Western Joshua Tree CESA Update.
On June 15 and 16, 2022 the California Department of Fish & Game (DFG) had a hybrid meeting regarding the Western Joshua Tree CESA listing. We spent a long day in-person with the last of public comments ending around 6:00pm. I thank the staff at the hearing and commissioners. They postponed to make a decision until the next day, which there was a tie vote on listing the Western Joshua Tree as a threatened species under the California Endangered Species Act (CESA) and postponed the vote until October 2022. For now the Western Joshua Tree is still a candidate species and protected. One commissioner wanted to hold off and gather more input from Tribal Nations, stakeholders, local government, the petitioner and requested DFW to come up with a conservation plan.
There were Indigenous voices that spoke up, Nicholas Hummingbird opened his public comment with teaching the Cahuilla name for Joshua Tree, hunuvat chiy'a followed with more voices. Those of Tribal Nations please write DFG and give them your input as to why these imperiled species are at threat.
P.O. BOX 944209
Sacramento, CA. 94244-2090
While the extension of the CESA period has been pushed, there is work that we can still do to help protect the Western Joshua Trees. There is a vacant commission seat after commissioner Silva's retirement there is one seat that needs to be appointed by January 2023. That said, the Governor will appoint this seat, and being that he leans more on the industrial solar side we need to press the point that the Western Joshua Tree is in threat due to climate change, climate enhanced wildfire and development.
Please write the governor asking him to consider the threats, send him clips from articles, news clips, to videos that portray this threat, and urge him that when he is considering candidates for the vacant DFG commission seat that he consider not appointing those who are biased to big-scale solar and urbanization.
If you witness Joshua Tree removal, report it to your local code enforcement and or call the sheriff if it occurs on the weekend or holiday. We found that most illegal takes (kill) took place early morning before planning departments were open or on weekends and holidays. Below is a photo of an illegal take that occurred in Yucca Valley. The developer had taken over a dozen of western joshua trees. I would also call Fish & Wildlife (NUMBER BELOW)
Get the address and or APN of the property.
Photos, include those of the vehicles involved.
SBC Code Enforcement
(909) 884-4056 press 1
Palmdale: Palmdale Code Enforcement (661) 267-5234 Palmdale Planning Department (661) 267-5200
Yucca Valley: Yucca Valley Code Enforcement (760) 369-6575 Yucca Valley Planning Division (760) 369-6575 X317
FISH & WILDLIFE