Managing Non-native Plant Species in Joshua Tree Woodlands Project


SCH Number
Public Agency
California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Habitat Conservation Planning (CDFW)
Document Title
Managing Non-native Plant Species in Joshua Tree Woodlands Project
Document Type
NOE - Notice of Exemption
Document Description
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife is issuing a permit to MDLT [Permit No. 2081(a)-21-024-RP] pursuant to Fish and Game Code section 2081(a) for a project involving the manual removal of non-native, invasive plants (plant removal) on MDLT and THC properties that contain western Joshua tree (Yucca brevifolia) woodlands vulnerable to wildfire. The goal of the Project is to use manual removal treatments (i.e., hand tools) to reduce and control non-native, invasive plant species by whole-plant removal or cutting. Plant removal should decrease the amount of fuel available to burn during a wildfire and help control non-native, invasive plant population sizes that compete with native plants for resources. The Project will take place over five years with plant removal occurring repeatedly, but not more than once per year. Plant removal will occur on multiple properties with each property containing large multi-acre treatment areas. Surveys will be conducted prior to plant removal, as well as annually for the duration of the Project, to document the effects of plant removal on western Joshua tree. Data will be collected annually on species composition; percent cover and condition of targeted non-native, invasive plant species; and density and condition of western Joshua tree in the treatment area. Data will be analyzed to identify and track changes in non-native, invasive plant species; condition of western Joshua trees (dead versus alive); and overall species composition in the treatment areas.

Contact Information

Kristi Lazar
Agency Name
California Department of Fish and Wildlife
Job Title
Senior Environmental Specialist
Contact Types
Lead/Public Agency

Amy Langston
Agency Name
Mojave Desert Land Trust
Job Title
Natural Resources Program Director
Contact Types
Project Applicant


Kern, Los Angeles, San Bernardino
Southern California
Other Location Info
Properties owned by Mojave Desert Land Trust (MDLT) and Transition Habitat Conservancy (THC). The Project will occur on the Portal Ridge Wildlife Preserve (34.752598, -118.492748) in Los Angeles County, the Puma Canyon Ecological Reserve (34.405665, -117.619944) and Gateway Preserve (34.128186, -116.360795) in San Bernardino County, and the Antelope Valley Conservation Bank (34.858931, - 118.501315) and Desert Springs area (near Inyokern; 35.551519, -118.057455) in Kern County. Additional properties located in the Morongo Basin area in San Bernardino County may be added to the Project with advance written approval by CDFW. For a complete list of project locations see the attached Revised Proposal, dated January 6, 2022.

Notice of Exemption

Exempt Status
Categorical Exemption
Type, Section or Code
Sections 15306 and 15307, Classes 6 and 7
Reasons for Exemption
The Project includes data collection, research, experimental management, and resource evaluation activities, and is expected to benefit western Joshua tree woodlands on MDLT and THC properties by decreasing the amount of fuel available to burn during a wildfire and helping to control the population sizes of non-native, invasive plants competing with native plants for resources. The permit issued by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife for the Project includes best management practices to minimize disturbance to western Joshua trees.


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