Being that I believe Mother Nature to be the superior artist amongst all of us, whenever I hear of something that might tamper or benefit her pieces of art works, I like to share that information with you on the slight chance that you might too be a fan of her work and want to preserve/better it as well.
Typically, I share pieces of information on how we can preserve, celebrate and enhance the art produced by Mother Nature that the Coachella Valley gets to enjoy, but today unfortunately, I come as the barrier of bad news…
A couple days ago I found this bit of information (featured below) in my Inbox from the Palm Springs Green Scene. It really bummed me out. Just the thought of it all. So, I thought… I better share it with you. Maybe some movers and shakers out there will be shaken up about this just as I was and do something about it. Baby steps count too.
I love the Coachella Valley. I love the land of the Coachella Valley, so I try my best to enjoy it, celebrate it, and preserve it.
Please read the following information that was presented to me by the highly admirable, The Palm Springs Green Scene.
Time is running out for Coachella Valley residents who care about the preservation of open spaces and understand the need for animals and plants to migrate from one location to the other.
The beautiful mountain pass that separates the San Jacinto Mountains and the San Gorgonio/San Bernardino mountains represents what is known as a “least-cost corridor” for animal migration. Essentially a least-cost corridor is the shortest distance between the alpine habitats that is home to mountain lions, bears, owls, and even the American Badger. This narrow gap between two mountain ranges, that extends from Cabazon to the Whitewater river has already been severely degraded by the I-10 freeway, which presents
a nearly impenetrable barrier to animal migration.
To mitigate this deadly river of concrete and barreling vehicles, there are a few bridges and underpasses which allow animals which are lucky enough to discover these gaps to safely cross from one range to the other. One of the most critical underpasses is the Stubbe Canyon Wash Bridge, in unincorporated Whitewater, which is about 1 mile from where Highway 111 intersects Interstate 10. It is specifically designed to
accommodate the needs of wildlife.
Until now this special bridge has served its purpose, because the land around it was essentially rural and low-density housing. All of that is about to change.
You Can Still Do Something
Time has not entirely run out. People who care still have a chance to act now, to have the jail relocated where it will not cause so much damage.
In fact, the County owns four other parcels of land which could be used for this jail. All of them are in the inland empire area between the 60 freeway and the 215 freeway. None of the other locations would be as disastrous as this location.
The County of Riverside is accepting public comments regarding the jail’s location and its impacts on wildlife and the environment only until Dec. 13th. Anything received after this will not be considered.
Taking action now can preserve a vital link in our ecology. Letters can be submitted online here. If you submit online, remember to compose your letter in a word processor first:
We have an urgent need for CEQA experts and/or wildlife experts, because while we know the County’s mitigation plan is not sufficient, we need experts who can assist us with establishing this in fact. For instance, the county claims that there are no endangered desert tortoises to be affected, based on the observation of two paid consultants who looked for this endangered animal on one single day: May 28, 2010. They also spent all of 45 minutes looking for burrows of the Burrowing Owl on May 28, 2010. We know this from the Draft EIR appendix data.
Volunteers or recommendations on who to contact with regard to water and wildlife issues can be submitted to: info@MoveThatJail.org
Lastly, there is an online petition we have going which would be great to publicize. I plan to present the Supervisor with all of the signatures as well as attempt to generate major press with it.