Displaying items by tag: california


In decision to deny protections to Joshua trees, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service again ignores climate change and legal obligations under the Endangered Species Act

WASHINGTON—Today, WildEarth Guardians notified the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (“the Service”) of the group’s intent to sue the agency for its failure to follow federal law in denying listing protections, once again, for the Joshua tree, an icon of the Southern California desert. The Notice of Intent letter was submitted in response to the March 9, 2023 decision issued by the Fish and Wildlife Service finding that the Joshua tree did not warrant listing as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act (“ESA”) for the second time in less than four years.

“We are, unfortunately, once again forced to pursue litigation because the Fish and Wildlife Service continues to ignore not some but all of the climate science showing that the Joshua tree is heading toward extinction,” said Lindsay Larris, wildlife program director at WildEarth Guardians. “We would be much happier if the federal government spent taxpayer dollars to list species and develop plans for recovery in light of climate change, instead of engaging in multiple rounds of litigation as has been the case with other climate-imperiled species like the wolverine, Canada lynx, and cold-water dependent fish.”

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issued its March 2023 decision after a federal district court ruled, in 2021, that the agency violated the Endangered Species Act in multiple respects when it denied protection for the Joshua tree the first time in 2019. This case stemmed from a lawsuit filed by WildEarth Guardians who had also originally petitioned to list the Joshua tree as “threatened” in 2015. As part of its ruling, the court directed the Service to issue a new decision that accounts for all the climate change science it unreasonably disregarded, including several peer-reviewed, published models that all show the species will be functionally extinct in up to 99.8% of its current range by century’s end.

Despite the federal court’s 2021 ruling admonishing the Service for ignoring the dire predictions of these climate models, the agency did so once again in its March 2023 decision. The Service refused to list the Joshua tree as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act due in part to what the agency insisted were high degrees of uncertainty about the impact of climate change on the future viability of the species. Notably, in its determination the Service continued to insist upon a greater level of scientific certainty than has been achieved in the field to date, contrary to the language of the ESA.

“The Service knows the Mojave is projected to undergo profound transformations in the coming decades, but it seems the agency would rather bury its head in the increasingly scorching hot desert sand than start tackling a climate adaptation and recovery plan for the Joshua tree,” said Jennifer Schwartz, staff attorney at WildEarth Guardians.

Case in point, the Notice of Intent letter comes as the York Fire – already California’s largest fire of the year, spreading across more than 82,000 acres– is ravishing the Mojave Desert, threatening to burn potentially millions of Joshua trees in California and Nevada before it is contained. In August 2020, the Cima Dome fire burned nearly 44,000 acres of desert, killing 1.3 million Joshua trees, and leaving behind what the National Park Service described as a “graveyard of Joshua tree skeletons.”

“It's heartbreaking to see another massive fire threatening to decimate Joshua tree populations in the desert, leaving behind areas in which Joshua trees will face significant struggles to reproduce,” said Larris. “We are seeing the climate model predictions of more intense, more frequent fire seasons playing out in the Mojave Desert, yet the Service refuses to acknowledge this as a real threat to Joshua trees’ survival. While a March listing decision would not have prevented this fire, it could have provided critical resources to mitigate against future fires in this region that are certain to keep destroying Joshua trees absent any federal intervention.”

In addition to claiming end-of-century projections for the species are still too uncertain to warrant federal protections, the Service also doubled down on its flawed logic of fixating on the currently broad distribution of adult Joshua trees across the range. As Joshua trees live on average about 150 years, many of these adult trees established before climate change began adversely affecting the species’ ability to successfully reproduce.

“As our federal courts have aptly observed, the ESA is concerned with protecting the future of species as a whole, not merely individual members alive today,” said Schwartz. “Here, the science shows that climate change is already preventing adult Joshua trees from replacing themselves in the hottest and driest portions of the Mojave and that problem is only going to spread absent some federal intervention.”

