California couple fined $18,000 for destroying Joshua Tree

Californian couple Jeffrey Walter and Jonetta Nordberg-Walter face a fine of $18,000 after uprooting 36 Joshua trees to build a new house.The couple were fined after an anonymous neighbor sent a tip to the police California Department of Fish and Wildlife. It is said that the neighbor witnessed the trees being bulldozer and buried during the construction of the new home.

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According to officials from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, neighbors have warned the Morongo Basin couple about the consequences of bulldozers. TreesBut the couple ignored the warning. Joshua trees are protected in California, and anyone caught cutting them could be prosecuted.

Related: California Votes to Protect Joshua Tree

Nathaniel Arnold, deputy director of law enforcement at the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, said that the protection Endangered The Joshua Tree relies on local people who are passionate about the species. “Most California citizens who live in the Joshua Tree habitat admire these iconic desert species, and due to their demographic degradation, they are now more admired than ever before,” Arnold said.

Arnold praised the work done by the resident, and they gave tips on sabotage Joshua TreeHe said that such a move can act as a deterrent to those who wish to destroy trees. “We are very happy to see that the citizen prompt led to a successful disposal, and we hope it can act as a deterrent to others, who may think that the illegal removal of the Joshua Tree to make way for development is acceptable,” Arnold added.

California wildlife officials are now considering protecting Joshua trees under the Endangered Species Act. global warming It is almost impossible for the Joshua Tree to thrive.

In 2020, California’s Dome Mountain wildfire destroyed more than 43,000 acres of Joshua trees woodland. based on National Park Service Data show that this single incident resulted in the destruction of approximately 1.3 million Joshua trees. There are also many recorded incidents in which a fire or an individual caused the destruction of Joshua Tree. In 2019, after more incidents of destruction of Joshua Tree, Joshua Tree National Park was temporarily closed.

According to the latest ruling, the court ordered Walter and Nordberg-Walter to pay $9,000 each for the destroyed trees. However, if they volunteer in Joshua Tree National Park or the Mojave Desert Land Trust, they can earn points for fines.

by Washington post

Picture from San Bernardino County District Attorney

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