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Once upon a time there were three little Joshua Trees

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Today Z107.7  news reported an interesting  follow-up to a bizarre happening between the High Desert Water District, the Sheriff’s Department, witnesses and the Town of Yucca Valley.

The backstory is that the Sheriff’s Department got involved and an investigation was launched into the three missing Joshua Trees.

Papa tree, Moma tree and Baby tree were scooped up with a tractor and carried out of the forest to where and by whom?

Nobody knew who uprooted and absconded with three sacred Trees.

It seems that HDWD General ManagerEd Muzik, was above the law when he failed to “pull the required Town permit” to remove three Joshua from Yucca Valley Remembrance “Triangle” Park 

Purportedly Muzik was embarrassed about the violations and offered assurances he wouldn’t do that again.

The excavation and removal of the trees, Muzik mused, “fell between the cracks”.  

We all recognize that neigher ignorance of the law nor forgetting about it is not a defense or an excuse.  If that were the case we all would forget about it and live by our rules.

It may be an unpleasant situation to fess up to overlooking town codes but Muzik did took responsibility.  (There is apparently more to this story in terms of when, who, reported and timelines).

But does it matter?

It may be that code enforcement or the council just doesn’t care because the trees were going to be removed anyway.

That would not be okay? Doesn’t it fosters distrust in government.  

We see our democratic system being dragged through the muck on a daily basis. Too many government folks are pushing the limits, crossing the line and simple not caring about it.

Some will say Muzik is feigning embarrassment or that he is concerned about the fiasco because it became public?

Some may not give Muzik the benefit because in past years the HDWD has come under heavy criticism.

Muzik should be given the benefit of the doubt.

Branson Hunter


Endnote: As entertaining as the Tale of the Missing Trees fiasco is, what is not so captivating is that the Town of Yucca Valley and its Planning Commission have not been very successfully in respected Joshua Trees or any part of the rodeside views alongside SR-62 leading to JTNP. Who should forget the PC gave the okay to a developer who in the end was unable to account for hundreds of Joshua Trees in his care and custody. One then Y.V. Commissioner said, the (local) developer has been “waited long enough” . The missing trees issue was summarily dismissed when a yea majority was adapted by the PC.  

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