Local veterans, their families and members of the High Desert community came together Nov. 3 at Juniper Flats to celebrate the gift of their local desert lands. The event participants came away both as graduates of a wilderness survival course, and as advocates on the issues affecting public lands in the California desert.

The event, hosted by Vet Voice Foundation, in partnership with the National Parks Conservation Association and Friends of Juniper Flats, included a hike to the Arrastre Canyon Waterfall in Juniper Flats. There, the hikers explored the extraordinary rock formations and deep water-filled canyons that make up these 50,000 acres of public land.

“This journey through Juniper Flats was particularly special, because the participants shared a strong connection to the desert and all it has to offer,” said Kate Hoit, California State Director for the Vet Voice Foundation. “There was so much pride and enthusiasm for protecting our Desert treasures, and a clear commitment to doing everything possible to ensure they’re passed down to future generations.”

Read the full article at Daily Press.

San Bernardino County is investing heavily to advance clean energy goals that are compatible with the state’s commitment to reduce the use of fossil fuels while balancing community concerns. After ten years of work, countless hours of County staff time and well over a million dollars worth of taxpayer money spent, the federal government is now threatening to upend all of this investment by throwing out Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan.

The Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP) is a ten-year-old effort that seeks to balance renewable energy development with conservation concerns on 11.5 million acres of state and federally owned public land. San Bernardino County, whose boundary constitutes 53% of the DRECP planning area, is one of seven counties participating in the effort. While no plan of this size is perfect, DRECP has settled many of the battles over industrial scale renewable energy across the California desert and hasn’t been subject to a single lawsuit. This is because a broad range of stakeholders, including federal, state and local governments, renewable energy developers, utilities, tribes and environmental groups, came together over eight years to develop the DRECP.

Read the full article at Inland Empire Community News.