This is where we post references or other notes related to articles that appear in Desert Report if space does not allow in the printed publication.

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Excerpted text with links from Rattlesnakes And Kangaroo Rats by Malachi D. Whitford, Grace A. Freymiller, Rulon W. Clark (December 2018)

Kangaroo rats also have unique, enlarged hindlimb muscles that allow them to perform amazing, high-powered acrobatic leaps within milliseconds of perceiving a predator’s attack. This combination of super hearing and leaping allow them to avoid a rattlesnake strike in about a quarter of the time it takes you to blink an eye (!

Kangaroo rats are so good at avoiding snakes they can appear to be cocky about it. They perform a variety of harassing displays towards snakes, including kicking sand (, drumming on the ground with their hind feet (, and repeatedly approaching then jumping away ( These behaviors inform the snake that it has been detected and display the escape ability of the kangaroo rats, which then dissuades snakes from continuing to hunt in that area.

The strikes were unsuccessful due almost entirely to the kangaroo rats being able to rapidly leap out of the path of the strike (

Primed kangaroo rats had quicker reaction times, faster take-off velocities, and jumped more vertically relative to the ground, indicating that they could more effectively avoid the strike than control kangaroo rats (

So, we’re still gathering the requisite data to test our ideas, but you can at least see some examples from our high speed cameras at our YouTube channel (



References for Rearranging The Planet To Save It By Robert L. Chianese (December 2018)

Boxall, B. 2017. From spectacular vistas to the pits: A decades-long public land battle continues in the California desert.Los Angeles Times, August 7.

Desert Tortoise Council. 2017. Forty-Second Annual Meeting and Symposia Abstracts.

Edwards, T., and K. H. Berry. 2013. Are captive tortoises a reservoir for conservation? Anassessment of genealogical affiliation of captive Gopherus agassizii to local, wild populations. Conservation Genetics 14:649–659.

Green, E. 2013. Can we save Mojave Desert tortoises by moving them out of harm’s way? High Country News, August 11.

Milius, S. 2014. Windows may kill up to 988 million birds a year in the United States.

Science News 185(6):8. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 2009. Desert Tortoise (Mojave Population) Field Manual (Gopherus agassizii).

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 2017. Status of the Desert Tortoise and Its Critical Habitat.




References for Which Way The Wind Blows – So Goes The Dust: In The Mojave River Valley By Pat Flanagan (September 2018)

(1) Click on APN numbers for maps.

(2) David R. Bedford and David M. Miller. USGS Poster 2013. Assessing the geology and geography of large-footprint installations in the Mojave Desert, California and Nevada. PDF available.




(6) David A. Bainbridge. A Guide for Desert and Dryland Restoration: New Hope for Arid Lands. 2007. Island Press. Page 22.


(8) For more on the MDRCD its mission and ongoing work go to



(11) Julie Laity (2003) Aeolian Destabilization Along the Mojave River, Mojave Desert, California: Linkages Among Fluvial, Groundwater, and Aeolian Systems, Physical Geography, 24:3, 196-221 PDF attached.







References for Salton Sea Air Quality By Earl Withycombe (September2018)

(1) Sea Air Quality Mitigation Program: 2016/2017 Annual Report and Emissions Estimates, prepared for Imperial Irrigation District in cooperation with the County of Imperial by Formation Environmental, LLC, Air Sciences Inc., and PlanTierra LLC, June 2018, and accessed on July 22, 2018

(2) Salton Sea Air Quality, Earl Withycombe, California Resources Board, presented at “Shrinking Shorelines and the Salton Sea: Consideration of Community Input, Recent Research, and Possible Solutions.” University of California Riverside, Palm Desert Campus, May 11, 2018

(3) PI-SWERL: Portable In-Situ Wind Erosion Lab, Desert Research Institute, accessed on July 22, 2018

(4) Salton Sea Ecosystem Restoration Program Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Report, Appendix E, Attachment E4 – Constituents of Potential Concern in Sediments and Soils, and their Potential to Affect Human Health: .

(5) Characterization of Shallow Sub-Surface Sediments of the Salton Sea, 2003:

Occurrence, Distribution, and Transport of Pesticides, Trace Elements, and Selected Inorganic Constituents into the Salton Sea Basin, California, 2001-2002: .

