Protecting Joshua Trees - Podcast on Herbrally
I was approached by my friend of HerbRally podcast, Mason Hutchison who has been following along to what is going on with Yucca brevifolia, Western Joshua Tree and asked if I would do a podcast on the Joshua Trees. If you are just reading this and have no idea of what has been happening, I will keep this brief and then you can head over to the podcast and learn more. (read below on what you can do to help protect Joshua Trees in the interim while we wait for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife decision on protection of the Joshua Trees)
Joshua Trees are in grave threat of CLIMATE CHANGE, and wildfires, In May of 2020 in Yucca Valley a fire claimed 150 acres of Joshua Tree Woodland on protected public land that was victim of arson. Many Western Joshua Trees are now chard skeletons, in 2006 the Sawtooth fire claimed over 61,000 acres of land, this fire began with a lightening strike. In the last week the Dome Fire claimed over 40,000 acres some which impacted the Mojave National Preserve, though these Joshua Trees are of a different species Yucca jaegeriana none the less this is still a terrible loss and we need to do everything we can to protect and preserve these endemic species. The Dome Fire is another fire that began with a lightening strike. I explain more about invasive species that are found here in the desert and are supported by the nitrogen that is carried in the polluted air coming in from the west and into the east where it settles on the desert floor. The dried up invasive plants pose as a fire threat and are essentially fuel.
So what's the rage and push for us to get the Western Joshua Tree protected? Well, there are for-profit organizations, politicians, local town council, county supervisor Dawn Rowe, developers, solar and some realtors who are opposed to the Center for Biological Diversity Petition seeking protection and requesting that the California Department of Fish and Wildlife conduct a one year study that would determine a threatened status and protection under the California Endangered Species Act. Myself and comrade David Fick recently exposed two developers for illegal removal of Joshua Trees so aside of climate change, wildfires, these majestic Joshua Trees are in threat of urban development.
"Don't it always seem to go That you don't know what you've got til its gone They paved paradise And put up a parking lot
They took all the trees And put 'em in a tree museum And they charged the people A dollar and a half to seem 'em"
- Joni Mitchell
Here are some articles that go into more
Hi-Desert article. Reporter misquoted me, when I emailed her to correct it she omitted the important facts What was said by Yucca Valley administrative assistant to code enforcement Mary Anderson said "they are protected trees but technically all he has to do even if it's already gone, he has to come to get a permit after the fact" (audio file click here to download and listen to the contradictory information of admin. assistant to code enforcement Mary Anderson ) . This is not in compliance to the town of Yucca Valley Development Code Chapter 9 which states " It is prohibited for any individual or entity to remove, transplant, damage, disturb, or destroy any part of any regulated desert native plant, except its fruit, from 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, unless said activity is exempt from the requirement to first obtain a regulated desert native plant permit"
If you witness the illegal removal of Joshua Trees or any native plants here are some steps to follow in reporting.
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
7)Use the parcel number to research if there is a native plant permit issued for development