Some chunks of state-owned land included in the expansion of the Twentynine Palms Marine Base are going through environmental processing. Reporter Dan Stork tells about the report on “school lands”…
An Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) has been issued for 2,563 acres of state-owned “school lands” that are part of the planned expansion of the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center. (“School lands” are what remain of land throughout the State originally granted to California by the Congress in 1853 to benefit public education. When the state sells such land, as in this case, revenue benefits the Teachers Retirement Fund.) This land is distinct from the 88,000 acres of Bureau of Land Management holdings that make up the bulk of the expansion. The California State Lands Commission (CSLC), which administers the school lands, was required to prepare an EIS even though it would have no authority in enforcing any mitigation measures—that role will belong chiefly to the Department of the Navy. The report prepared by the CSLC lists impacts and mitigation measures in the areas including biological and cultural resources, hydrology, recreation, and public safety. A supporting document provided, a biological opinion by the Federal Fish and Wildlife Service, dedicated to the desert tortoise population for the entire expansion area, is 129 pages by itself.
The period of public comment on the report began August 5. According to a public notice of the study, all comments must be received no later than September 19 at 5 p.m.
Submission contact information can be found in this story at Z1077fm.com, as can a link to the report materials.
Comments may be submitted to
Division of Environmental Planning
and Management Fax: (916) 574-1885
California State Lands Commission Phone: (916) 574-1890
100 Howe Ave., Suite 100-South
Sacramento, CA 95825
Materials related to the statement can be found at:
and at the public libraries in Twentynine Palms, Yucca Valley, and Joshua Tree.