Pesticides and PCBs in sediments and fish from the Salton Sea, California, USA: .

Pesticides in Water and Suspended Sediment of the Alamo and New Rivers, Imperial Valley/Salton Sea Basin, California, 2006–2007: .

Dissolved Pesticides in the Alamo River and the Salton Sea, California, 1996-97: .

Pesticide Concentrations in Water and in Suspended and Bottom Sediments in the New and Alamo Rivers, Salton Sea Watershed, California, April 2003: .




References for Pinyon-juniper Woodland Management in Nevada By Laura Cunningham (June 2017)

(1) Woodhouse’s scrub jay (Aphelocoma woodhouseii), Juniper Titmouse (Baeolophus ridgwayi), bushtit (Psaltriparus minimus), black-throated gray warbler (Setophaga nigrescens.

(2) Mule deer,(Odocoileus hemionus), elk (Cervus canadensis), rabbits and cottontails, pocket mice (Chaetodipus spp.), pinyon mice (Peromyscus truei), chipmunks (Tamias spp.), bats, Western spotted skunk (Spilogale putorius), coyote (Canis latrans), mountain lion (Felis concolor), and bobcat (Lynx rufus).

(3) Juniper (Juniperus spp.),  sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata, A. arbuscula, A. nova), rabbitbrush (Chrysothamnus viscidiflorus), green ehpdra (Ephedra viridis), antelope bitterbrush (Purshia tridentata), and numerous grasses and forbs.

(4) John Sawyer, Todd Keeler-Wolf, and Julie Evens. 2009. A Manual of California Vegetation. California Native Plant Society: Sacramento. Second Edition.

(5) Julio Betancourt, Thomas Van Devender, and Paul Martin (eds.). 1990. Packrat Middens: The Last 40,000 Years of Biotic Change. The University of Arizona Press: Tucson.






References for Tick Borne Diseases? Yes, Even in the Deserts by Edie Harmon (June 2017)

  1. Imperial County Health Department, Epidemiologists Dr. Maria Fierro and Carla Lucas. Phone conversations and email communications with Harmon in 2009, 2015, 2016, and 2017.
  2. Lane, RS, Kjemtrup AM. 2016 Pest Notes “Lyme disease in California.” Integrated Pest Management for Homes, Gardens and Landscapes. Univ. CA Agric. And Natural Resources, UC Davis.
  3. Green G, Kjemtrup, et al. 2014 Tick-borne infections in California. Sonoma Medicine Fall 2014.
  4. Eisen RJ, Eisen L, Beard C. 2016. “County-scale distribution of Ixodes scapularis and Ixodes pacificus (Acari: Ixodidae) in the continental Unites States.” Journal of Medical Entomology, 2016, 1–38  doi:
  5. CDC 2015, March 4. How many people get Lyme disease? “Preliminary results from three different evaluation methods suggest that the number of people diagnosed with Lyme disease each year in the United States is around 300,000.
  6. CDPH-VBDS 2011. “Lyme disease in California” Brochure
  7. CDC 2017   And CDC 2011
  8. CDPH-VBDS 2016? “Epidemiology and prevention of tick-borne diseases in California: Information for Physicians and Other Health-Care and Public Health Professionals” . 131 pps.  P. 4 pf 131 is a table of tick-borne diseases in CA, the agent/pathogen causing the disease and the tick vector, p. 7 identifies the 8 species of ticks that bite humans
  9. CDC-MMWR 2016 “Diagnosis and Management of Tickborne Rickettsial Diseases: Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and other Spotted Fever Group Rickettsioses, Ehrlichoses, and Anaplasmosis – United States.: A Practical Guide for Health Care and Public Health Professionals.” Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report Recommendations and Reports. Vol. 65 No. 2. May 13, 2016. 48 pps.