WildEarth Guardians’ Notice of Intent follows the enactment of California’s Western Joshua Tree Conservation Act which went into effect on July 1, 2023. This bill requires permits for the killing or removal of trees and for the State of California to create a plan to conserve the species.

“While we are grateful to the State of California for taking some steps to conserve Joshua trees, this Act alone will not protect and recover Joshua trees across their range,” said Larris. “For example, this California state law does nothing to protect the eastern Joshua tree that occupies over 4.9 million acres, including the Mojave National Preserve in southeastern California, parts of southern Nevada, and small portions of southwestern Utah and northwestern Arizona. Biodiversity loss is also a crisis at the national level that merits and requires action by the federal government if we have any hope of conserving species for future generations.”

The Notice of Intent to Sue submitted today starts a 60-day clock for the Service to address its failings before the groups will file a complaint in federal district court.


WildEarth Guardians is a conservation nonprofit whose mission is to protect and restore the wildlife, wild places, wild rivers, and health of the American West. Guardians has offices in Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Oregon, and Washington, and over 189,000 members and supporters worldwide.

Movie Review written by Jon Patch with 4 out of 4 Paws

Fast X

Universal Pictures, One Race Films, Original Film, Perfect Storm Entertainment and Roth/Kirschenbaum Films present a PG-13, 141-minute, Action, Adventure, Crime film, directed by Louis Leterrier, written by Dan Mazeau, Justin Lin and Gary Scott Thompson with a theater release date of May 19, 2023.

Movie Review written by Jon Patch with 3.5 out of 4 Paws


Paramount Pictures, C2 Motion Picture Group, Marc Platt Productions and Material Pictures present a 188-minute, Comedy, Drama, History film directed and written by Damien Chazelle with a theater release of December 23, 2022.

Movie Review written by Jon Patch with 2.5 out of 4 Paws

The Fabelmans

Universal Pictures, Amblin Entertainment, Amblin Partners and Reliance Entertainment present a PG-13, 151-minute, Drama, directed by Steven Spielberg, written by Spielberg and Tony Kushner with a theater release of November 23, 2022.

Movie Review written by Jon Patch with 3.5 out of 4 Paws


Universal Pictures and Monkeypaw Productions present an R rated, 135-minute, Horror, Mystery, Sci-Fi film directed and written by Jordan Peele with a theater release of July 22, 2022.

Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission declares the Marbled Murrelet Endangered


Washington, D.C., July 9, 2021) Oregon joined Washington and California to protect Marbled Murrelets as Endangered under the state’s Endangered Species Act. The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission voted 4 to 3 to reclassify the murrelet from Threatened to Endangered. These protections come at a critical time for this species, which depends on marine areas for feeding and old-growth forest for nesting. Both of its habitats face uncertain futures with respect to the impact of climate change.  

“We are relieved the Commission has voted in favor of uplisting the Marbled Murrelet to Endangered status,” says Jennifer Davis, ABC’s Northwestern Regional Director. “This elusive species is extremely vulnerable to a host of threats, and without additional protections, it is at real risk of irreversible decline. We thank the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission for this vote in favor of the murrelet.”

The Marbled Murrelet is Federally listed as Threatened, but this state declaration will provide much needed additional protections on Oregon State lands.

ABC will continue to work with partners and stakeholders in the region to ensure that this species is able to persist in the Pacific Northwest for generations to come.


American Bird Conservancy is a nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving wild birds and their habitats throughout the Americas. With an emphasis on achieving results and working in partnership, we take on the greatest problems facing birds today, innovating and building on rapid advancements in science to halt extinctions, protect habitats, eliminate threats, and build capacity for bird conservation. Find us on abcbirds.org, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter (@ABCbirds).   

