December 28, 2012

BLM’s decision on Nevada-Utah pipeline called ‘pure folly’

Proposed pipline (Las Vegas Sun)

By Brian Maffly
The Salt Lake Tribune

Las Vegas’ plan to tap billions of gallons of groundwater lurched closer to reality this week after the Bureau of Land Management granted a right of way for a 263-mile pipeline connecting the fast-growing gambling destination with rural basins to the north near the Utah state line.

But excluded from this decision, which environmentalists and local ranchers will likely challenge in court, was the contentious matter of whether the Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA) will tap water from under the Snake Valley, the basin straddling the state line west of Delta. This is because Las Vegas has yet to secure rights to this groundwater, which remains in dispute between Utah and Nevada.

A proposed interstate agreement for dividing Snake Valley water awaits the signature of Utah Gov. Gary Herbert. According to a spokesman on Friday, the governor and his advisers intend to review BLM’s move before deciding whether to sign off on the agreement, which has been favorably vetted by a panel of water-law experts.

Under this proposal, Nevada would be able to pull up to 36,000 acre-feet annually from Snake Valley for diversion to the Las Vegas metropolitan area, which is seeking water sources to supplement its reliance on the over-allocated Colorado River.

The new BLM decision focuses on proposed infrastructure that will move 84,000 acre-feet of groundwater from Cave, Dry Lake, Delamar and Spring valleys, and another 41,000 acre-feet secured through agreements with ranchers and Lincoln County. (An acre-foot, equal to 326,000 gallons, can meet the annual needs of up to four households.)

SNWA General Manager Patricia Mulroy called the new BLM decision a "huge milestone" for southern Nevada, while environmentalists called it "pure folly."

"The ability to draw upon a portion of our own state’s renewable groundwater supplies reduces our dependence on the drought-prone Colorado River and provides a critical safety net," she said in a statement.

But a network of conservation advocates and Nevada water users denounced the right-of-way approval as a shortsighted decision that will prove costly to both ratepayers and the environment.

"This decision defies common sense, and is pure folly and shortsightedness," said Abby Johnson, president of the Great Basin Water Network, in a news release. "The BLM’s own environmental impact statement, in thousands of pages of analysis and disclosures, confirms that, if implemented, the project would result in certain devastation for the environment, ranching families, Native-American people, and rural communities.

While Utah groundwater is not yet in play, those living downwind in the Beehive State have a lot to worry about if eastern Nevada basins are dried up to slake Las Vegas’ thirst, according to Salt Lake City activist Steve Erickson, a network board member.

"Over 30 million tons of new dust and particulate matter will be created each year as winds send aloft soil no longer secured by Great Basin vegetation such as sagebrush and greasewood," Erickson said. "In that dust are radionuclides, toxic heavy metals and soil-borne diseases which pose a real and serious danger to Utahans."

BLM authorized the right of way Thursday after several years of environmental review. The approval paves the way for construction, operation and maintenance of the main 84-inch-diameter pipeline across public land, as well as power lines, pump stations, regulating tanks, water treatment facility and other infrastructure associated with the multiphased project that critics say will cost more than $15 billion.

Actual construction and groundwater pumping will be subject to further environmental analyses, but opponents say "the die is cast" with this right-of-way decision.

"They will tier off this study for site-specific analyses in the future. This grants the big permission from which many little permissions will be granted," Erickson said. "This decision flouts their own science. We haven’t made any decision yet as a network, but I’ll bet the mortgage we’ll be seeing the BLM in court."

December 27, 2012

BLM approves Las Vegas water pipeline project

A planned pipeline would carry water from areas along the Nevada-Utah line into Las Vegas Valley. (JASON BEAN/LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL FILE PHOTO)

by Sandra Chereb
Associated Press
Las Vegas Review-Journal

CARSON CITY - The federal Bureau of Land Management signed off Thursday on a massive pipeline project to carry billions of gallons of water to Las Vegas from rural counties along the Nevada-Utah line.

The record of decision, signed by Deputy Interior Secretary David Hayes, authorizes the BLM to issue a right of way to the Southern Nevada Water Authority for the 263-mile pipeline that would stretch from the rural areas to the desert gambling metropolis that is home to some 2 million people and attracts 40 million visitors annually.

