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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Hi Desert Warrior

Posts: 210
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: 294
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: 148
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
Major Tom

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Posts: 353
There is a place to vote in a poll at the top of the page, but I have you counted FreeFlight!  Looking back through the earlier posts, I see a lot of questions about what this means and what that means, and I have gleaned some insight, which I will be sharing as I go along. Too much information to cover all at once, which is WHY WE NEED AN EXTENSION! Next topic coming up: what's up with those sinks? Manana!!


Posts: 2
An extension? - Yes please!  My life is currenly "full to bursting," but, I would very much like to weigh-in on the proposed management alternatives.  Thank you, Major Tom, for keeping us appraised of this process!  ~  Lisa 

Posts: 4
I guess this is where we vote for an extension, I vote yes, the more time for us the better.

Major Tom

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Posts: 353
Email JUST sent out to membership: 

Greetings friends,

Here is the latest installment of what will be an ongoing series of mails relating to the DEVA Saline Valley Warm Springs Management Plan EIS as can be reviewed at:  If you are new to this mailing list, and want some of the previous emails, let me know. There may be a few of you.

I recently attended the Ridgecrest public meeting where park staff and the public had an opportunity to speak and exchange ideas face to face. I used the opportunity to help clarify what I thought were a few ambiguous issues within the Management Elements and proposed alternatives offered. I have once again attached a copy of this table for your easy review.

There is a lot to discuss, and I will bring up a limited number of points in each upcoming email so as to not overwhelm the reader.

 ·         Firstly, there are 29 different elements to the proposed management plan. There are five management alternatives for each element ranging from NO ACTION to RESTORATION at each end of this series.

  • ·         We can, and MUST mix and match alternatives to elements.  Many people are commenting: TAKE NO ACTION and leaving it at that. It is not possible for the NPS to take NO ACTION as there are certain issues at the springs that currently violate the law and/or health codes. I will discuss some of these at greater length later.
  • ·         If you say: TAKE NO ACTION and nothing more substantive is offered in the way of constructive suggestion, it is as good as saying nothing, and the NPS will then take whatever action it deems appropriate.
  • ·         You will maximize your input if you make constructive comments on each element in the EIS.  I was able to talk at length with Kathy Billings, the Park Superintendent, and she encourages us to identify what is important and special to your experience of Saline Valley and to memorialize it.  Let the Park know how you want to experience Saline Valley in the future.  If you give them constructive suggestions (rather than "do Nothing"; "It aint broke, don’t fix it", etc.) then we are being proactive toward creating the environment we want to see. The impression I get is that the Park is interested in our input. We can only hope and all we can do is all we can do.
  • ·         You will be able to offer more than one set of comments. Comment early, comment often. This has relevance as we continue to educate ourselves on the issue and form a "consolidated" position.
  • ·         We need more time to explore the options, educate ourselves on a number of aspects within the plan. We CAN ask for an extension on the comment period, which currently ends on March 28. Kathy Billings has asked that SPA enter such a request on behalf of our members.  Please vote on whether you want to see an extension or not at:  There is lots of good discussion going on at this forum too. Look for that discussion to expand in the future.

   That is enough and all for now.  Look for more mails soon. Hope you are all reading these in full!

All we can do is all we can do.



Commando Paul

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Posts: 80
D'OH!  One more... [smile]

Membership drive opportunities include signing up golfers, softballers and so on, since we are there with pencils anyway!  And for entertainment at the Potluck (a regular occurrence), we can be creative.
Commando Paul

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Posts: 80
Another quick note. The meeting we are contemplating is not a public meeting.  It is a meeting of the membership of SPA, a duly certified non-profit under US and CA regulations.  The agenda might include such items as:

- Membership drive
- Call for donations
- Dissemination of information critical to the survival of the non-profit

Tom, I don't know if this helps, and just looking for feedback from the members.

Commando Paul

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Posts: 80
Tom, George, Tim and Paul,

I wholeheartedly agree with all that you have said.  We need to gather our resources of creativity and especially volunteerism to meet this challenge and contribute to an outcome that addresses all reasonable concerns.  A couple of points reflecting on your comments:

1. Bringing an attorney onto our team is a fantastic idea.  It would be best if this person were already a Saline enthusiast and willing to go pro-bono on this job.  Any ideas?  There must be an attorney in the Salineer Tribe!

2. When it comes time to write up an official position paper (another fantastic idea), count me in!  I've written everything from scholarly papers and patents in the world of chemistry, to lyrics, poetry, blogging, and have been the author of a regular newspaper column for close to 10 years.  I'd be delighted to help with the outline and tackle some of the specific topics.

Let's go ahead and do what we know we are capable of: effectively representing the most important group within the universe of stakeholders for this place we call Saline Valley, an incredible instance of the warmth of Mother Nature and her ability to endure through the ages, no matter what us little fleas might think WE are capable of.  In 30 years of grateful use of this area, one thing that stands out is how well we work WITH Mother Nature, rather than against her.

Major Tom

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Posts: 353
This is an interesting discussion. SPA was told some years back by the Park that it could not hold public meetings or distribute material at the springs. To me this meant no freedom or assembly or freedom of speech. (I question the right to bear arms in the park as well). As to why we were told this ... that is an interesting speculation in and of itself. At any rate, I do have a request into the Superintendent to be able to gather up a meeting over President's Day, and even suggested the Superintendent's staff might want to make an appearance themselves. Even if SPA cannot get permission to hold a "rally" that does not mean that "we" can't talk about it in a group. I did not mean to open another can of worms. We have plenty of cans at the moment.


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Posts: 33
This is getting too technical. Just make it happen!
Sam D.

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Posts: 818

Copied from here:

"First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."

In Death Valley National Park First Amendment activities are permitted based on the rules for Demonstrations and Sale or Distribution of Printed Matter - 36 CFR 2.51 & 2.52. Maps of pre-approved First Amendment Locations are available. For further information please contact the Office of Special Park Use.

Permit applications are also available and there is no application fee for First Amendment activities."

I am not a constitutional lawyer but believe US Constitution trumps any NPS policies. I think ACLU should be involved.
The "approved areas" for demonstrations do not include the SVHS vicinities. I've never heard of per-approved first amendment
locations. I understand people should not be causing traffic jams etc while demonstrating but ...
So I googled for "pre approved first ammendment sites" and only NPS site for Death Valley came up.

It appears that the superintendent has too much power.
Just read the Sale or Distribution of Printed Matter
paul belanger

Posts: 264
"...the Bill of Rights does not apply and is suspended in national parks. SPA has been specifically instructed to not hold public meetings or distribute materials or post information at the springs."

HUH??  I don't see how the First Amendment can be suspended in such a manner.  This is where a lawyer's sound advice would be helpful.  It seems totally illegal for the DVNP to tell a user group it is "not allowed" to discuss something as impactful as this scoping process.  Cannot a legitimate 501C entity solicit donations and educate the public concerning their cause?  We cannot hand out leaflets?

I am not advocating outright disobedience of instructions or requests from the DVNP, but are we to be afraid to assert our first amendment rights of speech and assembly?

When were you told this, Major Tom?  By whom exactly?

Posts: 37
Well we could always print them on the starting line-ups for the softball game and distribute them before game time!!  That will be Sunday the 16th at High-Noon!!
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