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LittlePossum

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 #16 
Here is what I'm talking about. The plans as written as so confusing that the writer for the Las Vegas Review Journal gets it all wrong: "Under the National Park Service’s preferred [italics added] alternative, fences would be installed to keep the burros at bay, while nonnative palm trees and concrete soaking pools would be torn out at several of the upper springs to return them to their natural state." Totally wrong. A portion of that claim is the "Restoration Alternative" (no chance?), right?  Or Alternative #4 on the Federal Register, referring to tub removal. The NPS has no preferred alternative to tear out concrete soaking tubs. These alternatives are not being reported correctly, and I can see why. The documents are in confusing conflict. I don't know which one is most valid.

Revision Note on 05/13/18: I see that the above quote has been corrected in the first article link below:
Revision Note on 05/15/18: There is less confusion (for me) when I stick to one single document: the complete EIS (382 PDF pages; 166 text pages plus appendices, another 150+ pages).  It took so long to load, minutes, I assume it was dead. But you need to Click the Document List at the Project Home page (second link below), and then Click the last (4th) document (the actual EIS). Then Click the link under Document Content. And wait. (That single, most important document is not easy to find.)

https://www.reviewjournal.com/news/officials-end-hands-off-policy-for-offbeat-death-valley-hot-springs/


https://parkplanning.nps.gov/projectHome.cfm?projectID=39438


LittlePossum

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 #17 
Not sure. But am sure that the description of the various alternative plans is confusing. Consider this:

https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2018/05/04/2018-09440/notice-of-availability-of-the-saline-valley-warm-springs-draft-environmental-impact-statement-at

Dated 05/04/2018 and 01/30/2018, I'm thinking this is current and important. It clearly reveals a "preferred" (done deal) Alternative #5, the "cooperative management" choice which appears as the "Recreation Management Alternative" and in position #4 in other tables. Why not use common labels, numbers, and sequencing for consistency? It is interesting to note that the Federal Register version of the preferred Alternative describes the fencing around the entire springs area---the whole shebang. I envisioned a fence around the source pools only. Now we have potentially a mile or more of fencing?  It's a hodgepodge of confusing alternatives. That makes our job harder. Please be clear when you advocate for one alternative or a mixture so that your choice is not misinterpreted.
Kevin Mokracek

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 #18 
What would the feasibility be pf purchasing the springs be?  Cherry stem the road and the springs and take it off the NPS plate.  
I belong to The Climbers Access fund and they have bought several private and govt. owned pieces of land over the years to allow continued climbing access.  I know this could open a whole other can of worms but it might be something to look at?  Maybe SPA can start a Gofundme to purchase the springs or some other similar type deal.  The fact that it is supposedly a Timbehsa resource might throw a wrench into the works.
P3Tacco

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 #19 
I have heard on more than one occasion that the Timbesha are essentially all Jehovah's Witnesses, thus the revulsion at the nudity.  Has anyone else heard this? If true, it gives some perspective, although anyone has the right to believe whatever they want to.
peneumbra

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 #20 
Not HISTORIC.

HYSTERIC.
Jukebox Mark

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 #21 
Lorlie

See p106 and 107 of the EIS where they discuss exactly that.


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Lorlie

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 #22 
Good point on the old pics. I would almost think Saline is a candidate for the National Register of Historic places. 
 https://www.nps.gov/nr/national_register_fundamentals.htm
Jukebox Mark

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 #23 
Photographs.

There's been a lot of chatter over the years, but it seems to me that NOW is when people who either have or know where there are really old pictures, or even 8mm films from the valley need to share that information with SPA. It is a minor assumption on my part, but not an unreasonable one, that SPA will be the organization that will most actively pursue the 20th century cultural aspects of usage at the Springs in order to maintain as much of the status quo as possible.

Since I did not start visiting the springs until 1990, I doubt that my pictures are of much use. But there are plenty from the 1970's that, even they may not technically comply with some legal term of art like "historic", are more than relevant to the overall EIS process.

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Jukebox Mark

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 #24 
p. 67 of the EIS:

Park personnel have described the [SPA] community as effective in handling instances of unruly or loud visitors and visitors who do not follow the general camp cleanliness guidelines. The established community has maintained a self-managing policy and contacts park law enforcement only when an issue cannot be resolved within the community. Recently, there has been a noticeable shift in the community as new visitors vacation in the warm springs area. These visitors are often unfamiliar with the traditional recreational community and its norms. As the community expands with these new visitors, the cohesiveness of the community also seems to be changing.

