Saline Preservation Association

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peneumbra

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Posts: 75
 #1 
The problem is right in front of your face. You may choose to turn a blind eye to the reality of this and many other situations, but someday - if it's not too late - you'll get the picture.

When someone else makes the rules, you'll never win the game.

SIC SEMPER TYRANNUS




Big Jeff

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 #2 
Oh that's what you were thinking, well then that's different, but the link you first provided had nothing to do with the BLM taking back land in a National Park, it was about forcing out the superintendent of Yellowstone National Park. As for the latter link I think at this point in time we are better off with the Park Service, or would you like a drilling rig right next to your favorite pool.
It is sad that we have to waste time with these non productive posts, we should be coming up with comments, suggestions and solutions to the problems presented to us.  
 
speakeasy

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Posts: 56
 #3 
Big Jeff, I was thinking of BLM taking back SV and not getting rid of the superintendent

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/zinke-backs-shrinking-more-national-monuments-shifting-management-of-10-others/2017/12/05/e116344e-d9e5-11e7-b1a8-62589434a581_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.6da3a5fdfad2


peneumbra

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 #4 
I'll try to come up with something more asinine, Little Jeff. And for your information, the people who run the NPS - not the people in the Park, but those in Washington, where the real decisions are made, have nothing but contempt for your "user groups," and always have. 
Big Jeff

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 #5 
That is the most asinine post that I have seen on this site in a long time.  Such implications can only lead to ill will between the NPS and the user groups.
speakeasy

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 #6 
Can we leverage that?
https://www.yahoo.com/news/yellowstone-head-says-trump-administration-forcing-him-165104038.html
peneumbra

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 #7 
Talk, talk, talk. Everyone wants to have a "dialogue."

The federal government has THOUSANDS of professional talkers: they're called attorneys.

If we have learned nothing else in the past 40 years, we should have learned that the U.S. government (and, for that matter, ANY government), cannot and should not be trusted. The area encompassing Saline Warm Springs should never have been turned over to the Park Service. At the time this happened, some persons expressed concern that this change would lead to dire consequences for those who have put their time and effort into improving The Springs. 

There was a time when visitors could camp at The Springs for what amounted to an unlimited period of time. Now that "privilege" is only available to one person. If someone got in trouble in this remote area, there were people with knowledge and equipment to assist them. Now, the general procedure is to call for Miller's Towing to respond from Lone Pine, at astronomical prices. And if there were issues with the behavior of visitors, it was almost always handled by other visitors. Now, the first thing that happens is a radio call or cell phone call to the Park Service. Thanks, Uncle Government, for relieving us of our responsibilities.                                                                                                            








searching4sasquatch

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 #8 
Sam, absolutely. I just posted to the NPS submission form. My post, verbatim, is included below:

First, thank you to NPS, and especially Superintendent Reynolds for accepting my comments and striving to balance important and at times competing interests.

I was present at the Saline Valley meeting on 27 April 2018, and I made a comment toward the end of the meeting and will strive to replicate that comment and amplifying information here.

First, the draft Management Plan/Environmental Impact Statement (MPEIS) talks about the ethnographic importance of Native American heritage at the springs. I challenge the NPS to consider that ethnography is in continual development and need not be hundreds of years old to be of value. The current user base at the springs is itself of ethnographic importance. I believe the NPS already understands and acknowledges this, but this fact warrants a bit more attention in the MPEIS. In fact, I would argue that the value of the current ethnic use of the springs is of primary importance to the preservation of the springs, as decades have proven the current user base takes great care to preserve and maintain the site, with minimal NPS effort or expenditure. The current user ethnic group is of primary value to NPS in this respect, and must not be alienated by the manner in which the NPS complies with a congressional act imposed without due consideration of the unique character of Saline Valley Warm Springs, specifically, as it currently exists. The NPS must conform to the exigencies of the Act, but must not do so in a manner that does not protect the current ethnic group that has used, protected, and preserved the springs for decades.

With these comments about ethnography in mind, I have a comment regarding the verbiage in the draft plan that reads: "As described in the 'Elements Common to All Alternatives' section, the park is completing a plan for cooperative management with the Tribe. When that plan is completed and implemented, actions will be taken at the Saline Valley Warm Springs consistent with that plan." (page vii of the Draft Management Plan/Environmental Impact Statement that was distributed by NPS at the Saline Valley meeting on 27 May 2018).
My chief concern is that this is a very broad and open-ended statement. Essentially, it allows for the possibility of just about any outcome regarding the Cooperative Management Plan with the Tribe to have just about any any effect on the springs.

