A two-year partnership between the District and Steps4Life Community Services is showing a 75% success rate in helping people get back on their feet after experiencing homelessness. The District in 2019 entered into a mutually beneficial partnership to provide a house for the nonprofit's transitional programming in exchange for help establishing a homeless policy and training for district employees. To date, 25 people have successfully graduated from the program, with many enjoying self-sufficiency and employment with local businesses. Eight participants have either left the program or been transferred to higher levels of care.
Twenty-five people have graduated from the transitional programming offered by Steps4Life at this District-owned house. Steps4Life works with a number of organizations, including Redlands Police Department, Redlands Family Services, Mental Health Systems, Inc., Inland Valley Recovery Services, and Youth Hope. For more information, visit www.steps4lifetoday.org.
Mining operations this year brought higher than expected revenue to the Land Resources Enterprise Fund, which supports land management, planning, habitat, Wash Plan needs and other costs associated with lands held by the District. The District has negotiated its mining leases to guarantee a minimum amount of revenue each year, regardless of production. This year, production exceeded that minimum guarantee, resulting in added revenue and large stockpiles for ongoing projects.
Mid-summer always marks the annual acceleration of annual field work operations to restore water diversion channels and perform routine vegetation and infrastructure maintenance to get the Wash ready for a new season of rainfall and snowmelt later in the year.
Several wildlife agency partners accompanied District staff on various field tours of the wash to learn more about the progress being made on the Upper Santa Ana River Wash Habitat Conservation Plan, and to view critical areas covered by upcoming permit applications. The Wash Plan is a collaborative, integrated, and fiscally sound approach to land use that ensures improved capture and storage of water from rivers and streams; establishes habitat for sensitive, threatened, or endangered species; designates disturbed land areas for mining operations that support local jobs; and provides space for roads, trails and other public benefits. Agencies participating in the tours included the Regional Water Quality Control Board, California Department of Fish & Wildlife, and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
The last of this year's California gnatcatcher surveys were recently completed, with the focus soon shifting to the monitoring of the endangered San Bernardino kangaroo rat. These threatened and endangered species are among many native plants and animals being protected in the Wash. The monitoring, outlined as a part of the Upper Santa Ana River Wash Habitat Conservation Plan, is being rolled out in cooperation with several regulatory agencies to ensure that all applicable monitoring protocols are met.