At the County Land Use Services Open House held in Joshua Tree on August 30, MBCA's President Steve Bardwell talked at some length with Mark Wardlaw, new Director of the department. MBCA sent a followup letter outlining concerns about land use issues that affect the Morongo Basin's unincorporated communities particularly. The letter includes some specific suggestions and summarizes our concerns related to water issues, Community Action Guides, climate change, Short-Term Rental ordinances, and a number of other topics.
MBCA is among four regional conservation non-profits recommending together in this letter that the draft of the San Bernardino County Regional Conservation Investment Strategy be edited to meet statute requirements regarding quantifiable goals and gap analysis. In addition, MBCA along with Mojave Desert Land Trust, California Desert Coalition, and The Wildlands Conservancy suggest the use of the 2012 Morongo Basin Conservation Priorities Report to enrich the evaluative data for habitat value.
MBCA's comment letter to the Bureau of Land Management requests they deny the Bonanza Solar Project in the greater Las Vegas area of the Mojave Desert and instead establish an Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC) to protect an incredible array of desert plants and wildlife that would be decimated by the project.
MBCA has submitted a letter to the Wildlife Conservation Board of California's Desert Conservation Program in support of Mojave Desert Land Trust's effort to acquire and protect acreage in the Corridor Spring Site, a Morongo Basin location with water sources and documented wildlife corridor attributes.
Along with 61 other conservation non-profit groups, representing millions of members and supporters, MBCA signed on to a comprehensive comment letter on the Bureau of Land Management's proposal for revisions in land-use decision making. Much of the land in the Morongo Basin falls under the BLM jurisdiction, whose mission includes "multiple uses" that often impinge on environmental health, especially in the desert. The potential revisions place conservation "on equal footing with other consumptive multiple uses." The comment letter applauds the improvements but also points to numerous additional ways to strengthen the rule making.
- Light Trespass Ordinance Now in Effect
- Talking Trash (and Recycling!)
- Desert-Wise Living Landscape Tour
- Pioneertown and Land Use in The Morongo Basin
MBCA has submitted comments to the Bureau of Land Management's Las Vegas Field Office about the proposed Golden Currant Solar Project's effects on bird migration. Research shows that birds are killed near solar installations because they are attracted to reflective panels they perceive as water. This solar project plus three others nearby would create an excessive array of danger for birds. MBCA's letter includes graphic data of bird presence in the area from the eBird program of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.