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Tracking measurable success on efforts across California to preserve and connect our Parks & Wildlife Corridors



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Wednesday, December 5, 2007

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THE FUTURE OF OVER 130,000 ACRES OF BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT WILD LANDS IN SOUTHWESTERN CALIFORNIA WILL BE DECIDED SOON-PLEASE HELP THEM!

12/5/2007 From California Wilderness Coalition, http://calwild.org


The Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) Palm Springs-South Coast Field Office has begun preparing a management plan for the 130,000 acres (203 square miles) it manages in a region that stretches from Santa Clarita in the north to the border with Mexico in the south and includes Los Angeles, western Riverside, western San Bernardino and western San Diego counties. The management plan will guide the agency's approach to a variety of important issues including mining, cattle grazing, off-road vehicle use, land sales and land acquisitions for the next decade or more. Wild places affected by the plan include Beauty Mountain and Agua Tibia in Riverside County and Otay Mountain and Hauser Mountain in San Diego County among others. Many small parcels that serve as critical open space for recreation and plant and wildlife habitat will also be affected by the plan. The South Coast BLM lands provide habitat for a variety of rare plants and animals like Munz's onion, Tecate cypress, slender-horned spineflower, least Bell's vireo, Stephen's kangaroo rat, coastal California gnatcatcher, arroyo toad, and Quino checkerspot butterfly, and include such important features as Native American cultural sites and 15 miles of the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail. It is essential that people who care about wild places get involved in the development of this plan and make their voices heard! This is especially true given that in the aftermath of the recent fires some pro-development interests are trying to foment a backlash against habitat protection.

WHAT YOU CAN DO

Please attend one of the following public hearings hosted by the BLM:

12/5/07 in CAMPO from 4 to 8 P.M.Mountain Empire Community Center, 976 Sheridan Road

12/6/07 in SAN DIEGO from 4 to 8 P.M.Scottish Rite Masonic Center, 1895 Camino del Rio South

12/10/07 in TEMECULA from 4 to 8 P.M.Mary Phillips Senior Center, 41845 Sixth Street

12/12/07 in SANTA CLARITA from 4 to 8 P.M.George A. Caravalho Activities Center, 20880 Centre Pointe Parkway

In addition, please send a letter to the BLM by 1/9/08 (letters must be postmarked by this date and e-mails or faxes must be received by this date).Your letter should be addressed to:John Kalish, Field ManagerBLM, South Coast-Palm Springs FOAttn: South Coast RMPP.O. Box 581260North Palm Springs, CA 92258.Fax: (760) 251-4899.E-mail: gchill@ca.blm.gov

At the public hearings and in your letter, please express in your own words why BLM lands are important to you. If you are familiar with specific places like Otay Mountain, Beauty Mountain, Hauser Mountain or others, tell them why you like those areas.

Also, please request that:--All currently roadless South Coast BLM lands regardless of size be managed for habitat restoration and non-motorized recreation;

--The Beauty Mountain Wilderness Study Area, all nearby BLM lands and all future acquisitions in the Beauty Mountain region be managed for habitat restoration and non-motorized recreation. Please explain that Beauty Mountain is one of the most important wild places in southwestern California, that it serves as a critical habitat bridge for plants and wildlife by linking Anza-Borrego Desert State Park to the Coast Range and therefore it deserves as much protection as possible;

--The Hauser Mountain Wilderness Study Area, all nearby BLM lands and all future acquisitions in the Hauser Mountain region be managed for habitat restoration and non-motorized recreation. Please explain that Hauser Mountain and the newly-acquired BLM lands nearby serve as important habitat corridors between Mexico and the Cleveland National Forest, and includes such key features as the Pacific Crest Trail;

--The BLM lands adjacent to or near the Otay Mountain Wilderness, as well as all future acquisitions in the area, be managed for non-motorized recreation and habitat restoration; and,-

-That the BLM identify the Beauty Mountain, Hauser Mountain and Otay Mountain regions as high-priority areas for future land acquisitions. Thank you.

For more information, please contact:Ryan Henson/California Wilderness Coalition, 530-246-3087 rhenson@calwild.org

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