ABOUT THE CDC
The California Desert Coalition (CDC) is a nonpartisan, 501c3 issue advocacy nonprofit committed to the protection of the Mojave Desert landscape and its ecosystems, histories, and cultural resource values. We build coalitions to promote a deeper understanding of public policy issues and elevate the voices of those who live, work, and play in the desert.
WHAT WE DO
We empower the community by hosting expert trainings and workshops, share resources on pressing issues, and organize community members to engage meaningfully on issues affecting the landscape.
HOW WE STARTED
In 2006, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power [LADWP] planned to build the Green Path North Transmission Line deliver renewable energy from the desert to Los Angeles. Several wind projects were proposed along the route as well.
These projects would have cut through Desert Hot Springs, Morongo Valley, Yucca Valley, Pioneertown, Landers, Johnson Valley, Lucerne Valley, and Hesperia—forever altering the landscape and ecosystems where both people and nature thrive and setting a bad precedent of unmitigated development for the benefit of communities far away.
Local communities were not informed and would have stayed in the dark if not for one federal land manager who asked if a key local stakeholder – The Wildlands Conservancy – had been consulted. Word spread, and desert residents formed the California Desert Coalition [CDC] to inform and mobilize the local community, including local citizens, nonprofits, businesses, city governments, chambers of commerce, service organizations, and county, state, and federal officials.
As a result, in April 2010, LADWP withdrew Green Path North. Associated wind projects were dropped as well.
These milestones, thanks to our mobilization, changed the perception that rural communities can’t stand up to powerful interests.
Why the CDC Remains Important Today:
The California desert continues to face many challenges and opportunities. 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
- Presenting local priorities to decision makers