Saline Preservation Association

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Poll Results
 Should the NPS extend the public comment period
 Yes, extend the comment period 62 98%
 No, let the comment period expire on 3/28 1 1%
Total votes: 63. This poll has been closed.

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Posts: 415
Yes. Now that all the meetings are over, the Board will hold a Skype meeting this morning to craft their 'revised' Position Paper.

Stay tuned.

Posts: 61
And it's sad so sad
There ain't no easy way round.
And it's sad, so sad
All you friends gather round
'Cause the circus left town.

So, will SPA issue a revised position paper?
Sam D.

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Posts: 818
Webinar is posted:
Route 66

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Posts: 31
Please make a comment on the selection of the Preferred Alternative before the deadline which is coming up shortly on Sunday, April 27th.  Here is what I wrote:

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the Preliminary Alternatives for the Saline Valley Warm Springs Management Plan and Environmental Impact Statement.   I  have been visiting Saline Valley for the past few years.  Over that time I have come to appreciate the solitude and beauty of the desert landscape.  Saline Valley is one of the most beautiful desert areas I have visited in my eight decades on this Earth!  I appreciate the work the National Park Service does in preserving such beautiful areas of our country; and I think it is admirable that the “NPS” is developing a “Management Plan” for the “Springs” and soliciting input from people and groups who love and visit the “Springs.”

A year or so ago I joined the Saline Preservation Association because this  group is an active “shepherd” of the volunteers who, in my opinion, have done a yeoman’s job in taking care of the “Springs” over the (how long as it been??) half century.  I too have tried to do my part in preserving the features and attributes that attract travelers to this somewhat remote site.  I have been inspired by the volunteers led by the “SPA.” 

I, therefore, am in full support of the recommendations that the Saline Preservation Association has made to the National Park Service in the selection of the Preferred Alternative to the Management Plan and Impact Statement.  I know the “NPS” has a “difficult” job in selecting the Preferred Alternative but I believe the “NPS” will be fair and open in that decision making process.

flying chipmunk

Posts: 3

Submitted my comments a few minutes ago.  Here is what I wrote:

Please keep my last name, street address, and email from public view to the extent feasible.

The Saline Valley Warm Springs area is a nice place to visit to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.  I fully support and agree with the comments that the Saline Preservation Association (SPA) has submitted and with their work in the area.  The best options for all of the management elements under consideration are the no action, minimal action, or community engagement alternatives.

I wish to add a few more comments regarding the Chicken Strip.  Living in the midwest and owning a small airplane but no SUV or 4WD type vehicles, it is the only viable means I have to visit the area.  I have flown in there in the past and hope to do so again in the future.  Please keep the Chicken Strip open consistent with the "Minimal Action" option.  Flying in produces less environmental impact than driving, and having the airstrip available affords an option to get in and out in the event of an emergency.  Please continue the Memorandum of Understanding with the RAF, as I am satisfied with the job the RAF is doing with the maintenance.

Thank you for your cooperation and consideration of these comments.

Jukebox Mark

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Posts: 68
I think that if SPA were only going after an MOU on ONE thing, like the RAF, things might be different. But it does not behoove SPA to approach the situation in that manner, at all. There are just too many aspects of management at the springs that overlap, and we all know it. 

That said, I can see no reason why our comments on the alternatives cannot include specifics, as many as we like, on when, where and how an MOU with SPA would be appropriate. WRITE THEM IN. In every instance where individual comments support an MOU, they should support the position with ideas and/or ways in which the MOU would provide the NPS with a superior option to managing the springs alone.

I suggested this simple two step approach in a series of communications with the BOD a year and a half ago:
A. Convince me the NPS needs an MOU on a particular aspect of management at the springs, and
B. Convince me that SPA is the appropriate organization to provide this function.

Lastly, keep in mind that this forum may well be monitored by NPS employees and sympathizers, and what you say on here, and especially how you say it, may also affect their perception of SPA's worthiness for this task.[wink]

Perhaps what we hold most in awe about nature is its majestic indifference to humanity.- Mark Algazy 
Salt Peter

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Posts: 613
They can't get a MOU with SPA but can with the RAF? I'm not coming down on the RAF but seems if one similar group can get a MOU then SPA should too.

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Posts: 121
The board members proposed a new MOU with the NPS when we had a meet and greet last year. What we were told is that until the whole process is over and the plan put in place (2016) that the NPS could not enter into a Memorandum of Understanding with SPA or any other group, legally. We will try and get a MOU when the time comes. I would like to think that the NPS would like to have SPA as an ally in the stewardship of the Springs.

Salt Peter

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Posts: 613
Yesterday I went through the proposals. It isn't too hard to digest especially with the table format version. I did go through the full proposal of plans. Is there a way to get a MOU with the park on behalf of SPA? I do hope we can mix/match parts of each plan to come up with a workable version for everyone. Even though I'm sure most of us would like the "Take No Action" plan it is doubtful the park is gonna go that way. At the opposite end of the spectrum it seems it would take a lot of money to eradicate any sign of the springs as they have come to be. Let alone that plan is quite sad and would face opposition every step of the way.
Major Tom

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Posts: 353
Funny that you heard before I did! LOL. I wrote the park this morning and just got the word.
James Sel

Posts: 361
Extended to 04/27/14; now get er done!

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Posts: 15
Thanks to Major Tom and the SPA for such an educational coverage of the various aspects of the plan. They were helpful in submitting my comments, in that they should have a greater impact. Nice work!

Posts: 55

The  scripted Management  Plan Alternatives requests us to respond to stated items only.  It does not refer to removal of Palm trees at Lower or Palm but only Upper sprs.  It does not refer to  eliminating  burros and people from Upper sprs.   It does not refer to potable water for dish washing.  All may have been discussed at the govt meeting and MAY become issues but for now all they are requesting is a response to what is written.  I feel it is important to respond only to what they are asking of us in the written request,      till further.   

Posts: 10

I want to thank all the folks who have spent their time and energy going to the meetings and reporting back. You’re doing a great service! There’s a small group of us in the Bay Area who have met and are communicating to formulate a response to these alternatives. From what I’m gleaning from the thread, it makes sense to respond to the individual issues instead of just the alternatives as a whole.

Personally, I’m taking Major Tom’s advice and plan to respond more than once. My first response will be a description of what the Saline Valley community and traditions mean to me. I’m running with the perception that the NPS personnel tasked to make this decision don’t really grock what we have going on here. I’m going to argue that these folks inherited/created their authority over this community and that they have a tremendous responsibility not to do it any unnecessary harm.

In further responses I intend to address the issues of special concern to me point by point. I find Jukebox Mark’s broken out list of the issues very helpful here.

I’d like some community input on the first item on Mark’s list: Camping Areas. This is one of my greatest concerns. It seems to me that defining campsites will almost certainly restrict the number of folks who can camp at the springs. The further restrictions proposed will definitely do so. I suppose the expectation is that if full, you’ll turn around and drive back out of the Valley, that would come on hour 10-12 of my drive. This is a box of nails in the coffin lid to any of the Saline holiday traditions that draw a significant crowd. Traditions like these are precious. They are not born easily and they’re worth fighting for.

I have three questions concerning camping: 1) is establishing a standardized camping procedure a priority for the NPS? 2) do the proposed 200 ft. camp-free zones around water sources draw those zones around the source pools or around all pools at the springs? 3) where does the referenced wilderness boundary lie? It would be great to have an estimate of the percentage of loss of potential camping area per each level of restriction.

I’m sure that most everyone would agree that the journey out to the Valley requires some flexibility. Dubious road conditions, snow filled passes and dangerous temperatures might make the trip in or out difficult to impossible. For me, the very nature of place asserts some order of flexibility just because my head may not be ready to enter or exit. A reservation system would be catastrophic to the community and to those who love the springs and don’t feel any further association. For one, I argue that the reservations would fill in no time and they would fill the database and not the springs. It shouldn’t take too much education and a minimal amount of dedicated thought process to color the proposition ugly.

paul belanger

Posts: 264
Refer to a thread here in about dishwashing stations.  They DO care about washing dishes in non-potable water.  It goes against standard plumbing codes to plumb a structure so as to wash dishes in non-potable water.  I talked with Kathy Billing about it myself.  The very least necessary would be filtration and/or grease traps, and very specifically worded and durable signage.  She seemed open to that idea at the time.
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