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Showing posts with the label Victorville

Time for Desert Communities to Take PRIDE

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The Daily Press and residents of the Victor Valley in the western Mojave Desert are issuing a PRIDE (People Ready to Improve the Desert Environment) challenge to address the many facets of blight that are evident in the region.   As a kid playing in the open desert across the street from my Victorville home in the 1980s and 90s, I would find trash dumped by residents too lazy or cheap to responsibly dispose of tires, furniture and other refuse. 

I have written before about the need for desert communities to respect themselves and surrounding wildlands, in part by minimizing our impact on desert habitat and keeping both the desert and our cities clean.  The lack of respect by some leaves an impression for all to see, but how long we tolerate the mess is ultimately up to all of us.  In a single hour, my sister and I were able to fill five large bags  of trash that we removed from a small patch of Joshua tree and pinyon juniper habitat in the western part of the Victor Valley.  Not lo…

Victorville Chases Fool's Gold

The City of Victorville, one of the largest population centers in the western Mojave Desert, is nearing insolvency under nearly $500 million of debt, according to the Wall Street Journal.  Victorville has mishandled millions of dollars of bonds accounts and shifted funds without city council authorization.   The city has already slashed many of its employees from the payroll, and many citizens complain of deteriorating infrastructure and crime.  Nevertheless, Victorville is still investing in ambitious and unnecessary plans, such as a 32 square mile expansion and the High Desert Corridor (E-220), a new highway connecting Lancaster and Victorville.   Most residents probably would prefer the City reinvest in existing infrastructure and open up a new east-west route within the city (the Nisqualli overpass) to alleviate burdensome traffic before expanding the city limits and building an unwanted highway.

Victorville officials ran up some of the 500 million in debt when consultants promise…

Victorville City Council Delays Vote on Desert Protection Act

Victorville Mayor Rudy Cabriales once again decided to delay Victorville City Council's consideration of supporting or opposing the California Desert Protection Act of 2010, according to the minutes from the 2 March meeting.  The Council will now consider the legislation again during its 16 March meeting.  According to the minutes, Mayor Pro Tem Mike Rothschild and Councilmember McEachron had "comments" on the legislation but the notes did not specify.  For any readers of this blog that were able to attend, feel free to share with us what comments were made by those Coucilmembers.

Boxer and McKeon to Sell BLM Lands Near Victorville

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Legislation introduced by Congressman Howard McKeon in December and recently supported by Senator Barbara Boxer would resolve a longstanding dispute between CEMEX and the City of Santa Clarita, which opposed a 1990 contract sponsored by BLM granting CEMEX rights to extract sand and gravel from Soledad Canyon.   In order to resolve the dispute, the legislators propose selling BLM lands--already on the Bureau's "disposal list"--in the vicinity of Victorville and use the proceeds to compensate CEMEX.  The City of Victorville and San Bernardino County would have first rights to purchase the land.

Although Soledad Canyon will be spared, the lands on BLM's disposal list amount to approximately 10,500 acres, with the bulk of those lands located just south and east of the Mojave Monkeyflower Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC).  This general area was also targeted by the Victorville City Council for expansion of the City's boundaries (see previous post).  Vict…

Joshua Tree Hugger?

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Reviewing the draft environmental impact report (EIR) for the proposed 1,555 acre "Hacienda at Fairview Valley" residential project (for more info, see my previous post), a Joshua Tree survey identified at least 3,891 Joshua Trees on the proposed site.  County regulations would require the developer to attempt to avoid impacts to Joshua trees and preserve in-place to the farthest extent possible in order to achieve a “design of excellence.”  If the project progresses toward construction, the developer would have to submit a Joshua Tree plan that identifies specific trees to be transplanted or stockpiled for later transplantation or future adoption.  

The survey approximated that 38% of the trees on the site would be "transferable,"  implying that the rest would likely be cut down and discarded.  You can download the full report on the website of San Bernardino County's Land Use Services Department in the list of EIRs.  Scroll down to the Hacienda project for t…

Apple Valley Considering CDPA 2010 tonight; Victorville Council on March 2nd

The Apple Valley Town Council will reconsider its position on the California Desert Protection Act of 2010 (CDPA 2010) at tonight's meeting, and the Victorville City Council will consider its position on CDPA on 2 March.  As of 16 February Victorville Mayor Rudy Cabriales was not sure he had enough information to make an informed decision, and Council Member Caldwell was opposed, citing concerns that military training and mining interests would be impeded, according to minutes from the February meeting.

Vote on Victorville Expansion Postponed

The Victorville City Council postponed a vote on a proposal to expand the City's sphere of influence by up to 32 square miles, according to the minutes of its 5 January meeting.  The proposal will now be addressed on 19 January after the Council discusses the proposal with San Bernardino County and the City of Apple Valley.  You can read more about the original proposal on this post.  A review of the City's proposal suggests the City seeks to maintain some open space within the proposed expansion, although the intent to spur more residential development along more of the Mojave River.

Here is an approximate reflection of the area that could be affected by the expansions of both Victorville and Helendale.


View Victorville-Helendale Expansions in a larger map

Victorville Plans 32 Square Mile Expansion

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In what would be one of the most significant municipal expansions in the West Mojave Desert in recent years, the City of Victorville will vote tonight (05 January) to expand its sphere of influence by up to 32 square miles.


The City's vote may be hurried by a similar plan by the City of Helendale to also expand its sphere of influence, conflicting with Victorville's proposal.  Victorville officials have already expressed their desire to bring resident development to the land, although San Bernardino County has expressed reservations with the extent of Victorville's proposed expansion, fearing that mineral and natural resources would be abandoned in favor of more residential growth.

Victorville's proposed sprawl is unfortunate given that the city can barely keep up with it's current growth, with rising crime and poor transportation infrastructure.  An expansion of the city's sphere of influence would only promote more unabated growth--abandoning the High Desert&#…

Astronomy in the Mojave

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Another resource taken for granted in the Mojave Desert -- clear night skies.

Check out this photograph taken outside of Victorville that captures a Geminid meteorite as it crosses the night sky above the Mojave, as posted here.




Photo belongs to Wally Pacholka at Astropics.com