My request to NPS is that the statement I quoted above be modified with qualifications in order to prevent unintended and/or unanticipated consequences to the springs and its users. I suggest the following verbiage:

"The Cooperative Management Plan with the Timbisha Shoshone Tribe (CMPTST) will not allow the Timbisha Shoshone Tribe (the Tribe, hereafter), either directly or indirectly through any other party, to restrict access to or modify the condition of the Saline Valley Warm Spring complex (the springs, hereafter), including the lower and middle springs and camping and other common areas associated with the springs, including cultural (both physical and social) development by non-tribal users, nor will the CMPTST allow the Tribe to market, sell, rent, or otherwise control or manage rights or access to the springs, or otherwise profit from its cooperative responsibilities under the CMPTST or from its legal rights respecting the area under federal law. The CMPTST will limit the Tribe's involvement at the springs to maintenance and preservation of existing features, both natural and cultural (except at the top spring, where cultural features may be restored to their natural state in accordance with the Saline Valley Warm Springs Management Plan/Environmental Impact Statement), and usage by tribe members limited to traditional cultural practices (this implicitly prohibits any sort of marketing or profit-generating activity related to the springs or surrounding area), which will not be permitted to hinder nor degrade the enjoyment of the area and its installations by other users."

I am heartened to read on page vi of the draft management plan that: "All cooperative agreements or management plans would agree with objectives described in this Saline Valley Warm Springs management plan, and shall comply with applicable state and federal laws."
-also, on page v-
"While the authority to manage the land within the Timbisha Shoshone Natural and Cultural Preservation Area would remain with the National Park Service, the Tribe adn the National Prk Service must negotiate and enter into cooperative agreements for Tribal access to and use of these lands."  This statement appears to limit the Tribe's involvement at the springs to negotiated "access to an use of" the springs, and does not explicitly provide for any sort of management or control rights to the Tribe.
Similarly, also on page v, "members of the Tribe are authorized to use the special use areas for low-impact ecologically sustainable TRADITIONAL PRACTICES pursuant to a jointly established management plan" (emphasis mine). So, all allowances to the Tribe must fall under the category of "traditional practices."

Nevertheless, I must add one more comment. With no intent to incite conflict, but in the interest of mutual benefit for the long term and ensuring as many facts are on the table as possible, I share this information.

After the meeting at Saline Valley on 27 May, I approached the Timbisha Shoshone tribal representative to show him some respect, and also to ask a question. He said his name is Spike. I asked him what the tribe's vision would be for the springs, if the tribe could do anything it wanted. He replied that he believed the springs need to be "marketed" to as many people as possible. That was his word choice, not mine. I attempted to clarify what he meant by this, and he backtracked a bit regarding his use of the word "marketing," but further statements made clear that "marketing" was exactly what he had meant. I replied: if the tribe's justification for seeking increased rights and access to the springs is because of its desire to engage in traditional practices and to preserve the sacredness of the place, and that "development of the area by Euro-Americans degraded puha and other ethnographic resources" (Draft Management Plan, Exec Summary, pg. i),  how exactly does "marketing" the place to as many people as possible assist the tribe toward those goals? He replied that the tribe has never been given anything and needs to try to profit from whatever it can.

This is deeply worrisome. Spike did also comment that he felt that although the tribe was finally gaining some traction regarding its rights to the site, he believes it is likely too little too late (for the tribe to be able to make any thing out of it). These comments seem to indicate that the tribe may not be genuinely interested in simply engaging in "traditional practices" and restoring "puha", but rather, getting a foot in the door to pursue greater control over the springs and revenue generating activities. This is in conflict with the Park's duty to preserve natural and cultural resources for future generations and the enjoyment of all.

There was at least one, possibly two other people who either participated in or overheard portions of the conversation I mentioned above, although I do not have their names.

I sincerely thank the NPS, and Superintendent Reynolds for their diligent work to fulfill their duties in the most responsible manner possible, and for weighing this input in that process. I look forward to bringing my young children and generations beyond to Saline Valley Warm Springs, and hope they will be able to enjoy it as much as it currently exists as is possible.

Sam D.

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 #9 
Thank you, Dave. You are the only one who seems to understand the danger of the vague and generic language in the park's proposal in regards to the tribal involvement. This is much bigger than the fence or palm trees. This decision has fundamental ramifications for the springs. The park service needs to specify explicitly which activities will be permitted and which activities prohibited. My attempts to clarify were answered vaguely.
I truly believe that this is a foot-in-the-door approach to gain control over the springs & institute a concession camping at the springs or muscle us out.

May I ask you to please comment as we all heard that only submitted comments will be considered?