"This is a huge milestone for Southern Nevada," said Pat Mulroy, the water authority's general manager.

She said being able to "draw upon a portion of our own state's renewable groundwater supplies reduces our dependence on the drought-prone Colorado River and provides a critical safety net."

The Colorado River flows into Lake Mead, Southern Nevada's main water source. A recent study projected moderate to severe water shortages over the next several decades.

Lake Mead's surface level has dropped about 100 feet since 2000 because of ongoing drought and increasing demand from the seven states and more than 25 million people sharing Colorado River water rights.

"What the study really told us was that we must prepare for a much drier future and that we can't count on the Colorado River to sustain our community in the way it once did," Mulroy said.

Environmentalists decried the decision, which comes two decades after the concept began to take shape and after years of litigation. More lawsuits are expected to follow.

Nevada's state engineer, Jason King, granted the water authority permission in March to pump up to 84,000 acre-feet of groundwater a year from four rural valleys in Lincoln and White Pine counties. One acre-foot is the volume of water needed to cover an acre of land with water 12 inches deep - about 326,000 gallons. An acre-foot is enough to supply two Las Vegas homes for a year.

King's rulings are being challenged in state court.

Simeon Herskovits, an attorney in Taos, N.M., representing a coalition of ranchers, farmers, rural local governments and environmentalists, said the BLM decision was being reviewed but added that unless "serious deficiencies" in an earlier environmental study have been corrected, the decision to approve the pipeline cannot "be scientifically, economically or legally sound."

The BLM's decision follows findings made in November by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that the project would not significantly affect about a dozen threatened or endangered species.

Environmentalists say otherwise.

"Some of Nevada's rarest, most unique species rely on wetlands and springs," said Rob Mrowka with the Center for Biological Diversity. "The Las Vegas water grab could undo all that and drive them extinct in the blink of any eye."

BLM spokeswoman JoLynn Worley said the decision authorizes the "main conveyance and support facilities" to be built on federally owned land. It's the last administrative ruling by the federal agency, and further challenges will be handled by the courts.

She said environmental studies will be required on specific aspects of the project as it is built.

But Herskovits said smaller environmental studies are no consolation after the project as a whole is given a green light.

"We don't feel that offers an adequate safeguard," he said.

Critics also said that the BLM relied on outdated or faulty data and that the project's price tag, once estimated around $3 billion, probably would approach $16 billion. That expense, they said, should have been addressed in the agency's environmental report to determine whether the project was financially feasible.

December 26, 2012

Heated debate surrounds fate of Baker's thermometer

Built to attract motorists heading to and from Las Vegas, the world's tallest thermometer in Baker, Calif., seen here in January 2000, has become an eyesore. (Mark J. Terrill/The Associated Press)

Las Vegas Review-Journal

BAKER, Calif. - A giant thermometer built to attract motorists headed to and from Las Vegas has become an eyesore, and residents in this Southern California desert town are divided about whether to take the landmark down.

Erected in 1991 and billed as the "World's Largest Thermometer," the 134-foot-high structure equipped with nearly 5,000 light bulbs was a Mojave Desert beacon. After changing ownership a few times, the current owner has kept the thermometer dark, saying the light bill was about $8,000 a month, according to the Los Angeles Times reports.

Le Hayes, general manager of the Baker Community Services District, says its demise is an embarrassment to the town. He plans to remove a picture of it from the welcome sign on Baker's water tower.

The tower's height was selected because of the 134-degree record set in nearby Death Valley in 1913. The thermometer was the brainchild of local businessman Willis Herron, who built the monolith next to his Bun Boy Restaurant.

Residents are unsure about the thermometer's future.

"I would kind of hate to see it go down because every time I see it I think of Willis, and Willis was a great guy," Hayes told the newspaper. "But if this guy isn't going to maintain it, it's like anything else that's been abandoned. He needs to take it down and get rid of it."

Baker, which considers itself the gateway to Death Valley and is known to travelers for its toasty temperatures, is located between Las Vegas and Los Angeles on Interstate 15. It is a frequent stopping point for travelers making the 280-mile trek, much of it across desert.

The town has been hit hard by the economic downturn. Two of its three motels are shut, and a chain link fence surrounds a Starbucks, which closed four years ago.

