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Wash Plan Brings ‘More Habitat, Mining, Water Storage’ to the Area

We recently took the San Bernardino Sun newspaper out to the Wash to explain the benefits of the Santa Ana River Wash Land Exchange Act that was recently signed into law. Click on the link below to learn more and to enjoy some spectacular photos of nature’s water mixing with the land and recharging into our groundwater basin.

Land swap expected to create jobs, more protections and recreation in Santa Ana River wash. Deal, signed March 12, will allow implementation of a long-discussed land-use plan for the area.

A drive along the 210 Freeway between Redlands and Highland offers a clear view of the expansive Santa Ana River wash area.

But there is more going on in the 4,500-acre wash area than meets the eye.

It’s home to rare plants and animals, and underneath that, is one of the area’s major sources for water, the Bunker Hill Groundwater Basin. Some areas of the wash serve as mining sites for some of the natural materials needed for concrete and cement. In the future, the wash also could be a place for recreation.

All of which is why a recently-struck land swap in the wash could be so important to the region.

The Santa Ana River Wash Land Exchange Act, sponsored by Rep. Pete Aguilar, D-Redlands, and signed this week by President Donald Trump, lets the Bureau of Land Management trade 327 acres in the wash for 310 acres owned by the San Bernardino Valley Water Conservation District. The conservation district may also exchange another 59 acres, and the BLM another 90 acres, if those deals are needed to equalize market values.

The swaps, in turn, advance a land-use plan for the area. The basic idea is to allow more mining and boost water conservation while also boosting protections for natural habitat.

“There’s a lot of land out there,” said Aguilar, whose involvement in the plan dates back to his time as Mayor of Redlands. “But there is so much that is going on.”

Read the full story here: