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Deep Creek Hot Springs

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Juniper Flats Cultural Area

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February 22, 2004 09:36PM
An area of critical environmental concern was set aside in Juniper Flats back in the 1980s to protect prehistoric Native American cultural sites from destruction. The BLM oficially recognized the priceless recources that surround the area of cottonwood springs and created the Juniper Flats Area of Critical Environmental Concern back in the 1980s. At the time, I held a mining claim within this area and was more than happy to relinquish it in exchange for seeing this unique place protected.

Today, a full assault by a local motorcyclists is destroying a priceless archeological site dating back thousands of years. The illegal trail created by Mike Castro and his "OHV patrol buddies" runs right through the heart of this area. Local resident property owners are being subject to vandalism on their properties as well for standing up and opposing this outrageous behavior. Despite repeated requests for enforcement of the Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979, this behavior continues unabated. The BLM is required by law to comply with not only this law, but the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976.

The management plan for the Juniper Flats Cultural Area clearly designates specific routes of travel within the ACEC. All motorized travell within the ACEC on non designated routes is clearly illegal. Destruction of an archeological site is a crime punishable by law, especially if the party doing so is aware of what they are doing. Recently, motorcyclists vandalized and erosion control project on a closed route within the ACEC and went on a fence cutting rampage in retaliation. All of this has been clearly documented and reported to the BLM on a weekly basis.

When Mike Castro recently stated to a mutual friend that he will ride J1299 and carries a gun with him "in case of trouble", I interpeted that statement as a threat. I wonder if he will carry his gun into the federal courtroom? This is where this whole thing is going, along with more publicity from the press. A solution can be reached if the BLM officals can be persuaded to comply with their own laws. The Juniper Flats Cultural Area is worth protecting from intentional vandalism and the law supports this. I will not be intimidated by Mr Castro and his total disregard for the law. If anything happens to me out there, everyone will know where to look.


Juniper Flats Cultural Area

LaughingBear 821February 22, 2004 09:36PM

Re: Juniper Flats Cultural Area

Wizard 716February 23, 2004 09:44PM

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