Kingston Range Potential Wilderness Addition

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Posted by Dezdan on July 04, 2002 at 22:42:48:

In Reply to: Re: Boxer's bill, scary posted by Thom on July 04, 2002 at 21:35:13:

Managing agency: Bureau of Land Management, California Desert District

Size: Approximately 41,400 acres.

Location: East of Fort Irwin and southeast of Death Valley National Park, in San Bernardino County.

Description: This area contains one of the highest concentrations of endangered species and unusual plant assemblages in the California desert, due to the extreme diversity of the terrain and the limestone formations. Animals as diverse as prairie falcons and other raptors, bighorn sheep, Panamint chipmunks, yellow-billed cuckoos, desert tortoise, pupfish, and vermilion flycatchers are found here.

The lower slopes of the Kingston Range and the Kingston Wash provide typical cacti, Joshua tree, and creosote bush stands. Barrel cactus thrive here.

This portion of the Kingston Range was excluded from designation as wilderness in the California Desert Protection Act (CDPA) because of the possibility that Fort Irwin might expand. It was therefore made a Wilderness Study Area until the issue could be resolved.

To the north and east of the potential addition is the Kingston Range Wilderness itself, designated in the CDPA. In December 2001, Congress approved the expansion of Fort Irwin. The expansion does not include the area of the Kingston Range in question, clearing the way for this area to be designated as wilderness.

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