San Bernardino County is a county in the U.S. state of California. As of the 2000 census, the population was 1,709,434. As of 2007, the population was estimated by the California Department of Finance to have grown to 2,028,013. San Bernardino County is the largest county in the United States (aside from four of Alaska's districts) by area, and is larger than each of the nine smallest states.
Located in the southeast of the state of California, the thinly populated deserts and mountains of this vast county stretch from the outskirts of the densely populated Riverside-San Bernardino Area to the Nevada border and the Colorado River.
The county seat is San Bernardino. The county is considered to be part of the Inland Empire region and is also the only county in the Golden State bordered by both Nevada and Arizona.
Father Francisco Dumetz named San Bernardino on May 20, 1810, feast day of St. Bernardino of Siena.
San Bernardino County was formed from parts of Los Angeles County in 1853. Parts of the county's territory were given to Riverside County in 1893.
The Franciscans gave the name San Bernardino to the snowcapped peak in Southern California, in honor of the saint and it is from him that the county derives its name.
California Attorney General Jerry Brown sued the county in April 2007 under the state's environmental quality act for failing to account for the impact of global warming in the county's 25-year growth plan, approved in March. The Center for Biological Diversity, Sierra Club and the Audubon Society also sued in a separate case. According to Brendan Cummings, a senior attorney for the plaintiffs: "San Bernardino has never seen a project it didn't like. They rubber-stamp development. It's very much of a frontier mentality." The plaintiffs want the county to rewrite its growth plan's environmental impact section to include methods to measure greenhouse gases and take steps to reduce them.
According to county spokesman David Wert, only 15% of the county is actually controlled by the county; the rest is cities and federal and state land. However, the county says it will make sure employment centers and housing are near transportation corridors to reduce traffic and do more to promote compact development and mass transit. The county budgeted $325,000 to fight the lawsuit.
The state and the county reached a settlement in August 2007. The county agreed to amend its general plan to include a Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Plan, including an emissions inventory and reduction targets.