Palmdale Gives Initial OK to Joshua Tree Law

The Palmdale City Council has given initial approval to a long-delayed law aimed at preserving the community's Joshua trees that are the high desert's most distinctive vegetation.

The council's 5-0 vote Monday night sets the stage for a final vote on the law Jan. 9. The measure has been rewritten and reconsidered many times by city officials since it was first proposed about three years ago near the peak of a housing construction boom.

Under the current version, builders who have Joshua trees on their land would have to preserve at least two trees per acre by keeping them in place, transplanting them or donating them to the city or local citizens. The city also is working on a proposed "tree bank" to store the trees.

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