Also, if any of the Timbisha Shoshone tribe members read this forum and can comment, please do so. I'd like to know what "traditional cultural practices" mean.


searching4sasquatch

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Posts: 2
 #10 
Many thanks for your patience, I intended to post this much sooner but have been wrapped up and traveling. I am the guy who made the comment toward the end of the meeting at Saline Valley with NPS, regarding the verbiage in the draft plan that reads: "As described in the 'Elements Common to All Alternatives' section, the park is completing a plan for cooperative management with the Tribe. When that plan is completed and implemented, actions will be taken at the Saline Valley Warm Springs consistent with that plan." (page vii of the Draft Management Plan/Environmental Impact Statement that was distributed by NPS at the Saline Valley meeting on 27 May 2018.
My chief concern is that this is a very broad and open-ended statement. Essentially, it allows any outcome regarding the Cooperative Management Plan with the Tribe to have any effect on the springs. My request to NPS is that this statement be qualified with some verbiage to the effect of:

"The Cooperative Management Plan with the Timbisha Shoshone Tribe (CMPTST) will not allow the tribe to modify the pre-existing condition of the springs, including cultural development by non-tribal users, or restrict access thereto, nor will it allow the Tribe to market, sell or rent rights or access, or otherwise profit from its cooperative responsibilities under the CMPTST or from its legal rights to the area under federal law. The CMPTST will be limited to maintenance and preservation of existing features, both natural and cultural (except at the top spring, where cultural features may be restored to their natural state in accordance with the Saline Valley Warm Springs Management Plan/Environmental Impact Statement), and usage by tribe members limited to traditional cultural practices (this implicitly prohibits any sort of marketing or profit-generating activity related to the springs or surrounding area), which will not be permitted to hinder nor degrade the enjoyment of the area by other users."

I am heartened to read on page vi of the draft management plan that: "All cooperative agreements or management plans would agree with objectives described in this Saline Valley Warm Springs management plan, and shall comply with applicable state and federal laws."

Nevertheless, I must add one more comment. With no intent to incite conflict (as we all know, conflict has a way of begetting conflict, so in the interest of mutual benefit for the long term and being as forthright as possible, I share this information), after the meeting at Saline Valley on 27 May, I approached the Timbisha Shoshone tribal representative to show him some respect, and also to ask a question. He said his name is Spike. I asked him what the tribe's vision would be for the springs, if the tribe could do anything it wanted. He replied that he believed the springs need to be "marketed." That was his word choice, not mine. I attempted to clarify what he meant by this, and he went on to explain that maybe marketing isn't the right word. He said that the place needs to be shared with as many people as possible, to which I replied: if the tribe's justification for seeking increased rights and access to the springs is because of its desire to engage in traditional practices and to preserve the sacredness of the place, and that "development of the area by Euro-Americans degraded puha and other ethnographic resources" (Draft Management Plan, Exec Summary, pg. i),  how exactly does "marketing" the place to as many people as possible assist the tribe toward those goals? He replied that the tribe has never been given anything and needs to try to profit from whatever it can.

This is worrisome to me. Spike did also comment that he felt that although the tribe was finally gaining some traction regarding its rights to the site, he believes it is likely too little too late (for the tribe to be able to make any thing out of it). These comments seem to indicate that the tribe may not be genuinely interested in simply engaging in "traditional practices" and restoring "puha".

There was at least one, possibly two other people who either participated in or overheard portions of this conversation, although I do not have their names.

Dave
Big Jeff

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Posts: 106
 #11 
Great webinar by the DEVA staff.  They will put it up on the NPS site (Same place where you can comment). Almost all the cards are on the table but they did dance around a couple of items. This may have been for lack of information on those specific questions. There are a few items that DEVA Must comply with like public health and safety ETC. These are areas that the user group or groups can step forward to help address these issues or take the lead and solve them.
Now moving on to comments, please comment to the NPS site but be realistic with your suggestions and consider how they affect all users of the springs.  Also try to provide solutions to your statements, but in reality the user group or groups should prepare and submit detailed plans and solutions to the issues presented in the draft EIS.  Please note that this is a draft but it is the last draft before a final determination so now is the time for action.
So in closing:

If you are not part of the future get out of the way (John Mellenamp)

Jukebox Mark   your post is right on the Mark (pun intended)
Jukebox Mark

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 #12 
I wrote the initial version of this article in 2010 intended to help gently remind people to stay focused on-topic at public meetings. I wished I'd remembered it before today! I thought I should still post it as it is still relevant before the webinar, a) since webbies are also more likely to see it on the forum and b) people are generally more likely to lose some of their self-censorship once they are out of a face-to-face meeting paradigm. You will recognize them when you hear them at the webinar. 

The idea of not broadcasting static is also appropriate to the eventual written comments hopefully all of you will be submitting. Thanks for reading.