So there is SOME acknowledgement .


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DVExile

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 #25 
WRONG: The preferred plan says the palms stay but as they die out only natural regrowth of the palms is permitted - no planting of palms.  New palms grow wherever they happen to take root.  At least they let the palms stay and I suppose it is likely new palms will tend to grow where the old palms are.  So palm shade probably good for the future. :WRONG

EDIT: So my reading comprehension apparently stinks - preferred plan does not immediately remove the palms but as they age and die does not appear to allow new palms to grow.  So eventually all the palms go away with the preferred plan.

The burro fence surrounding the springs presumably will reduce the local burro population - less access to water means fewer burros.

As to removing the burros being essentially impossible you have all the horse/burro/PETA nuts to thank for that.  They can't be killed and the legislation says they must be adopted by loving owners who will give them foot massages twice a day.  Not surprisingly that means the adoption facilities tend to be full and there is no place to put burros that would be rounded up.  Thus no round ups since no place to put the rounded up burros.

So cutting off access to water and letting nature take its course on the population is about the only thing the NPS has to work with.  Hence the plan for the fence.  Side benefit no more stepping in burro poop or having burros raiding camp sites.  Count me as in favor of the fence.  Also in favor of the airborne 20mm canon solution to the burro problem but alas that doesn't seem to be in any of the alternatives.  The BLM has this year begun asking congress for more leeway in dealing with the burro/horse problem.  Expect endless PETA lawsuits to keep anything useful from happening.

Preferred plan also wants to remove the piping from the cold spring that currently waters the trees to the south of the lower springs providing shade and some windbreak to that camping area.  Preferred plan also eliminates the lawn. 

Honestly the preferred plan seems just about as good as anyone could hope for as far as maintaining reasonable access to the springs.  The place is being killed by IG and FB posts combined with increased road maintenance by Inyo County.  The mandatory no cost permit system would at least hopefully force people into some minimal education before showing up with drones, unleashed dogs and loud music.

I suspect no matter what the change some folks will be unhappy and likely everyone will be unhappy with some part of it.  But really - it will never be the same regardless.  Social media and better road maintenance means the place is doomed unless there is some reasonable management of it.
Salt Peter

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 #26 
I've still not had a chance to delve into the proposals due to work. Plan to get into it this weekend. I know in the past the NPS had issues with the palms. Last month I was over at the Grapevine Ranger Station and the area just south of the actual station has a lot of palms. Is the NPS going to remove those as well? I know they aren't in Saline but if it isn't native to Saline I doubt it is native to the rest of the area either.
RC Pilot Jim

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 #27 
The NPS actions sound pretty benign to me (unless I haven't read all of it). I plan to "attend" the webinar May 31st.

Reading the "alternative Draft Plan" Camping permits and non-replacement of non-native plants jumped out at me. The last 20 plus years we live to far south (San Diego) to use the springs more than 14 days per year. We don't attend the big Holiday weekends so wonder how involved the "camping permit process"would be for off weeks??

 "The fourth point is not replacing vegetation in the lower warm springs as it dies off". Overtime way after I pass from this plain the protection we enjoy from the wind will disappear. What are the NPS's plans to restore the wind blocks? If any?



The preferred alternative in the draft plan proposes actions including

  • Camping permits would be required. Permits would be free at first, but a fee might be implemented later. Camping would continue to be limited to 30 days per calendar year. Dispersed camping will be allowed in designated areas.
  • Remove non-native vegetation (including palms) from the Upper Springs. No replacement palms would be placed at Lower Springs when existing ones die naturally.
oregonjohn

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 #28 
Mark, as you, I have been reading and digesting what is in the “plan”. From what I have read NPS will erect a 5’ tall 4 strand smooth wire fencing around the entire Warm Springs area. I believe that would keep all the feral burros out of the springs. Don’t think the interior fencing would be in play at that point. NPS still wants to fence the settling pond, but at least they don’t want to take it out.

I do have serious concerns about how much involvement the Tribe will have in the management and involvement of the Springs. In the past, the spokesperson for the Tribe has berated Saliners and the nudity in the area. So I need to research the LEIS and what the Tribe has to say.

The bridge above Briggs Camp is NOT inside the Park boundary. It really is not a bridge anymore. The BLM contracted to infill where the old bridge was and was basically put back to what it was before it was blown up.

OJ
hbmurphy

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 #29 
Are you referring to the Bridge that they just built going from BLM/Briggs to Middle Park?
James Sel

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 #30 
South Park No longer has a bridge
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