But Luis Ramallo, owner of Alien Fresh Jerky, one of the more popular stops on Baker's main road, believes the town can still attract tourists. He has plans to build a three-story, disc-shaped UFO hotel that would have 30-plus rooms. He believes the thermometer is no longer needed in Baker.

"I don't want them to fix the thermometer," Ramallo said. "I want them to tear it down. It's gone from good to bad to ugly."

December 21, 2012

County’s Legal Costs Near $1 Million for Cadiz

SMWD to pay legal costs for 9 lawsuits and counting...

San Bernardino County

The county of San Bernardino has sustained over $675,000 in outside legal costs and is on the brink of running up another quarter of a million dollars in lawyers’ fees as a consequence of its acquiescence in the Santa Margarita Water District’s approval of the so-called Cadiz Valley Water Conservation, Recovery and Storage Project.

All of that money will be recovered from those involved in the project, county officials said.

The Cadiz Valley water project upon completion will extract an average of 50,000 acre-feet of water from the East Mojave Desert and convey it via pipeline to Orange and Los Angeles counties for use there. The Santa Margarita Water District, which lies some 217 miles from the Cadiz Valley, assumed lead agency status on the project, which is an undertaking of Los Angeles-based Cadiz, Inc. The Santa Margarita Water District gave approval of the project, including signing off on an environmental impact statement, in July.

San Bernardino County contemplated but in March ultimately elected against challenging Orange County-based Santa Margarita’s assumption of that lead agency status on the project and instead on May 1 entered into a memorandum of understanding with that district and Cadiz, Inc. and its corporate entities, including the Fenner Valley Mutual Water Company, allowing Santa Margarita to oversee the environmental impact report for the project and conduct the public hearings related to project approval. On October 1, the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors gave approval to a groundwater monitoring plan to facilitate completion of the project.

As a consequence of the project, San Bernardino County, Santa Margarita and Cadiz, Inc. have been named as defendants in nine separate lawsuits challenging the project’s approval. The county, on March 27, hired the San Francisco-based law firm of Downey Brand to assist county counsel in responding to any lawsuits it contemplated might be triggered by the project at what was then said to be a not-to-exceed cost of $449,322. Within four months, however, those funds had been exhausted and on July 24, the board authorized a $250,000 amendment to the Downey Brand contract, increasing the amount to $699,332. Legal billings to the county by Downey Brand have now eaten up that funding, and this week, county land use services director Christine Kelly asked the board to give approval for the expenditure of another $250,000 to cover continuing legal costs, pushing the Downey Brand contract to $949,332.

Delaware Tetra Technologies, Inc., which operates a salt mining operation in the Cadiz and Fenner Valleys, has filed four suits, each based on separate causes of action and differing applications of the law against the county, Santa Margarita and Cadiz, Inc., on May 25 in San Bernardino County Superior Court, on June 13 in Orange County Superior Court, on August 28 in Orange County Superior Court and on October 30 in San Bernardino County Superior Court.

On August 28, the Colorado River Branch of the Archaeological Heritage Association filed suit in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles against the county of San Bernardino, Cadiz, Inc., Santa Margarita Water District, the U.S. Department of the Interior, its secretary Ken Salazar, and the Bureau of Land Management over Santa Margarita’s approval of the project.

On August 31, the Center for Biological Diversity filed suit against the county, Cadiz, Inc. and Santa Margarita in San Bernardino County Superior Court.
On August 31, a group, Citizens and Ratepayers Opposing Water Nonsense, filed suit against the Santa Margarita Water District, the county of San Bernardino and Cadiz, Inc. in Orange County Superior Court.

Another lawsuit naming the county, Briones vs. Santa Margarita Water District, was filed in San Bernardino County Superior Court on August 31. And the Center for Biological Diversity filed a second lawsuit against the county and the other defendants in San Bernardino County Superior Court on November 1. In several of the lawsuits, the adequacy of the environmental certification of the project is under attack. San Bernardino County’s abdication of its land use and environmental oversight authority is also a recurrent issue in the lawsuits.

According to the memorandum of understanding the county entered into, Cadiz, Inc. and the Santa Margarita Water District are to reimburse the county for any of its legal costs relating to the project. According to county spokesman David Wert, “The county has received $650,000 in reimbursements, $135,000 from the Santa Margarita Water District and $515,000 from Cadiz, Inc.”

