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May 01, 2002 10:56AM
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) are planning on expanding the Juniper Flats ACEC. If they are successful, you will be hiking from wherever the BLM say you will. Anywhere from the Forest Service Boundary to Tussing Ranch Road.

Remember in the proposed 1995 plan the BLM was planning to expand the Juniper Flats ACEC (Area of Critical Environmental Concern) from the current 3 square miles to 52,480 acres? The boundaries were to be Deep Creek Forest boundary to the south, Tussing Ranch Road to the north, the Mojave River to the west and White Mountain to the east (to Lucerne Valley).

In the BLM 1995 proposed management plan it was stated, "Evaluate feasibility of one parking area in the central portion of the planning area". Now where would the central portion be between the Forest Boundary and Tussing Ranch Road? I would estimate that the central portion would be located near "the Village". So, that means that you would have been hiking from the Village to the springs. The Village would probably have been acquired from the private landowners through condemnation.

The BLM stated at the April 5th meeting that the expansion of the Juniper Flats ACEC would be one of the proposals presented with the new WEMO plan. Tim Read said the rim of Apple Valley. Actually, the BLM are acting as if this ACEC plan already exists for the Deep Creek area. Notice the routes are designated as JF3 and JF4? JF stands for Juniper Flats.

When the Willow Fire occurred and the BAER (Burned Area Emergency Recovery) Reports were done they were based on the "Juniper Flats Coordinated Resource Management Area". When I inquired about this management plan designation, the BLM responded that the plan did not actually exist yet they have been basing their decisions on this plan as if it existed.

This is important because then their decisions are not based on recreational use of the area. Their decisions were based on the cultural and environmental concerns for the area.

Once this area is designated as an ACEC, the BLM will have the authority to make any and all decisions in the area based on the focus of the ACEC. You will not be able to participate in these decision processes.

From the California Desert Conservation Area Plan concerning ACEC's: "as an area 'within the public lands where special management attention is required (when such areas are developed or used or where no development is required) to protect and prevent irreparable damage to important historic, cultural, or scenic values, fish and wildlife resources, or other natural systems or processes, ..Management prescriptions are developed for each area proposed for ACEC designation prior to designation. The requirements are site-specific and may include actions which BLM has authority to carry out, including posting signs, patrolling, and fencing, ..
By definition, 'prescription' means direction. Thus, these management prescriptions provide direction for managing ACECs. "

I recently received information from the BLM concerning species prescriptions. Under Antelope Valley species prescriptions for the San Diego Horned Lizard, it stated "Amend the BLM Juniper Flats ACEC Plan to specifically provide protection by designation of routes of travel and closure of unnecessary roads".

There are numerous Indian cultural sites within the Deep Creek Area along with numerous species and plants that may merit special consideration. The ACEC will recognize conservation of certain species as the objective of ACEC management.

My biggest complaint is that you, the people who love Deep Creek, have been not informed about these meetings and plans that are being made that will directly affect your ability to access Deep Creek Hot Springs. Did Mike Castro tell you anything about these plans?

The BLM purposely did not provide me with information about the meetings. I repeatedly requested that I be informed of any meetings that would affect Deep Creek. I then found out about them and started attending some of the meetings. They have been having these meetings for 10 years.

BLM Plans

katrina island 993May 01, 2002 10:56AM

Re: BLM Plans

Wizard 893May 01, 2002 07:27PM

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