CARB Workshop notices

Please attend the June Workshops, use talking points from Club and emphasize the need to avoid wind-blown dust by water conservation and improved agricultural practices..

North Coast
DATE:                June 20, 2018
TIME:                 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
LOCATION:       Sonoma County Ag. Preservation and Open Space District
                          747 Mendocino Avenue #100 
                          Santa Rosa, California 95401



Regional meetings are intended to help State agencies gain feedback on opportunities and priorities and refine draft acreage targets for conservation, management, and restoration practices to be modeled and included in the final Plan. These workshops seek engagement with landowners and stakeholders from Resource Conservation Districts, land trusts, nonprofits, academic institutions, non-governmental organizations, and local, regional, federal, and tribal governments, with the following goals:

  1. Ensuring that draft regional acreage targets for resource management are inclusive of significant local plans, goals, and programs, particularly regional multi-partner or landscape-scale plans; and
  2. Better understanding local priorities and stakeholder needs for successful regional implementation of the Plan through 2030.
  3. Comments on the California Natural and Working Lands Climate Change Implementation Plan, June 12, 2018, by Joan Taylor, for the Desert Committee


    Sierra Club: California desert natural and working lands


    California deserts store substantial amounts of carbon, primarily in vast caliche deposits in its inland basins, as do other desert basins (Schlesinger 1985, Lal 2004). Once the surface of the desert is disturbed, this caliche releases its carbon into the atmosphere (Hirmas and Allen 2007).   It is increasingly recognized that on a global scale the earth’s deserts may be the missing carbon sink in the carbon budget, and of a magnitude similar to deep ocean carbon burial. (Li et al 2017)


    To date, the extent and dynamics of desert carbon deposits have not been well characterized, although the official Science Advisors to the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (hereinafter DRECP) emphasized that the disruption of desert soil crusts was a paramount planning concern (DRECP 2010). Currently the University of California at Riverside is embarking on research to better characterize the extent of and mechanisms affecting California deserts as a carbon sink (Allen et al 2017).


    It is evident that California desert lands serve as a significant carbon sink as well as providing other vital ecosystem services extensively recognized in DRECP and elsewhere. Currently, the ability of natural and working lands in the desert is under threat. Direct threats include uncontrolled off road vehicle use, inappropriately sited large-scale solar energy projects, and water export projects from the desert to urban areas. The Sierra Club has selectively targeted the most egregious of these projects.


    The indirect threats to California arid natural lands are perhaps greater than the direct threats.   The Trump administration is working to eviscerate the DRECP, which is a balanced plan preserving vast acreages of intact desert and directing renewable development to lower conflict zones. The administration also intends to destroy the integrity of the newly designated Mojave Trails National Monument, which protects 1.6 million largely intact acres of the Mojave desert basin and range province. Sierra Club has mounted major campaigns to defend DRECP and the newly designated national monuments.


    Clearly, California’s deserts merit inclusion in the California Natural and Working Lands initiative as an integral part of the Climate Change Implementation Plan. Policies and actions formulated to protect intact desert areas can use DRECP as a starting framework, informed and enhanced by emerging research on deserts and carbon sequestration.




    Literature cited