Wert said, “The county has incurred legal costs [related to the Cadiz water project] of $675,994.02 to date.”

An issue in the lawsuit brought by Citizens and Ratepayers Opposing Water Nonsense pertains to the Santa Margarita Water District’s assumption of the financial liability of other parties involved with the project approval. Opponents of the project have questioned whether Cadiz, Inc., an agricultural and landholding company which has not shown a profit for more than 13 years, will be able to sustain itself in the face of mounting legal challenges to the project. Those inveighing against the project not on environmental grounds but financial ones have questioned who will assume the company’s liabilities if it folds or declares bankruptcy.

Land use services director Christine Kelly stated, “The county of San Bernardino is to be reimbursed by Santa Margarita Water District, Cadiz, Inc., and Fenner Valley Mutual Water Company for all claims, liabilities, damages, or costs arising from or relating to any administrative or judicial action brought by any third party against the county, its agents, officers, or employees, that may arise from or be related to the county’s approval of the memorandum of understanding and the groundwater management, monitoring and mitigation plan.”

December 18, 2012

Final EIS Published on Searchlight Wind Energy Project

Searchlight Wind Energy project map (BLM)
Press Release

LAS VEGAS -- A Final Environmental Impact Statement for a proposed wind energy facility near Searchlight, Nev., was released Dec. 14, starting a 30-day review period before a final decision on the project is made. The BLM’s notice was available on the Federal Register electronic desk on Friday and it will be published on Dec. 18.

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Las Vegas Field Office released the EIS, which recommends cutting the size of the original proposal from 161 wind turbines to 87. That change and others came through extensive public comments periods on the Draft EIS as well as discussions with the area tribes and State and federal agencies.

The Searchlight Wind Energy, LLC proposal is to construct and operate a wind energy generating facility, which would produce approximately 200 megawatts of electricity and deliver power to the electrical transmission grid by 2015.

In addition to the wind turbines, the proposed project would require the construction of pad mounted transformers at the base of each turbine, underground collection lines, new access roads, two electrical substations, an overhead transmission line connecting the two substations, an electrical interconnection facility/switchyard owned and operated by Western Area Power Administration, an operations and maintenance building, and temporary and permanent laydown areas.

Three meteorological masts would remain on the site to measure the wind speed and direction over the life of the project.

The right-of-way application area encompasses approximately 18,789.71 acres of BLM-administered public lands along U.S. Route 95. The permanent footprint of the project, as proposed, would be approximately 163 acres.

The Final EIS is available for public inspection at the BLM Southern Nevada District Office. Printed or electronic copies of the Final EIS are available by request from the BLM Southern Nevada District Office, 4701 N. Torrey Pines Drive, Las Vegas, NV 89130, phone (702) 515-5173, or email: Interested persons may also review the Final EIS on the Internet.

December 14, 2012

Clock running out on wilderness bills

The Castle Mountains are part of an area that would be added to the Mojave National Preserve under Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s California Desert Protection Act. (Photo: Contributed Image/The Press-Enterprise)


WASHINGTON — Every United States Congress for nearly half a century, no matter how divided, has agreed to set aside undeveloped tracts of land for future generations by designating them as wilderness areas.

But as the nation’s 112th Congress draws to a close, lawmakers have yet to protect a single acre of forest, mountain or desert under the Wilderness Act. The clock is running out on 27 such bills, including Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s plan to preserve more than a million acres in San Bernardino County’s High Desert and Republican Rep. Darrell Issa’s legislation to expand an existing wilderness area along the Riverside and San Diego county line.

As long as Washington remains consumed with efforts to avoid a national plunge off the “fiscal cliff,” it is likely that all of the bills will expire with the 112th Congress on Dec. 31. But advocates and congressional staffers attribute inaction on wilderness bills to a larger problem: bitter partisanship that has pervaded even areas in which Democrats and Republicans previously found common ground.

“It is interesting that we have these bipartisan supporters, and the committees are still not moving them (the bills) forward,” said Annette Kondo, a spokeswoman for The Wilderness Society.

In 1964, Congress passed the Wilderness Act, which set aside more than nine million acres throughout the country and authorized Congress to designate wilderness areas where appropriate. Apart from the following Congress — the 89th — every Congress since has taken advantage of that power.

