken at the meeting. Additional information and links to the recording of the meeting can be found in this email from the group ProtecttheJoshuaTrees.com.