(Victor Valley)– – San Bernardino County First District Supervisor Brad Mitzelfelt today was unanimously elected to serve as Chairman of the QuadState Local Governments Authority. QuadState is a 9-county interstate joint powers authority made up of local governments from California, Arizona, Nevada and Utah, formed in 1999.
“Many of the issues addressed by QuadState pertain to the Mojave Desert region, and my district contains about 15,000 square miles, or most of that region,” said Supervisor Mitzelfelt. “My goal as chairman is to advocate for federal natural resource and public lands policies that will ensure continued economic development and job creation in our deserts – especially in the areas of mining, energy development and recreation.”
The Authority was organized to provide a multi-county voice on federal natural resource management and public lands issues. The QuadState Authority advances its policy priorities through legislative and regulatory advocacy and analysis, input regarding land use plans and decisions, and legal action.
The organization’s board of directors is composed of elected officials representing member counties in four southwestern states. The member agencies are the counties of San Bernardino, Inyo, Kern and Imperial in California, Utah’s Washington County, Arizona’s Mohave and La Paz Counties, Nevada’s Lincoln and Nye Counties, and the City of Ridgecrest, Calif.
“I supported Supervisor Mitzelfelt for this leadership role because he is one of the more knowledgeable elected officials on federal lands issues in the western states,” said outgoing QuadState Chairman and Mohave County Supervisor Buster Johnson of Arizona.
QuadState has successfully advocated for increased funding for federal Payments In-Lieu of Taxes (PILT), from which Mitzelfelt was able to secure funding for new fire stations in Spring Valley Lake, Needles and Amboy.
Mitzelfelt has also used his influence as a governing board member of QuadState to improve his effectiveness as a member of the Public Lands Steering Committee of the National Association of Counties, which adopted Mitzelfelt’s policies on solar energy development as national models for all counties.
QuadState successfully pressured the Department of Interior to stop illegally identifying sub-species of the desert tortoise and to update its Recovery Plan for the threatened reptile using sound science and more effective management of desert habitats.
“The Department of Interior should use the Endangered Species Act to protect truly imperiled animals. “It shouldn’t be used to build legal, scientific and bureaucratic empires that make government and lawyers rich while locking up public lands from the public and making exceptions only for politically correct development like solar energy,” Mitzelfelt said.