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Upcoming San Bernardino County and BLM WEMO opportunities for involvement


The San Bernardino County Planning Commission is hosting their hearing on the Renewable Energy Conservation Element (RECE) language - and new "alternative" language crafted by the county's Land Use Services after private meetings with energy development companies - on Thursday, May 24. This will be of special interest to desert residents in the county who may face utility scale solar and wind energy development projects in their area on private, or state lands. The meeting provides an opportunity to speak up in your own community's interests.


The Planning Commission meets at 9 a.m. on Thursday the 24th, at the County Government Center, 385 N. Arrowhead Avenue, San Bernardino. The Morongo Basin Conservation Association is offering free transportation to the meeting for up to 20 hi-desert residents who would like to speak at the meeting. Speakers have three minutes for public comment. The Morongo Basin Transit Agency bus will depart at 7 a.m. from the Burke Government Center at 63665 29 Palms Highway, in Joshua Tree. If you are interested in taking the bus, please RSVP to the MBCA at info@mbconservation.org.


Hi-desert residents and Victorville/Hesperia/Apple Valley residents may also view the Planning Commission meeting remotely through video conferencing at the Burke Government Center in Joshua Tree, or at the Jerry Lewis High Desert Government Center, 15900 Smoke Tree Street, Suite 131, in Hesperia. The video feed should begin at 9 a.m. on the 24th.


To prepare for the meeting, please read the Land Use Services notice:

https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/mbca/pages/672/attachments/original/1526063296/SBCounty_RECE-4.10_April2018.pdf?1526063296


The MBCA has good information on the RECE language that opposes revisions to the original RECE 4.10 language presented in August, 2017. It's excellent background material for the meeting:

https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/mbca/mailings/282/attachments/original/Summary_of_RECE__for_410_comments_PF.pdf?1526670446


The MBCA advocates that you speak up for RECE policy 4.10 as proposed on August 8, 2017. The new Land Use Services "alternative" language for section 4.10 appears to be nothing more than rewriting the minimal requirements of the CEQA process, which must be adhered to in all cases, essentially eliminating the protections for desert communities included in the original 4.10 language.


If you are unable to attend the Planning Commission hearing or view it remotely, you may still submit written comments on the 4.10 language, original and alternative, to Linda Mawby, Senior Planner: Linda.Mawby@lus.sbcounty.gov.


You can read more here:

https://www.mojavewatch.org/news/county-land-use-proposes-alternate-renewable-energy-rece-language-for-general-plan

Here: https://www.mojavewatch.org/news/daggett-solar-project-scoping-meeting-encounters-major-resistance

Here: https://www.mojavewatch.org/news/newberry-springs-photo-series-demonstrating-impact-of-wind-storm

Here: https://www.mojavewatch.org/news/newberry-springs-photo-series-demonstrating-impact-of-wind-storm

And here: https://www.mojavewatch.org/news/newberry-springs-residents-up-in-arms-over-county-s-industrial-solar-projects

See Pat Flanagan of the MBCA's presentation on sand transport corridors and air quality issues related to utility scale solar power development in the desert, here:

https://www.mojavewatch.org/news/putting-the-air-we-breathe-at-risk-unmeasured-and-unknown


In off-road planning news, the BLM's third try at the West Mojave Route Network Project, or WEMO, is accepting public comment through June 14.


Pat Flanagan of the MBCA has a presentation on the current WEMO incarnation that provides good information:

https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/mbca/pages/1135/attachments/original/1526593420/PP_WEMO_51418.pdf?1526593420


The BLM WEMO page includes maps and information for submitting public comments:

https://www.blm.gov/programs/planning-and-nepa/plans-development/california/west-mojave-plan-route-network


Community ORV Watch has additional information on WEMO alternatives and commenting:

http://orvwatch.com/http://orvwatch.com


While we think signing up for the Mojave Watch newsletter is a great way to stay up to date on desert issues, San Bernardino County desert residents should also sign up for the county's renewable energy project updates as well. Learn more here:

https://www.mojavewatch.org/news/keep-up-with-sbc-desert-power-projects

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