Almost 110 million acres across 44 states has been set aside as wilderness, including more than 15 million acres in California, according to the Congressional Research Service.

Feinstein, D-Calif., first introduced her California Desert Protection Act in late 2009, and she reintroduced the bill at the start of the current Congress in January 2010.

The legislation would bar development on more than a million acres in the Mojave Desert and northwest of Palm Springs. The largest component is the 941,000-acre Mojave Trails National Monument, encompassing dry lakes, mountain ranges and other terrain on both sides of Interstate 40, south of the Mojave National Preserve. It also would establish the Sand to Snow National Monument stretching across 134,000 acres from San Gorgonio Peak to the desert floor near Palm Springs.

The bill has support from a broad spectrum of local groups and officials and was the subject of a hearing before the Senate Energy Committee.

But it stalled in the face of possible opposition from Republicans, who question whether so much land should be deemed off-limits to development or other uses.

“There are Republicans who don’t want to do conservation bills,” energy committee spokesman Bill Wicker said.

“It’s really pretty simple. They just refuse to vote for them.”

Wilderness bills in the Senate are traditionally passed by unanimous consent, rather than a recorded vote, meaning that a single opponent can block passage.

Feinstein said she remains committed to passing the bill.

“I plan to reintroduce the bill early next year and look forward to working with the new Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee chairman,” Feinstein said.

Both Feinstein’s bill and the Issa legislation won backing from the Obama administration, which issued a report in November 2011 urging Congress to approve those and 16 other wilderness bills in a single package.

The Issa measure would protect 21,000 acres, roughly doubling the existing Beauty Mountain and Agua Tibia wilderness areas in southwestern Riverside County and extending them into San Diego County.

Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., who championed the original Beauty Mountain bill, introduced companion legislation to Issa’s bill in the Senate.

Though there is some opposition to wilderness legislation in the Senate, the lower chamber is the real problem, said Paul Spitler, policy director for The Wilderness Society.

“There is an extreme minority in the House of Representatives that is philosophically opposed to wilderness,” he said, noting that none of this year’s wilderness bills were approved by the House Natural Resources committee, which has jurisdiction over them.

A year ago, the panel’s chairman, Rep. Doc Hastings, R-Wash., raised concerns about the White House’s wilderness plan, arguing that “the federal government already owns more lands than it can afford to properly manage.”

Committee spokeswoman Crystal Feldman defended the panel’s record on public lands issues.

“While neither the Senate or the House have passed wilderness legislation this Congress, the House Natural Resources Committee has held hearings on several wilderness bills, thoughtfully and carefully examining whether they have broad local support and how they would impact jobs, local economies and recreational opportunities,” she said.

While Issa, R-Vista, and other Republicans have proposed individual wilderness bills, some in the GOP are reluctant to support the measures, which they feel limit land use rights.

Following a statewide redistricting effort, Issa will no longer represent any part of Riverside County or the area where the new wilderness area is proposed.

Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Alpine, who will represent that area in the next Congress, has not yet taken a position on the legislation, according to his spokesman, Joe Kasper.

With no movement in sight, Issa and proponents of the other 26 wilderness bills now languishing in Congress have no choice but to look to the next Congress, or beyond.

Said Issa spokesman Frederick Hill: “We believe the proposal has merit and will ultimately become law.”

December 12, 2012

Colorado River Basin study projects future water shortages

Population will increase but water supply will shrink 9% by 2060

Valves at the base of the Glen Canyon Dam are opened last March, sending water at a rate of 41,00 cubic feet per second into the Colorado River. A new study released Wednesday indicate demand for the water will outstrip supply by 2060 unless conservation and other measures are adopted. (Paul Fraughton | Tribune file photo)

By Christopher Smart
The Salt Lake Tribune

Water supply projections are so dire in the Colorado River Basin looking 50 years into the future that some have suggested towing icebergs from the Arctic to quench the Southwest’s growing thirst.

On Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Interior released a 163-page Colorado River study that projected demand for water would outstrip supply by 2060.

"This is a very significant finding," Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said Wednesday in a telephone conference call. "This study should serve as a call to action."

Utah’s fortunes, however, look brighter than those of the lower Colorado Basin states of California, Arizona and Nevada that already are facing shortages, said Dennis Strong, director of the Utah Division of Water Resources.