References for Earth, Air, and… Politics: Questions, Answers, and More Questions at the Salton Sea by Craig Deutsche (June 2017)

  1. Wikipedia on QSA
  2. Quantifiation Settlement Agreement and related agreements and documents to which Southern Califronia Agencies are Signatories
  3. Nov 18, 2014 letter from IID to hold a stakeholders meeting
  4. Salton Sea Task Force website
  5. MOU federal/state
  6. IIS letter to SWRCB, November 15, 2016
  7. 7. SSMP, Phase I
  8. IID letter to SWRCB, Marcy 15, 2017




References for Ocotillo Wind Energy Facility: Wrong from the Start by Parke & Linda Ewing (March 2017)

1. OWEF Plan of Development:



4. OWEF Imperial County Planning & Development Services (EIR)

5. Basin and Range Watch

6. 1603 Cash Grant Awards; (Click on List of Awards)


8. Ocotillo Wind Website

9. Radar Activated Obstruction Lighting System for Wind Turbines




The Perfect (Dust) Storm by Pat Flanagan (March 2017)

1. Zimbelman, Williams, and Tchakerian. 1995. Sand Transport Paths in the Mojave Desert, Southwestern United States. Desert Aeolian Processes. Ed. Vatche P. Tchakerian. Chapman & Hall. See map page 105. pdf

2. NRCS Plant Communities Accessed 2/1/2017

3. On my 5 acres atop the STP I measured 3 clones ranging from approximately 450 to 700 years old. To get the age estimate divide the radius of the clone by the average growth rate (Mojave Desert) of 0.03 inches/year. Frank C. Vasek. 1980. Creosote Bush: Long Lived Clones in the Mojave Desert. Am. Jour. Of Botany 67: 246-255. Accessed 2/3/2017


5. PM2.5 is often listed with PM10 but will not be discussed in this article. PM 2.5 is 2.5 micrometers in diameter or smaller, and can only be seen with an electron microscope. Fine particles are produced by all types of combustion.

6. Particulate matter (PM), sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), carbon monoxide (CO), photochemical oxidants (O3), and lead (Pb).




10. The Lucerne Valley and Twentynine Palms stations monitor PM10 but are not used to determine the ambient baseline conditions for Morongo Basin solar projects. Lucerne Valley registers 2.8 days above the National ambient air quality standards. See footnote #7. This would be a better fit for the Morongo Basin baseline until a PM10 air monitoring station is installed in Twentynine Palms or the JTNP Oasis Visitor Center.

11. Rule 403.2 (C) Requirements

12. Rule 403.2 (G)(7)(a)(ii) Page 13

13. The monitoring station on the 29 Palms Marine Base measures for PM10 but the District does not use if for baseline calculations because dust rising from Base operations would skew the data.

14. See the California Emissions Estimator Model

15. Geomorphic Assessment and Sand Transport Impacts Analysis of the Colorado River Sub Station. Prepared for CPUC and Aspen Environmental. Revised Feb. 2, 2011. ESA PWA (pdf attached)




References for Countdown For The Salton Sea by Craig Deutsche (September 2016)

1. QSA:
2. 2007 EIS with proposals:
3. Pacific Institute: Consequences of Inaction:
4. Department of Natural Resources – Salton Sea (with many other links): ;




References for Air We Can Not Breathe by Marina Barragan (June 2016)

  4. Environmental injustice, often in the form of environmental racism, occurs when local governments or companies build environmentally detrimental infrastructure in minority communities. Not only do the communities suffer from the health effects of these projects, but their access to health care is also limited by the often rural and low-income nature of their towns.
  6. Sierra Club My Generation Campaign is a youth led campaign fighting for 100% clean energy with leaders from the frontline communities
  12. The GrEAT Sierra Alliance is a collaboration between the GrEAT Academy at Desert Mirage High School, Sierra Club San Gorgonio Chapter and Sierra Club My Generation Campaign





References for Blowing In The Wind: Airborne Dust and Valley Fever by Edie Harmon and Craig Deutsche (June 2016)

1. A long article in the Atlantic Monthly discussing many aspects of the disease.

2. CDC on symptoms of Valley Fever.

3. Epidemiological studies on Valley Fever in California.

4. Detailed report on military studies of disease during WWII.

5. Gorilla with Cocciodioidomycosis in Los Angels Zoo.

6. Relative incidence and funding of Valley Fever and West Nile Virus.

7. Transfer of prison population in California.

8. On incidence of disease among construction workers at solar energy facility.