|Home > Analyzing Resources for the Production of High-Value Agricultural Products in the California High Desert|
Urbanization of previously undeveloped land is a critical concern in Southern California. Housing development brings with it several potentially detrimental effects, among which are hardening of the landscape (pavement), diminished water absorption into the soil, and increased harmful runoff into the Pacific Ocean. The High Desert Region of San Bernardino County, California is an area currently experiencing significant development pressure. It is our belief that the development of agricultural production could, to some extent, substitute for residential and commercial development, and that agricultural production is a more sustainable use of the land in this area. This report examines and inventories resources of an unincorporated area near the Cajon Pass and Silverwood Lake, and assesses how they might best be utilized to introduce production of high-value agricultural products. A conclusion is that although water may be a limiting factor, the production of deciduous tree fruits (e.g., apples, cherries, pears, peaches, apricots, and nectarines) should be considered in this area. Small scale agricultural enterprises are more likely to achieve success. Implications for public policy and areas for future research are also presented.