2020 BEVERLY HILLS DOG SHOW PRESENTED BY PURINA TO AIR ON SUNDAY, MAY 17 NBC will air the 2020 “Beverly Hills Dog Show Presented by Purina” on Sunday, May 17 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT). The special, which was taped on Feb. 29, was previously postponed due to post-production delays. In celebration of man’s best friend and with the glamour only Beverly Hills can provide, the star-studded competition is co-hosted by award-winning TV personality, author and Broadway actor John O’Hurley and American Kennel Club-licensed judge and expert analyst David Frei. Mary Carillo, Akbar Gbajabiamila and Maria Menounos serve as contributors, and this year’s dog-loving celebrity guests include Lauren Ash, Brian Baumgartner, Reece Caddell, Jade Catta-Preta, Olivia Culpo, Ester Dean, Bo Derek, Doug the Pug, Parveen Kaur, MJ Javid & Tommy Feight, Nastia Liukin, Greg Louganis, Ariana Madix, Justine Marino, Caitlin McGee, Miss America 2020 Camille Schrier and Jocko Sims. Leading up to the May 17 broadcast, NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) will present “The Dog Days of Spring” primetime marathon from May 4 - May 7 (7 p.m.-3 a.m. ET) and May 8 - May 9 (8 p.m-3 a.m. ET) featuring past competitions of “The Beverly Hills Dog Show Presented by Purina,” “The National Dog Show Presented by Purina” and “Incredible Dog Challenge.” Last year, a 3-year-old Havanese named Bono was crowned the 2019 Best in Show. The little canine from the Toy group is the most-winning Havanese in the breed’s history with over 90 Best in Show titles. Previous Beverly Hills Dog Show winners include 2018’s King, a Wire Fox Terrier, and 2017’s Ripcord, a Doberman Pinscher. On April 5, NBC aired a re-broadcast of the 2019 Beverly Hills Dog Show, which was the second highest rated sports program of the weekend across all networks and was watched by an average of over 1.2M viewers. Hosted by the Kennel Club of Beverly Hills and produced by NBC Sports, “The Beverly Hills Dog Show Presented by Purina” is a new breed of dog show and must-see viewing for the whole family. Before more than 1,500 dogs representing 200 eligible breeds and varieties face off for the coveted Best in Show title, the canine competitors will mingle with celebrity guests and strut their stuff on the red carpet. For the main event, each group winner will walk the show’s unique runway for the Best in Show judge to determine which dog has what it takes to be champion.



“What an extraordinary story… a rare combination of film and cultural history.”

                                                                                -- Leonard Maltin


A Fantastic Accompaniment to Easter’s

Legendary Classic ‘THE TEN COMMANDMENTS’


Fascinating Documentary Heralds the Discovery of Long-Buried Sets

from DeMille’s Original 1923 Theatrical Epic

Digital Re-Release Accompanies Announcement of

2020 Final Excavation Effort



Los Angeles, Calif. – <<EASTER – APRIL 2020 >> – As the classic film THE TEN COMMANDMENTS heads back to television for its popular annual Easter Season airing (April 4th, 7 p.m. on ABC), the fascinating documentary film showcasing burial and recovery efforts of the original massive film set created for famed director Cecil B. DeMille’s 1923 version – THE LOST CITY OF CECIL B. DEMILLE - has returned to Digital and DVD. The documentary release comes in celebration of the announcement by California’s Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes Center that the final excavation to recover the last of the sets that were hidden in the sand almost 100 years ago will begin this Fall, with fundraising currently ongoing to support the effort.

A Hollywood detective story that will thrill any fan of movies and history, THE LOST CITY OF CECIL B. DEMILLE pays tribute to Cecil B. DeMille, one of Hollywood’s most innovative and commercially successful filmmakers, showcasing the ‘making of’ both the original silent version of THE TEN COMMANDMENTS and the 1956 classic remake, while telling the story of the 30+ year quest to unearth the remains of his Egyptian city from the sandy coast of Central California.

Trailer:   https://vimeo.com/151446135


The Dunes Center, located in California’s Santa Barbara County, has announced the final excavation to recover additional parts of the set by launching a new dig, timed from October 2020 to April 2021, depending on wildlife conservation and weather considerations. This 2020 final excavation is contingent upon completion of a fund-raising drive currently in progress.  

