On April 16 MBCA published a News Update about the requested listing of the Western Joshua tree as a threatened species in California. The petition was presented in October 2019 by the Center for Biological Diversity. In April 2020 the state's Department of Fish and Wildlife agreed that the information provided warranted the listing and referred their opinion to the California Fish and Game Commission. The Commissioners are scheduled to vote on the recommendation on June 25. If they agree, a yearlong review would begin and the trees would be protected during the review. We ask readers to review this very comprehensive Background and Talking Points document and submit comments in favor of the threatened species listing by the deadline of June 11. Send comments via email to [email protected].
In January 2020, MBCA sent a letter opposing state legislative action that would have enhanced the prospects for the Eagle Crest Pumped Storage Project on the border of Joshua Tree National Park. Chief among our concerns is the inevitable overdraft of underground aquifers in the area and for the Park, with dire consequences for the flora and fauna.Read more
MBCA has forwarded a letter of support to U.S. Interior Secretary Bernhardt and California Bureau of Land Management Director Karen Mouritsen for the BLM to acquire Land and Water Conservation Fund resources for purchasing lands within the Mojave Trails National Monument. MBCA also signed on to two group letters (May 8 and May 21) on the same topic. The LCWF provides grants for federal-state partnerships for conservation and public recreation projects. The 6,213 acres of interest in the Mojave Trails National Monument contain cultural sites and are part of important habitat linkages.
- Earth Day
- 50th Anniversary Commemorative book distribution
- Desert Wise Living Landscape Tour 2020 postponed
- MBCA and social media initiative
- Ruth Denison Environmental Scholarship: 2020 recipient
- OHV enforcement in the Basin: the Sheriff’s report
- Protecting our dark night sky
- Advancing protection for Joshua trees
- Mountain lions to be considered for protection
- Eagle Crest pumped storage update
- Morongo Basin health care capability vs COVID-19
Last fall the Center for Biological Diversity petitioned California to list the western Joshua tree as a threatened species under California's Endangered Species Act. On April 13 the state's Department of Fish and Wildlife agreed. The Department's Commissioners are scheduled to vote on the recommendation in June. You can find thorough coverage of the story on local radio KCDZ, on the Mojave Watch blog(no longer available), and in the Desert Sun and Los Angeles Times online newspapers.
MBCA has sent a letter to the California Fish and Game Commission recommending a review of the status of mountain lion populations in the Southern California and Central Coast mountain areas. There are genetic connections between those beleaguered populations and lions known to be in Joshua Tree National Park. Such a review should lead to listing those mountain lions as "threatened" under the California Endangered Species Act.
A comprehensive article about the Eagle Mountain pumped storage project and similar projects in other areas of the country was published by the Los Angeles Times. MBCA has had continuing concerns about the use of the old Eagle Mountain mine for many years, especially as it relates to the environmental health of Joshua Tree National Park (which is noted in the article). To review past MBCA News Updates related to Eagle Mountain, go to MBCA's Search page and type in "Eagle" or "Eagle Mountain" and you'll find several dozen links to past relevant MBCA News and EBlasts.
- Appeal of Daggett Solar Power Facility to be heard by Board of Supervisors Tuesday December 10
- Fish and Game Commission to consider listing of Joshua Tree as a threatened or endangered species
- MBCA monthly Board Meeting venue change
- Hold the date for or annual meeting January 25, 2020
Mojave Desert Land Trust's Seed Bank is highlighted in this article in the San Bernardino Sun. While the preservation of Joshua Tree seeds is emphasized due to the recent news of a petition to declare it a threatened species, the Seed Bank currently has seed collections representing more than 180 species of native desert plants. Learn more about the Seed Bank and how to volunteer on the Nursery & Seed Bank page on the MDLT website.
The Desert Sun reports that the Center for Biological Diversity recently filed a petition with the state's Fish and Game Commission for protection of the Western Joshua Tree from climate change by listing it as a threatened species under the California Endangered Species Act. The news article provides scientific and political background on the issue. The Commission has 10 days to certify the petition and send it to the Department of Fish and Wildlife, which then has 90 days to provide an initial recommendation. Here is the LA Times story on this topic.