Benefit Planned for Joshua Tree National Park

A benefit concert is planned for mid-April to raise funds to continue the fight against a dump proposed to be located next to Joshua Tree National Park.

The "Rockin' for Joshua Tree" benefit is scheduled for Earth Day weekend, April 18th and 19th, at Pappy & Harriets Palace in Pioneertown, California. This fund-raising campaign is the brainchild of artists and activists who have banded together to fight the proposed Eagle Mountain dump.

Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Eric Burdon successfully launched the campaign with an Earth Day benefit concert in Palm Springs in 2000 to support the decades long battle to stop the dump. The lineup for this year's concert includes Bobby Garcia, Chris Laterzo & Buffalo Robe, the Hickmen, the New Dead Rebels, Rabbits With Bad Habits, Reallyshooo Zydeco, Shawn Mafia, The Sibleys, and, naturally, Surprise Guests.

Acoustic acts include Ted Quinn, Lance Palmer, JB, Barbara Buckland, Vickie Hill, and Pat Gorman.

There also will be a raffle for a stay at the Joshua Tree Rock House and the 29 Palms Inn and for artwork donated by the talented local artists of the Morongo Basin. Rick Hiestand will set up his telescope for folks to look into the galaxy, and there will be a showing of a documentary by Michelle Mazzetti about Joshua Tree National Park and the dump.

Tickets will be sold at the door. Tickets for both days are $35.00, and for either Friday or Saturday $25. There will be discount for the under 21 concert goers on Friday for $10.00, with I.D.

According to the benefit's organizers, the proposed Eagle Mountain dump threatens desert communities, Joshua Tree National Park, the already threatened desert tortoise and other native desert plants & animals.

The proposed dump would involve trash trains and trash trucks carrying 40 million pounds of garbage daily, rumbling from Los Angeles through the Coachella Valley for the next 117 years, to be deposited at the doorstep of Joshua Tree National Park.

Some background: Riverside County first approved the dump in 1992. Environmentalists challenged the approvals successfully in California Superior Court, and in 1994 the project lost all approvals, and was back to step one.

In 1997, Kaiser Ventures and Mine Reclamation Corporation produced a new environmental report (EIR) and again was successfully challenged in Superior Court. This time, Riverside County Board of Supervisors and Kaiser/MRC appealed the decision, and on May 7, 1999, the Appeals Court overturned the Lower Court's ruling.

Opponents filed a Petition For Review in the California Supreme Court. They were joined in that effort through "Friends of the Court" letters from then California Attorney General Bill Lockyer, Former Joshua Tree National Park Park Superintendent Ernest Quintana, the Sierra Club, California Advocates for Wildlife (CLAW), Mountain Lion Foundation, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Planning and Conservation League, Southwest Center for Biodiversity, Earthlaw, and others.

In July 1999, the California Supreme Court denied their request for a hearing. A federal lawsuit was filed by the Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice (CCAEJ) the Desert Protection Society and, Larry & Donna Charpied in 1999, challenging the land exchange granted by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, among other issues of law.

The National Parks Conservation Association filed a companion lawsuit in 2000, and all have tirelessly worked to protect precious desert resources. On September 21, 2005, U.S. Circuit Court Judge Robert Timlin ruled in environmentalists’ favor and reversed the exchange of land between the BLM and the company. That ruling subsequently was appealed to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in December 2006. The court has yet to issue a ruling.

For more information about the benefit, call Donna Charpied (760) 574-1887 or email her at .

Donations to support the legal battle can also be made. Checks should be made payable to CCAEJ, earmarked for Stop The Eagle Mountain Dump, mailed to Donna Charpied/CCAEJ PO Box 397, Desert Center, Ca. 92239. CCAEJ is a non-profit organization under IRS Section 501(c)(3). All donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.

Comments

Thank you, National Parks Traveler folks, for posting this.

I wish I lived close enough to go to the concert, in order to show support for the work of Donna and Larry Charpied. The Charpieds are a great example of private citizens who have made difficult sacrifices in their lives to keep a place they love from being harmed. Because the priorities of government agencies and environmental groups often change over time, private citizens are crucial to victory in these multi-decade fights. Go Donna and Larry!