The center depends on community and volunteer support during excavation efforts, temporary dig permits and ensuring the proper curation of artifacts is ensured by art restorers who are contracted to supervise. However, the restoration effort must secure approximately $135,000 to properly complete their goal. From the start, excavation efforts have been painstaking and fraught with fundraising struggles,” noted Doug Jenzen, Executive Director of the Dunes Center.

For more information about the Dunes Center’s excavation effort, visit dunescenter.org or call 805-343-2455.

After these artifacts are restored, they are housed at the Dunes Center museum. The museum promotes and celebrates appreciation for the region’s natural treasures and unique history through state-of-the-art interactive exhibits. Among items housed at the museum is a perfectly intact 300 pound plaster sphinx head that was previously unearthed from the site.



THE LOST CITY OF CECIL B. DEMILLE follows the decades long quest of a group of young filmmakers who first heard rumors of the burial of DeMille’s City of the Pharaoh, a huge set encompassing 20 sphinxes and four 35-ton statues of Ramses, in 1982. Too daunting to be constructed inside a 1920’s-era studio soundstage, DeMille and his production staff found their “faux-Egypt” on the beaches of Santa Barbara County. When they finished shooting, rather than leave the sets to be repurposed by second-rate hacks hoping to steal a little of his thunder, DeMille had the sets buried in the sand, counting on time and coastal elements to eventually destroy them.

Fascinated by this bit of movie lore about “the last of the great sets” and optimistic that much of the set may have survived, the filmmakers set out to arrange for an excavation and to make a documentary. What followed was decades of on-again, off-again excavation efforts, as the project faced seemingly insurmountable funding stumbles and bureaucratic obstacles.   The film concurrently interweaves the history of famed director DeMille with fascinating firsthand accounts from dozens of people who were involved in the groundbreaking 1923 production, including studio executives, extras, spectators and the filmmaker’s granddaughter Cecilia DeMille Presley.



A fascinating companion to ‘The Ten Commandments’ showcasing the 30+ year quest to unearth the film’s massive sets, buried on the coast of California almost 100 years ago.


Film Specifications:

Director: Peter Brosnan
Screenwriter: Peter Brosnan
Producers: Peter Brosnan, Daniel J. Coplan
Executive producer: Francesca Judge Silva

Presented by: Cecelia DeMille Presley

Co-producers: Bruce Cardozo, Richard Eberhardt



Director of photography: Alessandro Gentile
Editor: George Artope

Still Photography: Kelvin Jones

Time Lapse Photography: Michael DeLavallade
Composer: Steve Bauman
Running Time: 88 minutes

Produced by: Lost City Productions

Distributed by: Random Media

About Film Distributor Random Media:

Random Media is a content company that acquires and distributes films on a worldwide basis through movie theatres, digital platforms, cable, satellite and television networks and in conventional brick and mortar retailers. Random Media is known for its commitment to building strong, supportive relationships with its filmmakers. The companies’ growing library includes such acclaimed films as Getting Grace, Killswitch: The Battle for Control of the Internet, Yamasong: March of the Hollows, and The Landing.

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DOCUMENTARY/‘The Lost City of Cecil B. DeMille’

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/The-Lost-City-of-Cecil-B-DeMille-1614033822253579/

IMDB:             http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2507306/?ref_=nm_flmg_prd_1

            TRAILER:      https://vimeo.com/151446135

OFFICIAL SITE:   https://www.lostcitydemille.com/

Movie review written by Jon Patch with 3.5 out of 4 paws


Paramount Pictures, Allsoark Pictures, Bay Films, Di Bonaventura Pictures, Hasbro, Tencent Pictures and Tom DeSanto/Don Murphy Production present a PG-13, 113 minute, Sci-Fi, Action, Adventure film directed by Travis Knight, screenplay and story by Christina Hodson with a theatre release date of December 21, 2018.

Review written by Jon Patch with 3 out of 4 paws

Bad Times at the El Royale

Twentieth Century Fox presents an R rated, 141 minute, Mystery, Thriller, directed and written by Drew Goddard with a theatre release date of October 12, 2018.

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