California Desert Protection Act

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smslavin
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California Desert Protection Act

#1

Post by smslavin » Tue Dec 07, 2010 7:47 pm

Spreading the word in case you haven't been keeping up...
According to the latest news from Capitol Hill, the current omnibus lands bill (a combination of many proposed conservation bills into one piece of legislation) does not currently include the California Desert Protection Act of 2010 (S. 2921), or any wilderness designations in California's deserts. Senator Feinstein introduced the California Desert Protection Act of 2010 (CDPA 2010) late last year, but it has not yet been reported from the Energy and Natural Resources Committee. CDPA 2010 is unlikely to be included in an omnibus lands bill until it has passed from the committee, but time is running out.

Call or e-mail Senator Feinstein's staff to urge them to work to include the California Desert Protection Act of 2010 in the final omnibus bill. Otherwise, the chances of wilderness protection in California's deserts next year are dim. CDPA 2010 would set aside over over 1 million acres of pristine desert for conservation, including areas along Historic Route 66, and establish two new national monuments.

Take Action:
Senator Feinstein's office: send her staff an email from the Senator's official website, or call her Washington DC office at (202) 224-3841.

For more information on CDPA 2010, you can read this blog's previous post or go to the Campaign for the California Desert website.

A map of the land use provision of the bill is copied below:

CA Desert Protection Act Map
Source Mojave Desert Blog

This bill has far reaching implications in protecting the areas we love and use on a regular basis. Take a little time to do a bit of research send in some support.
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Chazz Layne
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Re: California Desert Protection Act

#2

Post by Chazz Layne » Tue Dec 07, 2010 8:17 pm

I'm sorry but I have to call this a win if it fails to pass. By "protecting" Feinstein almost always means "closing to anyone not willing and able to walk 50 miles under the burning desert sun".

Edit - after viewing that map I see my fears are justified. If this thing passes, you can say goodbye to most of the trips in the Mojave we've featured here (including ALL of the Old Woman Mountains series).
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smslavin
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Re: California Desert Protection Act

#3

Post by smslavin » Tue Dec 07, 2010 8:24 pm

Chazz Layne wrote:I'm sorry but I have to call this a win if it fails to pass. By "protecting" Feinstein almost always means "closing to anyone not willing and able to walk 50 miles under the burning desert sun".

Edit - after viewing that map I see my fears are justified. If this thing passes, you can say goodbye to most of the trips in the Mojave we've featured here (including ALL of the Old Woman Mountains series).
Thanks for the head's up. I wasn't aware. It might be interesting to see what happens as a lot of the proposed solar energy plant sites fall into the areas on the map.
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BorregoWrangler
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Re: California Desert Protection Act

#4

Post by BorregoWrangler » Wed Dec 08, 2010 1:35 pm

Chazz Layne wrote:I'm sorry but I have to call this a win if it fails to pass. By "protecting" Feinstein almost always means "closing to anyone not willing and able to walk 50 miles under the burning desert sun".

Edit - after viewing that map I see my fears are justified. If this thing passes, you can say goodbye to most of the trips in the Mojave we've featured here (including ALL of the Old Woman Mountains series).
Well said, Chazz. "Protecting" usually entails prohibiting responsible outdoor recreation (i.e. overlanding).

Now, I'm all for conserving our wild public lands and protecting them from future development. But when they introduce these "wilderness" bills they should at least allow for continued vehicle access on already existing and established roads and trails. My favorite childhood Jeep trail was lost to one of these wilderness designations to "protect" the area.
-John Graham
1989 YJ & 2000 TJ

View all my trip reports here at my blog: GrahamCrackers

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unwiredadventures
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Re: California Desert Protection Act

#5

Post by unwiredadventures » Tue Dec 14, 2010 2:10 pm

smslavin wrote:Spreading the word in case you haven't been keeping up...
This bill has far reaching implications in protecting the areas we love and use on a regular basis. Take a little time to do a bit of research send in some support.
I've spent some time reading the complete 2010 California Desert Protection Act. Here is some of it:
SEC. 1304. USES OF THE MONUMENT.

‘(a) Use of Off-Highway Vehicles-

‘(1) IN GENERAL- The use of off-highway vehicles in the Monument (including the use of off-highway vehicles for commercial touring) shall be permitted to continue on designated routes, subject to all applicable law and and authorized by the management plan.
‘(2) NONDESIGNATED ROUTES- Off-highway vehicle access shall be permitted on nondesignated routes and trails in the Monument--
‘(A) for administrative purposes;
‘(B) to respond to an emergency; or
‘(C) as authorized under the management plan.
‘(3) INVENTORY- Not later than 2 years after the date of enactment of this title, the Director of the Bureau of Land Management shall complete an inventory of all existing routes in the Monument.
So if it passes. It would allow overlanding on existing routes, but almost all other activity would cease (except for government subsidized solar power plants).

Please take some time to read the whole bill. It's not too long and is a very easy read.

I've already written to our elected representatives expressing my displeasure with this bill. A week or so later I received an email telling me how important it is to preserve these lands.
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smslavin
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Re: California Desert Protection Act

#6

Post by smslavin » Thu Dec 16, 2010 2:21 pm

My understanding was that it would preserve against the solar plants. If it means that I have to stay on designated routes, I'm fine with that. I'd rather see pristine desert in the distance than the blinding glare of a solar farm or huge swathes of land bulldozed (which is what Ivanpah now looks like).

Ivanpah before:
Image

Ivanpah after:
Image
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unwiredadventures
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Re: California Desert Protection Act

#7

Post by unwiredadventures » Thu Dec 16, 2010 5:37 pm

smslavin wrote:My understanding was that it would preserve against the solar plants. If it means that I have to stay on designated routes, I'm fine with that. I'd rather see pristine desert in the distance than the blinding glare of a solar farm or huge swathes of land bulldozed (which is what Ivanpah now looks like).
Nope. Take a look a the bill.
TITLE II--DESERT RENEWABLE ENERGY PERMITTING
Sec. 201. Renewable Energy Coordination Offices to improve Federal permit coordination for renewable energy.
There is also this:
SEC. 102. DESIGNATION OF WILD AND SCENIC RIVERS.
AFAIK, this will close all vehicular water crossings and limit human use of the shores. This designation happened to a river in Yosemite years ago. A current lawsuit may force the closure of one of the valley campgrounds because of this.

Then of course there is this:
SEC. 1903. CLIMATE CHANGE AND WILDLIFE CORRIDORS.
"WILDLIFE CORRIDORS" = severely restricted human use (on foot only). No vehicles at all!
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