The Beehive State has not used all the water allocated to it from the Colorado River, he said. And the 1922 Colorado River Compact protects that allocation.

"The solution [for the lower basin states] is not to take water from the upper basin," Strong said.

But the study, a three-year cooperative effort between the federal government and the seven states in the river basin, including Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, produced startling findings.

By 2060, the water supply in the Colorado River and its tributaries will fall at least 3.2 million acre-feet short of demand and could be as much as 8 million acre-feet less than needed. (An acre-foot is the typical amount an average suburban family uses in one year.)

Presently, the Colorado River Basin is home to 33 million people. That number is projected to grow in coming decades. But, by 2060, the study says the flows in the Colorado and its tributaries will drop 9 percent from what they are today.

The findings were based on mathematical models that include drought and climate change, according to federal officials.

There will be no "silver bullet" solution to the problem, Salazar said, citing a host of proposed actions, including conservation, re-use of storm and waste water, new plumbing efficiencies, updated land-management strategies and progressive water-rate structures.

The Interior boss added that proposals such as piping water 600 miles from the Missouri River to Denver or dragging icebergs from the Arctic to Los Angeles are not being considered.

However, desalinization may be part of the solution. The federal government operates an experimental desalinization plant in Yuma, Ariz. But critics say such a process is too expensive to be feasible.

In Utah, conservation will be the key to future water use, Strong said. Moderate water-saving strategies should guarantee enough water for municipal and agricultural uses into the foreseeable future.

Further, he noted, the study should not undermine a proposed water pipeline from Lake Powell to St. George, even though flows into and out of the reservoir behind Glen Canyon Dam will be significantly lower.

The Colorado River Basin study defined and quantified the water-shortage problem, said Pat Graham, Arizona director of the Nature Conservancy. Fortunately, he said, there is time to find solutions.

"The important thing is, diverse interests came together for this study and that’s what it will take to find solutions."

Water-saving strategies implemented at local levels will be more efficient and cost less than regional solutions that tend to be large and expensive, Graham said.

"The more of those [local approaches] we get in place, the more time we buy," he said, "and the regional projects will be smaller and fewer."

Salt Lake City has demonstrated that is possible, said Jeff Niermeyer, director of public utilities.

Since 2000, the city has decreased its demand for water by 15 percent to 17 percent, he said. Those savings came from education, conservation and more efficient plumbing.

"In the future, I’m not worried that we won’t have enough to drink," he said. "But we won’t have the same kind of landscaping. People are already pulling up bluegrass and xeriscaping."

December 2, 2012

Riverside County to honor Mojave Cross advocates

Henry and Wanda Sandoz with the Mojave Cross in the background after the Nov. 11 installation ceremony. (David Olson/Staff photo)

by David Olson
Riverside Press-Enterprise

The Riverside County Board of Supervisors Tuesday is scheduled to honor those who helped save the World War I veterans memorial cross in the Mojave Desert east of Baker.

The cross was the subject of more than a decade of First Amendment court battles.

It sits on public land, the Mojave National Preserve, and a former National Park Service employee sued to have it removed, because he saw it as an unconstitutional government endorsement of Christianity. He received backing from the American Civil Liberties Union.

Supporters of the cross argued that it was erected 78 years ago by World War I veterans to honor their fallen colleagues, not to promote religion.

After two federal courts agreed with the ACLU, the U.S. Supreme Court in 2010 ruled that a land exchange, under which the land around the cross was converted into private property, passed constitutional muster.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars now owns the acre under and around the cross. A new cross was installed on the land on Nov. 11, Veterans Day. It’s the latest of several versions of the cross that have stood on the site.

Among those scheduled to be honored Tuesday are Henry and Wanda Sandoz, who had cared for the cross for 30 years and ceded five acres of their land to the national preserve as part of the land exchange.

American Legion District 21, who represents about 4,000 veterans in Riverside County and helped defend the cross, and retiring U.S. Rep. Jerry Lewis, R-Redlands, who first negotiated a land exchange, are also scheduled to be honored.

Supervisor John Benoit will lead the ceremony, Rees Lloyd, director of the California Legion’s Defense of Veterans Memorials Project, said in a news release.