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JOSHUA TREE'S NEED YOUR HELP




flier by Laura Mendoza

There are links in this post to scientific based information on why the Western Joshua Tree is in need of state level protection. Please visit and read the links as you will get more in depth information to the threats to the plant like, habitat loss due to urban development, climate change, prolonged droughts and fire. For those folks who referred to the United Plant Savers website to see if the plant was listed on the AT-RISK list and noticed that Western Joshua Tree is not listed, United Plant Savers is dedicated to medicinal plant conservation, being that Joshua Trees are not used in medicine due to the limited current "protection" on the plant UpS does not have them on their radar. If you looked to see if there is federal or state threatened listing, there is none. The trump administration denied it the petition in 2019 and this current petition is being presented to the state of California seeking it to be reviewed as a "threatened species." Below is a list of emails to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife along with the influencers deadline was extended to June19, 2020.


Last Saturday environmentalist, photographer Casey Keirnan and I set up a booth in front at Joshua Tree Health Food during the JT farmers market to chat with locals and visitors about the urgency of state protection and collect signatures. Many people were under the assumption that the Joshua Tree Yucca brevifolia is under state or federal protection. No in fact they are not. In 2019 the current administration denied the petition to have the Western Joshua Tree Yucca brevifolia reviewed in a year long study for its status to be listed as a threatened species. The Center for Biological Diversity conservation director Brendan Cummings has petitioned the state of California for state protection since the denial of the federal government to have it protected as a threatened species under the California Endangered Species Act. For those who went to the United Plant Savers website


On June 25, 2020 there will be the hearing with the California Department of Fish and Game where then the decision will be made. For more information on why Joshua Tree is threatened and why we need YOUR HELP please click HERE and read the petition that was authored by the Brendan Cummings, Conservation Director of the Center for Biological Diversity This

Joshua Trees are NOT WEEDS! I took a screen shot of a Morongo Basin local CANDY JANE "DOESN'T CARE" who posted under my CALL TO ACTION to protect the Joshua Trees post in a community facebook group. The amount of folks in opposition to the protection of Joshua Tree's was astounding many are fueled by their major of Yucca Valley Jeff Drozd who has a petition in opposition to the protection of Joshua Tree's. His opposition really comes down to development. The Yucca Valley Water Department is also in opposition (development). Not only is the Joshua Tree in threat do to habitat loss from urban development but also climate change and fire due to the amount of fuel on the desert floor from the dried up invasive non native grasses. Here is proof that locals in the Morongo Basin just do not appreciate this endemic species of the Mojave with Candy Jane "DOESN'T CARE" and her anti-joshua tree protection post of her digging up a juvenile Joshua Tree.


Some facts about Joshua Tree's;

  • Joshua Trees are endemic only to the Mojave Desert. (only grow in the Mojave Desert)

  • These are a slow growing plant. Growing up to 3cm (1.18 inches) in a year

  • They are pollinated solely by the Yucca Moth and have no other pollinators.

  • Their seeds are wind and rodent dispersed by the Antelope Squirrel. The seeds that the squirrel forgot about MAY develop given right conditions.

  • Juvenile Joshua Trees mortality was due the Jackrabbit and

  • Takes about 30 years before it goes into flower which flowers are needed for sexual reproduction.

  • Can grow to be 300 years old.

  • Survival of seedlings requires periods of cool temperatures, little to no herbivory and summer rain.

Threats

  • Urban development is largely impacting Joshua Trees. Over 50% of Joshua Tree woodlands are privately owned.

  • As human population increases in these areas and consequent loss of Joshua tree woodlands is expected to continue in the coming decades.

  • Other development posing a threat to Joshua Tree woodlands is the roads, solar fields, highways and transmission lines.

  • Climate change. Increasing in temperatures and drought are a threat.

  • Juveniles do not survive heat stress while mature Joshua Trees can survive there is very low recruitment.

  • Drought

  • Invasive non native grass that is sitting fuel on the desert floor.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife is accepting letters for the petition to have the Western Joshua Tree Yucca brevifolia protected under the state as a "threatened species" until June 19th. Below is a list of who to email (copy/paste). You do not have to be a resident to write a letter requesting they grant the study to deterime the status as a threatened species.

Please help us in getting this icon more protection and email with the subject "RE: PLEASE HELP PROTECT OUR JOSHUA TREES"

Eric Sklar

President of California Fish and Wildlife @ fgc@fgc.ca.gov

Chad Dibble

Deputy Director Ecosystem Conservation Division @ chad.dibble@wildlife.ca.gov

Stafford Lehr

Deputy Director Wildlife and Fisheries Division @ stafford.lehr@wildlife.ca.gov

Wendy Bogdan

General Counsel Office of the General Counsel @ wendy.bogdan@wildlife.ca.gov

Isabel Baer

Native Plant Program Manager Habitat Conservation @ isabel.baer@wildlife.ca.gov