Mission Statement

The Soboba Tribal Environmental Department is committed to protecting, restoring, and enhancing natural resources on the Soboba Reservation for all tribal members past, present, and future.

 

What We Do

The Environmental Department works to raise awareness of all aspects of the environment. This includes solid waste issues, pollution prevention, water and air quality, conservation measures, household hazardous waste disposal, and many other areas. In addition to community outreach and education efforts such as participating in community events, the department also hosts an annual Tribal Earth Day event and community clean up days. We also conduct surface water quality testing on streams running through the reservation, collect and manage geographical data, and create programs to address environmental concerns.

An easy way to begin learning about the environment around you is to visit the United States Environmental Protection Agency website and use MyEnvironment

 

The Soboba Tribal Department would like to give a big thank you to all of the Soboba Tribal members and our colleagues for making the 11th annual Soboba Tribal Earth Day a huge success. The Soboba Tribal Environmental Department could not have accomplished this feat without all the wonderful participation and contribution from everyone.

 

 

Summer is here at Soboba

Summer is finally here, and the forecast is going to be scorching hot! This summer we try to remember that drought conditions arise very quickly and water conservation and wildfire prevention are very important environmental subjects to consider.

California is currently in the process of recovering from significant drought conditions but many areas in the state continue to experience abnormally dry conditions that result in dry vegetation, higher potentials for wildfires, surface water decline, and declines in lake and reservoir levels.

The National Integrated Drought Information System (www.drought.gov) has information about our local area with interactive maps and up to date data on drought conditions, outlooks and forecasts, drought impacts, and predictions for wildfire potentials. As you can see in the following images, the Soboba Tribal Reservation is located in an area that is currently experiencing abnormally dry conditions. This part of California also has a long history of drought and dry vegetation during the summer months which is why it is always important to be environmentally conscious in and around this area when considering water consumption and outdoor activities that could potentially be a wildland fire hazard.

Decline in surface water from dry summer conditions can be critical for aquatic and riparian habitats that rely on the availability of water. The Soboba Tribal Reservation has many areas that are considered riparian habitats, in and around Indian, Poppet Creeks, and the San Jacinto River.  When there is low water availability; agriculture, cities, hydropower production, and other water usages creates a greater need to increase groundwater pumping, which can deplete water aquifers faster than they can recharging form precipitation. Depleting groundwater too much, can create many environmental issues such as degradation of the aquifer itself and entire system compaction which causes overlying land to sink.

Did you know that there about 100,000 wildfires in the United States every year and that over 9 million acres of land are destroyed? Wildfires are a big problem and seem to be growing in percentage every year with increasing population size and climate change. The number one cause for wildfires is us, human beings! From discarded cigarette butts, unmonitored campfires, burning yard waste, fireworks, and intentional acts of arson, there are many ways a simple spark can turn into a raging fire. The dry conditions that exist in southern California create an excess of dry vegetation that acts as kindling and accelerant to any ignition.

The effects of a wildfire are devastating for the environment and people. Homes, wildlife, vegetation, and habitats are usually all destroyed from the ravages of an extreme wildfire. In most areas soils are super-heated, such as in forests, to the point where nutrients are no longer viable and cannot support vegetative growth. Wildlife is also effected trees, shrubs, and most vegetation are burned and cannot provide adequate food or shelter for native wildlife that relies on their presence. Millions of dollars are spent every year to repair the damage done by fires but in most cases the damage to the environment is much more complicated and often takes decades to recover. So when camping or filling up the pool this summer be environmentally conscious and consider the water you use and always be aware of the potential for wildfires.

 

To help out this summer here are some water conservation and wildfire prevention tips to consider

 

 

The Soboba Tribal Environmental Department would like to thank all Tribal members and colleagues for making 2016 a successful year. The department looks forward to the New Year and hopes together we can make it a green 2017!