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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: 47
I didn't check if they were posted at the Palm Spring bulletin board, but they were posted on the wall of the Palm Spring bathroom and a lot of discussions were started "in line", only to be continued in the Volcano or Wizard pools later on [wink]

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Posts: 371
There was quite a bit of chatter in camp regarding the comment period.  Several folks took it upon themselves to spread the word among those who were unaware of the situation.  All the alternatives are posted on the bulletin board at the Lower Springs, along with the address and deadline info.  (I forgot to personally verify that it's also posted on the Palm Spring bulletin board, but I was told that it was.)  Everyone I spoke with seemed truly concerned that if we don't act now, we might lose something that we'll never get back.  The concern is there, I just hope the motivation to follow through is there as well.

Thanks to everyone who helped get the word out.

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Posts: 31
How was this weekend? Did people get the info and are they fired up to write in?

Posts: 3
I have made some copies of the NPS documents to pass out. Twenty of them. After the weekend is over, everyone will know what's going on.
Big Jeff

Posts: 102
Tom is right about free speech and passing out materials. The chief ranger told me that no organized meetings with a set time and place were allowed but casual gatherings and discussions, such as at the pools and fire pits, were OK. Going campsite to campsite was not allowed. She also told me we could print more of the NPS documents for distribution as they had a limited number. The chief ranger was nice and took the time to research the subject

Posts: 25
Everything is getting so darn political.  Gezz, its getting to where ya can't get away from it all......except with a dry martini looking at the great views of Saline valley and all.  Can't wait to get back down there.
paul belanger

Posts: 247
"Formal meetings are not authorized in Saline Valley and SPA information cannot be handed out as formal material. As always, anyone can have conversations and discussions informally in the park. Saline Valley is not a designated First Amendment location"

Keyword here is "formal."  If a few like minded persons happen to be in the valley on a holiday weekend, and information, spoken and/or written, is exchanged, that would be definitely considered "informal" in just about anybody's book. 

I just can't imagine the Park Service is going to attempt to stifle this type of communication, which no matter where the location, is first amendment protected right to speech and peaceable assembly. 

I believe they don't want information being presented as approved by them, which is perfectly reasonable on their part.

Posts: 87
I don't want to get off on a tangent with this remark and ultimately it's not worth fighting now, but I'm trying to remember what part of the First Amendment mentions "designated First Amendment locations."  Maybe there's case law about this that I'm unaware of, but I'm a child of the Sixties and took advantage of my First Amendment rights a number of times at places that the Feds probably considered to be other than designated First Amendment locations.  Their use of the word "informally" regarding conversations about this important subject leaves a loophole big enough to drive a motor home through.  

Posts: 56
Tim. Sutherland:
Sorry I did not respond sooner but Kathy and I were out of touch. At the Furnace Creek meeting, I was talking with a very pleasant NPS lady from Denver, she was not particularly concerned about clothing optional as other Nat. Parks have isolated areas that are optional, she named 3, Cape Canaveral, Cape Cod and one other which I don't recall; there may be others.

Commando Paul:
I would be opposed to active involvement of an attorney at this juncture, but certainly OK for one-on-one discussion with legal council. Involvement of an attorney usually causes things to become adversarial prematurely; at this time I believe it is best for us to be proactive in problem solving. However, if we fail, then we might need legal council; I sure hope not.

Unfortunately, Kathy and I will not be at the springs for Prez weekend, so will miss face-to-face discussions.

Major Tom

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Posts: 349
I put in a request for an extension in writing today.

Posts: 56
Due to the relatively large number of elements to be considered; I believe a time extension for responding is necessary.
Major Tom

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Posts: 349
Here is the word from the Superintendent's office:

The National Park Service management plan draft alternative information has been placed on the bulletin board at Saline Valley. Additional materials are being sent out and it can be downloaded from the website above when people get home after the big weekend.

Formal meetings are not authorized in Saline Valley and SPA information cannot be handed out as formal material. As always, anyone can have conversations and discussions informally in the park. Saline Valley is not a designated First Amendment location.The National Park Service draft alternative information will be placed in common use areas but no other non-NPS materials are allowed to be placed in the area.  Other SPA members have been provided this information by Chief Ranger McKinlay-Jones regarding handing out material and formal meetings.

I rest my case.

Hi Desert Warrior

Posts: 205
I was at the Ridgecrest meeting and talked with Kathy Billings.  I found her very open and respond to my question in a positive way.  Do to many persons wanting to talk with her, I kept my questions to the items that were very important to me.  Hazardous Materials storage, dishwashing station, and auto repair support.  Much to my surprise she asked me if I would like to see more palm trees.  I said yes.  She said how many and where?  I thought at least three at the palm springs.  Two at the wizard pool in such a location to block the afternoon sun and one at the volcano pool to provide shade in the late morning.  Both location of the palms would also provide a wind break during windy times.  She seemed open to that idea.  Very important, she wanted everyone to post their ideas on the NPS web site questionnaire.  There are over a thousand registered people on this site.  I think if only two thirds placed a posting it would have a lot of clout.  I came away from the meeting feeling very positive and was impressed with Billings demeanor and positive attitude in regards to the springs.    

Posts: 295
Could we also request at least a couple more public meets on the issue? We had very short notice for them and they were all in one week. It made it tough for us out-of-owners. I intend to suggest another meeting when I write to the NPS (again).
Bob, I agree with the sink issue. Our current system bothers me too. We might even suggest that SPA members install (to NPS specs) a waste water system, and maintain it like we do the tubs.

Posts: 131
I can see why an objection to the dishwashing runoff because of the food particles and gray water, but that is easily rectified in a trap and septic structure, just like the NPS built pit toilets to manage the human waste.
Bob from Tahoe
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