The California Desert Coalition (CDC) is a nonpartisan, issue advocacy group organized as a subcommittee under SummerTree Institute a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation. CDC supports the education and public awareness components of the SummerTree Institute. Both organizations are deeply committed to the protection of the Mojave Desert ecosystem and its scenic and cultural resource values.
Give the desert a voice in its future.
The culture, customs, economy and land of the California desert are protected for future generations.
To inform and influence local, state, and federal public policy decisions with community-driven, desert-conscious recommendations that support our vision.
• COOPERATION: We believe that benefit for one community should not come at the cost of another. Progress and prosperity can be balanced with the needs of people, profits, the planet and future generations.
• TRUST: We build successful coalitions by working responsibly and in good faith with all stakeholders.
• CONSENSUS: We don’t need to fight if we build it right. Good policy decisions are grounded in public and stakeholder input, and grassroots advocacy.
• DUE DILIGENCE: Our policy recommendations are always well researched and professionally evaluated.
• VIGILANCE: We track and assess policy implementation, and provide accountability as necessary, because shaping the future is an on-going process.
How We Started
In 2006, grassroots communities within the Mojave Desert learned that the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power [LADWP] had been quietly planning to build the Green Path North Transmission Line [GPN]. Under the “green” guise of bringing renewable energy to the City of Los Angeles, this large-scale project would transect the towns of Desert Hot Springs, Morongo Valley, Yucca Valley, Pioneertown, Landers, Johnson Valley, Lucerne Valley, and Hesperia-and forever alter the landscape and viewscape. Additionally, several applications for wind projects associated with the proposed route were filed with the BLM.
Citizens were firewalled from the information about the project and would have stayed in the dark except for an innocuous passing question from the federal land manager asking “Does The Wildlands Conservancy know about this project?” Fortunately for the desert community, the question went viral.
Recognizing the inherent threat and terrible precedent this project represented, without hesitation, a diverse group of desert stakeholders formed the California Desert Coalition [CDC] to explore a resolution that would generate a better alternative to inform the decision of all stakeholders.
The CDC extensively researched the project, developed strategy, recommendations, and launched a comprehensive campaign involving local citizens, nonprofits, businesses, city governments, chambers of commerce, service organizations, as well as county, state, and federal officials.
As a result, in April of 2010, LADWP withdrew Green Path North. The CDC then successfully secured the withdrawal of the ancillary wind projects
These milestones changed the perception that rural communities can’t stand up to powerful interests. Now we know a coalition of desert stakeholders can be an effective and respected voice to represent community priorities, and partners in decision-making based on trust and consensus.
Looking Ahead: Why the CDC Is Important Today
Today the desert faces many high-stakes challenges and opportunities and the CDC continues to meet these challenges and opportunities by:
• Educating the grassroots about policy and planning processes and providing supplemental research for all stakeholders.
• Developing balanced recommendations that are community-driven and desert-conscious.
• Mentoring citizen advocacy, building grassroots engagement, and promoting discussion among stakeholders
• Representing local priorities to decision-makers
The CDC works on key project that encourage people of the desert to participate in issues that are determining an evolving quality of life.
In order to fulfill our Mission and Purpose, we are currently engaged in these 2 key projects:
1. Formation of a regional Community Choice Energy entity
2. Advocate desert community interests to San Bernardino County in its pursuit of amending the General Plan with a Renewable Energy and Conservation Element [RECE].
If you would like to work with us, let us hear YOUR voice.
Who We Are