***************************
What Frequency Are You On?

I recently attended a land use meeting regarding the potential site locations of alternative energy projects in the California desert, a topic I have been following with some interest for a while now. At various times during the meeting, the attending public was given a limited opportunity to speak to the specific matters that were on the panel's agenda at that point in the meeting. The object of the public comment periods was for the public to provide comments, suggestions, and otherwise help the panel identify issues with the specified topic at hand.

Unfortunately, almost without exception, those who chose to speak during those opportunities used the time to speak to their own general concerns that did not necessarily address the discussion for which the panel was receiving comment. I could see the frustration of the panel over this lack of focus. While I joined the panel in quietly biding time during these monologues, a little voice inside my head was screaming the question, "Do you just want to speak, or do you want to be heard?"

As I generally do, I tried to find a constructive way to deal with my own emotions, but as the speakers droned on, they were drowning out my ability to focus on the discussion until I realized I had to leave. I can't imagine how the panelists dealt with it.

On the drive back to my campsite in the desert, I realized that the public comment issue was not a new one. For decades now, I have heard SO many people say after attending a public land use meeting,"I don't feel like my voice was heard."

As an outgrowth of my trade, I often find myself creating visualizations for things beyond the realm of auto mechanics. In this case, the idea of using radio as a metaphor came to mind. If a deliberative panel has chosen to open up a specific issue for public comment, it is akin to having chosen a particular station on the radio to listen to. That being the case, why would anyone choose to broadcast on a different frequency? In other words, if the comments don't address the issues the panel is there to listen to, broadcasting on their frequency as it were, it is almost a foregone conclusion that the message is going to be heard as static. To the one broadcasting, their words may well seem clear as day, but they have as much clarity to the audience as when adults speak in a Charlie Brown cartoon: "wa, wa wa wa wa wa wa."

There is a time and a place for everything, and we all need to remain keenly aware land use meetings take precious time from very full lives to attend. Just because it is a gathering of people interested in land use issues, it does not automatically mean THAT meeting is THE PLACE or the time for what we have to say, especially if the message we bring is off-topic. Choosing to speak under those circumstances only increases the likelihood that your need to speak outweighs the need to be heard. And, unfortunately, it may be worse than that.

Speaking "off topic"-broadcasting on a different frequency than your audience is tuned to-often infects the message you're trying to deliver. Misdirection can also detune your audience over time, effectively preventing them from hearing you in the future. "Oh, it's just him/her again."  If you carry a title, and attend these meetings regularly, you REALLY need to take care to not become labeled as a broadcaster of static. In other words, not every public lands meeting is an opportunity to discuss every issue on public lands just because you made the time to be there.

Do yourself, and the public who desperately needs your voice to be heard, a big favor and ask yourself before you attend a land use meeting if: 1) that meeting is the appropriate forum for ALL of your comments; and 2) whether or not you are willing to defer SOME OR ALL of your comments if the appropriate opportunity doesn't present itself. If you cannot answer these two simple questions in the affirmative, then the chances are pretty good that your need to speak outweighs your need to be heard, and both your reputation and your message will suffer for it.


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Perhaps what we hold most in awe about nature is its majestic indifference to humanity.
Jukebox Mark

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 #13 
Salt Peter
Ultimate Carnage emailed me this morning to say last nights meeting was basically the same as the one in Ridgecrest. A lot of the quietly concerned, along with a couple who spoke off topic more for the sake of speaking than providing relevant comments. Reminded me of a piece I wrote for the Blue Ribbon Coalition back in 2010 called “What Frequency Are You On?”

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Perhaps what we hold most in awe about nature is its majestic indifference to humanity.
natur_lover

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 #14 
Salt Peter, it was nice to meet you at the meeting yesterday and it was great seeing everyone else as well.  I agree, I have a better impression of what the Park Service is trying to do.

Everyone should read the plan in it's entirety.  After the SPA has their final position, please send your comments in writing in coordination with their comments.

If you haven't been able to attend one of the public meetings, please register and attend the online meeting tomorrow.  Our numbers, passion and sense of community and family are impressive.
Salt Peter

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 #15 
It was nice to be there this evening and hear from the NPS and SPA. Would have been nice to have had the Timbisha there too but no other involved parties in the plan were represented either. Nice to meet a few new people too. It sounds like the Tribe would be given a lot of access but primarily at the upper springs. I came away from tonight's meeting much more optimistic than going in. The NPS recognized that the 70 year history of anglo involvement at the springs would need to be looked at as far as historic recognition goes.

I urge everyone to actually get into the plan and read it. It may cause you to ask more questions and/or provide suggestions which is what the park is asking for.
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