What’s happening here is foolish and heartbreaking

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What the San Bernardino County government is doing to Joshua Tree is a disgrace — foolishly marring what should be the County’s crown jewel.

The National Park’s attendance has soared in the last two years, and our area’s profile continues to rise (fwiw) with a steady stream of national media profiles — New York Times, National Geographic, GQ, countless fashion shoots, etc. — with more to come.

Yet the County is working to diminish Joshua Tree, piece by piece.

First, they approved a Dollar General store. Then, they approved two large fenced industrial solar fields in sight of the Park. Now, they’ve approved a developer’s plan (“Alta Mira”) to bulldoze wilderness to put in gated, high-density housing.

Since Joshua Tree is unincorporated, our village has zero power over these decisions. So, we file lawsuits, which we fund out of our small community’s pockets. What’s happening here is heartbreaking.

Please help out, if you can…

STOP ALTA MIRA — gofundme

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ROGER SMITH KEEPS OUT THE DEPLORABLES

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Above: Local vegetable gardening and growing inspiration Roger Smith, in front of his hi-desert home garden.

At Roger’s suggestion, we’ve been planting red winter wheat this past week in beds around our house, following his instructions.

“Make sure you thoroughly saturate the beds you plan to plant,” Roger told us. “Covering with a clear plastic should shorten sprouting time, help preserve soil moisture, and keep out the deplorables.”

More learned desert gardening advice from Roger is archived here: Roger Smith’s Desert Garden

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WILLOW CROSSING

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We were deeply distressed recently when the Institute of Mentalphysics/Joshua Tree Retreat Center, without a permit, cleared 3-plus acres of their land at the corner of the 62 and La Contenta to make a parking lot. Bad enough that this was permanent destruction of intact, native habitat — it was also a crucial part of the wildlife corridor, a place of rest and refuge for wild animals making the dangerous transit across the highway. No longer.

What Mentalphysics did was awful — but there’s something we can do to try to mitigate it. The Mojave Desert Land Trust is appealing to the public to raise $15,000 to kickstart the ~$400k acquisition of 80 acres of wildland on the other side of Mentalphysics, next to MDLT’s headquarters. When purchased by the Land Trust, this land (nicknamed “Willow Crossing”) will become PERMANENT, PROTECTED WILDLIFE CORRIDOR. We need to help make this happen.

Please, follow the link to donate what you can: Scenery Worth Saving #Protect62

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BAD NEWS: CA. SUPREME COURT DECLINES TO HEAR JOSHUA TREE’S CASE AGAINST DOLLAR GENERAL

David Fick of the Joshua Tree Downtown Business Alliance posted on Facebook:

Late today, Friday October 14th, the JT BA has been notified by our legal representation that the State Supreme Court has Denied our Petition for Review of the JTDBA vs Dynamic Development/San Bernardino County Dollar General State Appeals Court Ruling. We haven’t seen the documents for denial yet, but we need to inform our supporting Friends and Family of the current status of this lawsuit as soon as we learned of it. This legal avenue of resisting Dollar General appears to have ended. We’re studying our future options and great thanks to everybody who’s supported our efforts. We have and still are fighting the good fight to keep Joshua Tree the kind of place we have all come to know and love.

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STEPHANIE’S BEEN VISITING NURSERIES

Stephanie says: “I’ve been to some dreamy nurseries over the past few weeks sourcing plants for the Sunever Farms food forest. This one is Randy Myers Nurseries in Sky Valley (wholesale, but in his words ‘I’ll sell to anyone who can figure out how to find this place’)”

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COMPANION

Looks like the wild gopher snake really likes ‘our’ ‘yard.’ Cat seems resigned to situation. Mice worried. Lizards freaking out. #desertlife #JoshuaTree

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GRAZIE

We are so fortunate to receive so many lovely guests at our cabins who support our long-term project…
jthomesteader.com/manifesto

grazie

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BAD NEWS FOR JOSHUA TREE

Via Defend Joshua Tree website

VERY BAD NEWS: JOSHUA TREE LOSES TO DOLLAR GENERAL FORCES AT STATE COURT OF APPEAL

Last week the 4th Appellate District Division 2 State Court of Appeal reversed Joshua Tree Downtown Business Alliance’s 2014 victory in “CEQA Court” (CEQA: California Environmental Quality Act). In that case, San Bernardino County Superior Court Judge Donald R. Alvarez had agreed with the JTDBA that the store’s potential harm to the town’s economy had not been given adequate consideration in the approval process.

You can read/download the Court of Appeal’s 35-page June 15, 2016 decision here. The ruling was written by Presiding Justice Manuel A. Ramirez, with Associate Justice Thomas E. Hollenhorst and Associate Justice Carol D. Codrington concurring.

This is a major and perhaps fatal blow to the people of Joshua Tree’s five-year-long fight to keep Dollar General and developers Dynamic Development and Depierro Development from building a Dollar General store at the corner of Sunburst and the 62.

An appeal by the JTDBA to the California State Supreme Court is possible, but would be something of a hail mary as the Court hears fewer than 3 percent of the cases sent its way.

The JTDBA is consulting with its legal counsel as to what to do next, with an announcement expected soon.

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COYOTE PUP

Coyote pup has visited a friend at our tree farm for 2 evenings in a row…

coyotepup

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WHO’S IN THERE?

This morning… Stephanie was on a morning walk in the open desert and came across this…

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