News Nuggets

Devils Hole Workshop Being Held April 30- May 2, 2014

The Nye County Water District is pleased to sponsor the 2014 Devils Hole Workshop in Furnace Creek along with support from the Death Valley Natural History Association.

For more information, click here.

Two Death Valley Plants Saved by the Endangered Species Act

Two unique and rare California desert plants, the Eureka dune grass and the desert primrose, are being considered as candidates for delisting from the Endangered Species Act. The endemic California species was threatened by OHV activity and competition from invasive species but appears to have made a strong recovery.

For more information, click here.

Death Valley National Park Extends Comment Deadline

The National Park Service (NPS) is seeking public input to help inform and shape the development of alternatives for a management plan and environmental impact statement for the Saline Valley Warm Springs area of Death Valley National Park (Park).

The purpose of the proposed plan is to provide a basis for managing this remote yet popular area of the Park, balancing the protection of unique natural and cultural resources with public health and visitor use at the Saline Valley Warm Springs. Park staff encourages people to be specific in the comments by referring to specific elements in each preliminary alternative.

The preliminary alternatives can be viewed at NPS Planning, Environment and Public Comment website: comments can also be submitted. The NPS has extended the comment period for this phase of the planning process until April 27, 2014.

Furnace Creek Visitors Center receives First Ever Design Award of Excellence

Congratulations to Death Valley National Park in receiving the Design Award of Excellence for their rehabilitation of the Furnace Creek Visitor Center.

Click here to read more.

Home News & Opinions Editorials Dumont Dunes Fee Increase? - Page 2

Dumont Dunes Fee Increase? - Page 2
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Arriving for Halloween Weekend 2006
But can Dumont Dunes ever be entirely self sufficient based solely on user fees?  How high would users fees need to be raised to do so?  We don't know.

I say we because I server on a new BLM advisory committee that provides the Barstow Field Office with input on management and spending decisions regarding the motorized recreation area.  This group is called the Dumont Dunes Technical Review Team (TRT) and I represent the limited interests of motorized users other than motorsport recreationists.

At our meetings we receive raw system reports of aggregate totals which usually require verbal presentations in order to adequately paint the current financial picture for us.  The need for such lengthy sidebars is due in part to what I might call the "complexities" of federal agency accounting practices. It is also in part because producing a more intuitive P&L is difficult and time consuming.

Fellow TRT member Ed Waldheim once developed and successfully used a program P&L spreadsheet while a Commissioner for the California Off Highway Motor Vehicle Commission.  Our hope is that the Barstow Field Office can use the "Waldheim budget" or something similar to more thoroughly and accurately define the issues surrounding the need for a fee increase at Dumont Dunes.

Without such a budget this TRT member will find it very difficult to justify a vote in favor of the increase.

I'd be interested to hear from Dumont Dunes visitors about how they feel about a fee increase, particularly one that might not develop anything more than consistency in the current level of services.  How will users feel about paying significantly more for a permit yet receive what they perceive as nothing new?

Ultimately I am compelled to work for a recreation area that is as enjoyable and safe as possible for motorized enthusiasts, and one that is accessible as possible to anyone who wishes to visit this unique and magnificent piece of our vast and wonderful public lands.  I am also committed to protecting the surrounding limited use and wilderness lands from unnecessary impacts of this popular destination.  And none of these objective can be met without adequate funding for the management of Dumont Dunes.

To contact me, click here.

For more information about Dumont Dunes:
- Click here for the Dumont Dunes web site from the BLM's Barstow Field Office
* Click here to visit the Dumont Dunes TRT web site, which includes minutes and meeting dates

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