Friday, April 29, 2011

Simply Garbage

Thank you to the Moapa Valley Progress for publishing my article in the April 20th paper

If we could have half as much rain as we do politics at Gold Butte the drought would be over. However, as life often goes, we are over-stocked with one and in short supply of the other. Much has been made over the politics of Gold Butte both currently and in years past. There are as many philosophies about what is best for this beautiful piece of Nevada desert as there are cacti within its hills. However despite the bureaucratic label it may hold or the potential it has in the eyes of a wanting politician there are still people working to be a part of something positive for public lands despite the politics.

Public Lands Conservation Committee (PLCC) is a group of local citizens from the Moapa Valley and Virgin Valley areas working to DO something positive for Gold Butte.PLCC members have taken their turn paddling into the political waters working to share their point of view. However politics can be a time consuming effort and often with little to show for the time spent. All the while the problems that actually exist at Gold Butte go unresolved. It is within this setting that PLCC’s latest project matured.

One of the first projects that PLCC is working to accomplish is answering the question many visitors have: What to do with my garbage? Instead of waving their arms and crying for help PLCC members quietly went to work raising funds and filling out tedious paperwork to solve the simple problem of garbage.

On Easter weekend a 25 yard dumpster, meeting all of BLM’s requirements, will be placed at the Whitney Pockets parking area. This is to encourage the visitors to this beautiful desert landscape to help do their part and keep our public lands clean and open for multiple-use.

Garbage cleanup is a simple act yet often a point of contention in the debate on public lands management. This is one project in a lineup of projects to come, to help resolve the simple yet beleaguered issues facing the public lands in our backyard. It is one of PLCC’s fundamental beliefs that local public lands stewardship is the key to successful public lands management.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

As Simple As Sending An Email

Recreation Area Management Plan & Comprehensive Trails Plan

The BLM Las Vegas Field Office is currently taking comments on the Recreational Management Plan for Southern Nevada. This is your opportunity to have an impact on the future management of our public land in Southern Nevada. It is as simple as sending an email. Please take the time to comment on how you use public lands and how you want this management plan to be shaped to preserve your access to public lands.

Comments are due by April 11th so send them today

Send your comments to:
Marilyn Peterson, BLM Project Lead :

The BLM does not recognize form letters anymore, so comments MUST be original.

You have asked for ways to be involved, well here it is, SEND IN YOUR COMMENTS.

State that you are concerned about keeping access open and providing as many OHV routes as possible.

List the activities that you and your family enjoy such as 4-wheeling, riding motorcycles, riding ATVs, scenic drives, picnics, primitive camping, hunting, hiking, bird watching, geo-caching, rock collecting, exploring, teaching my kids about the desert, star-gazing, practicing survival skills, mountain bike riding, riding horses, training hunting dogs, target shooting, ….

Please keep all routes OPEN that were marked on the maps from the RAMP scooping meetings as many people marked routes/roads that they want to be kept open.

Washes are a traditional travel route and have been used extensively throughout time; motorized travel in washes should actually be encouraged, rather than discouraged/closed as travel in washes gets ‘erased’ after even a small flood event. Floods are part of the natural environment and washes are in a constant state of change because of the nature of floods. Floods have a far greater impact on vegetation than a route down a wash does and traveling in washes helps contain ‘dust’ as that is an issue with some, especially in some areas.

Washes MUST be kept open for OHV use and access; travel in washes is a traditional means of travel. One minor flood event erases all traces of tracks; floods affect vegetation far more than OHV use in a wash. All washes, including washes in ACECs must be kept open to travel and should be signed open so that people don’t wonder if they can drive down that wash or not.

Throughout southern NV, there needs to be designated campsites, primitive, and more developed. There needs to be group campsites. Disturbed areas that are already being used should be designated. Parking and staging areas that are already being used should be designated as such and kept open. Pull offs are necessary along every route, especially those routes that are popular; pull offs allow for people to pass each other and prevents inexperienced drivers from pulling off the road in an unsafe area.

Most areas should be left primitive so that one can truly ‘get away’; the experience of exploring and discovering new places and new sights is one of the best ways to spend a day.

Historical markers and signs should be placed where appropriate; this helps people learn about the area’s past. Old mining sites should be signed with some history as well as old trails and routes and access to these areas kept open.

Springs should be marked on maps so people can visit them; water sources are where most of the wildlife are and that is one of the fun things-- to see wildlife, especially for kids.

Please take the time to write and send an email about how you use public lands for recreation and how the travel and management plans directly affect you and your access to public lands.

Your comments make the difference