More on the Cadiz water project, from NPCA field rep Seth Shteir. Members of Transition Joshua Tree will be attending this event. We hope you join us!
Thank you all for the outstanding advocacy opposing the Cadiz project this past spring and summer! In my four years working at National Parks Conservation Association, I have yet to see an environmental issue that has generated as many op-eds and letters to the editor in the Hi Desert Star as this one. That’s a testament to both the activism and intellect of our very unique desert community. The Hi Desert is full of people who care about sustainability and preserving something for future generations. It also speaks directly to the grave harm this project would cause to groundwater resources, air quality and the springs of the Mojave National Preserve.
SBC Board of Supervisors Meeting — October 1st
We’ve had our first week of cool fall evenings, but our Cadiz advocacy is once again heating up! There will be a San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors Special meeting to review the Cadiz project’s groundwater management plan on October 1, 2012 at 10am at the Board of Supervisors, 385 N. Arrowhead Avenue – San Bernardino, California.
The Cadiz Groundwater management plan is very important because it requires San Bernardino County to sign off on how project proponents plan to monitor the aquifer and how and when Cadiz would curtail pumping if damage to water resources is detected. But what’s more important than the technical details is that this meeting is an important venue to make our voices heard and state once again that this misguided project will damage San Bernardino County’s groundwater resources, harm air quality and jeopardize the springs of the Mojave National Preserve.
Get in the Van
Please join The Morongo Basin Conservation Association, Transition Joshua Tree, The California Desert Coalition, the Joshua Tree Community Association and NPCA for a free ride down to this meeting! RSVP to Seth Shteir at firstname.lastname@example.org by Thursday, September 27, 2012 COB (Close of Business). Our vans will leave promptly at 8:00am on October 1, 2012 from the NPCA office at 61325 Twentynine Palms Highway, Suite D in Joshua Tree, California. We ask that you plan on arriving 10 minutes beforehand. There will be a press conference outside the Supervisor’s building at 9:30am, so please bring signs if you’ve got them! Also bring comfortable clothes, water, snacks and your own bag lunch, but leave the driving to us! Even if you can’t join us, perhaps you’d be willing to call the Supervisors or draft a letter. If that’s the case, please RSVP and let us know you’d like to take this action. We can send a sample letter for your use.
It Ain’t Over Yet
I also want to take this opportunity to assure people from our community that Cadiz and the Santa Margarita Water District haven’t won this battle and that there’s still a great deal more of the Cadiz story to be written. In an update several weeks ago, I compared our ongoing Cadiz campaign to a marathon because it requires a sustained commitment (And a bit of jarring to the knees!). But maybe a triathlon is more fitting because in order to get the job done, we have to do many different kinds of things over a long period of time (Instead of swimming, biking and running read organizing, securing support of elected officials and legal action!).
Several weeks ago, NPCA, the Center for Biological Diversity, San Bernardino Valley Audubon Society and the San Gorgonio Chapter of the Sierra Club challenged many aspects of the Cadiz CEQA process by filing a lawsuit in San Bernardino County Superior Court. The legal challenge could ultimately overturn the certification of the Final EIR, but this is just one step in thwarting the project. Generating media and securing the help of elected officials are two more important actions we should take as we move into the fall season. In the coming weeks, I will send out talking points to those of you who would like to write, call or attend the Board of Supervisor’s meeting. Stay tuned for future developments!
Thanks again for all the great work!
California Desert Field Representative
National Parks Conservation Association
61325 Twentynine Palms Highway, Suite D
Joshua Tree, CA 92252