Meeting Cancellation, September 14, 2009



To: Governing Board Members
From: Bill Havert
Date: 8/27/2009
Re: Weather causes cancellation of September meeting

Due to the continued freeze (of bond funds), the September 14, 2009 Governing Board meeting will not be held, as there are no acquisition projects requiring Board action. Barring an unforeseen need for a November meeting (when I will be away on vacation), the next meeting will be January 11, 2010. That meeting will be held to conduct an election for Chair and Vice chair and in hopes that we will have a clearer understanding at that point as to the prospects for bond funds to become available again for acquisitions. In the interim, you may wonder what our focus is in the absence of bond funds to fuel an acquisition program:

  • Three of the approved bond funded acquisition grant projects that were frozen in December and subsequently unfrozen are proceeding; hopefully, these funds will be disbursed soon by the State Controller’s Office so escrow can close.
  • The Conservancy, in its role as Acquisitions Manager for the Coachella Valley Conservation Commission (CVCC), has now facilitated the purchase of 19 parcels for CVCC in the Thousand Palms, Willow Hole, and Upper Mission Creek Conservation Areas totaling approximately $3,356,850 of land. Also, we managed the acquisition of 638.29 acres of the Palmwood property for $3,990,000, which closed escrow August 17. The CVCC’s acquisition program is ongoing so we will continue to facilitate that acquisition effort.
  • We are participating in a planning effort for wildlife movement corridors and habitat linkages throughout the Colorado and Mojave deserts.
  • We are pursuing opportunities to match some of the $11+ million in federal Section 6 grant funds available for acquisition of lands in the Coachella Valley.
  • We are coordinating with and assisting BLM and USFS in their acquisition programs.
  • We are providing information to the potential legislative sponsor of a desert conservation initiative that includes portions of the Coachella Valley.