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Illegal destruction of Joshua Trees and Yuccas in Yucca Valley. Joshua Trees NEED YOUR VOICE!




If you are inclined to help us protect the Western Joshua Tree Yucca brevifolia please read on but we really need voices present on August 20, 2020 to voice support of the one year study that would determine Western Joshua Tree as a threatened species To make the most powerful impact we need as many present at the California Department of Fish and Wildlife Zoom hearing, which each person will have the opportunity to speak on why the Western Joshua Tree Yucca brevifolia needs protection. CDFW link CLICK HERE


On August 10, 2020 I was called out to a location in Yucca Valley where a contractor was illegally removing Joshua Trees and Yuccas without a Native Plant Permit Our group acquired native plant permits for the town of yucca valley under FOIA from 2017 up until July 22, 2020. We confirmed that there were not recently issued permits for the parcels in question with the Yucca Valley planning department, I was not trespassing as there were no signs posted and the employees never told me it was private property.



This is the first documented incident in the last three years exposing illegal removal of Joshua Trees. After leaving the site and nearly getting hit by the contractor who intentionally reversed his truck and trailer that had yuccas and Joshua Trees in tow that nearly hit my car, I headed to Yucca Valley planning department where the clerk for code enforcement had given me contradictory information regarding this site and a native plant permit (NPP). I was first told by the clerk of code enforcement that anyone submitting a plan can remove plants that are listed as "protected" and would otherwise require a native plant permit, then the associate town planner came out who verified that indeed there were no permits for the parcels that I provide him with, then the clerk of code enforcement changed her story again and eventually saying she "assumed". It appears that code enforcement clerk was covering up for the contractor. Yucca Valley development code states that "it is prohibited for any individual or entity to remove, transplant, damage, disturb or destroy any part if any regulated desert native plant, except its fruit, fro any privately or publicly owned piece of land in the Town of Yucca Valley, without first obtaining a regulated desert native plant permit from the town". My question is why is town staff giving conflicting information? Why is there staff not informed of their own town development code? The contractor is David Webb of D. Webb Incorporated (contractor licence 794667).

Mr. David Webb after our fiery and heated conversation walking back to his truck hauling the trailer were over a dozen of Joshua Trees and Yuccas without a permit.

Apparently code enforcement went to the location but are prohibited to go on a property and without images they cannot make a case, being that two of us complained and have evidence that include photos and video the code enforcement clerk said that their attorney cannot use our evidence. So this folks is how Yucca Valley "protects" the Joshua Trees.





Our immediate group of Desert Defenders Ernesto pulled native plant permits under FOIA and here is some of his findings after auditing the past three years of NPP.







The petition by Brendan Cummings, Conservation Director and long time Joshua Tree resident









Article by Chris Clarke "Letter From the Desert: Lying about Joshua Trees"


The contractor was aggressive with me, I had to ask him to distance from me in which he said "if i returned it is an act of hostility" shortly after saying that he got in his truck and intentionally tried to hit me while I was leaving the site. I was also followed and had a man show up to our place in which police were phoned and a report made.


On August 13, 2020 I received a message on Instagram of a follower who witnessed a man with a woman coming into her Yucca Mesa in Yucca Valley neighborhood who had used a chainsaw to cut down Joshua Trees and saw him kicking a smaller Joshua Tree, she did not know who to contact and reached out to me attaching images. If you witness anyone cutting down Joshua Trees or removing Native Plants that are listed in the California Desert Native Plants Act that would otherwise require a permit for removal here are the steps you should take..



1) Call county or city Code Enforcement REPORT IT.

2) Take photographs/video of the actions

3) Take images of the trucks, licence plates.

4) Code Enforcement is SLOW to action so phone the local law enforcement agency.

5) DO NOT confront unless you are with others.You can question about a permit

6) Identify the property in question parcel number if there is no address present. Do so by checking HERE, click HERE on instructions to getting the parcel number.

7)Use the parcel number to research if there is a native plant permit issued for development.



FACTS

NO PERMITS ARE ISSUED TO ANY PROPERTY IF THERE IS NOT AN ADDRESS THAT IS VISIBLE. THIS MEANS THE PROPERTIES THAT ARE RAW LAND DEFINITELY DO NOT HAVE AN ADDRESS AND HAVE .



My experience with Yucca Valley Town Planning Department is that the administrative assistant for Code Enforcement will not be of help, in fact she gave me conflicting information that ended up per her as "I was told, I assumed" rather than facts. There is obvious covering-up within the town of Yucca Valley. Speak to the town planner when researching a permit status under the FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT AND DO AS I DID, If you are in a public space you can record the conversation without telling the person/s. Audio is always great because people will back-peddle and change their story.