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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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Major Tom

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 #61 
I am going to make a point of asking about the dish-washing.  It would greatly impact the area to remove the stations. I would like to identify what their concern is, and then perhaps we can address it. 
SunMan

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 #62 

"Any ideas why they want to get rid of the dish washing stations?"

I suspect it has to do with the use of non biodegradable soaps and the food scraps.
Major Tom

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 #63 

Today, in anticipation of the Ridgecrest based public meeting on the DEVA Saline Valley Warm Springs EIS Preliminary Alternatives review, I have been sitting down and looking closely at the table that compares the alternatives. If you haven't seen it yet, I am including it as an attachment for your review.

Short of the NPS adopting the No Action Alternative, which seems overall unlikely, what strikes me is the need to suggest some mixing and matching of alternatives. This is an option for us, as stated in their ALTERNATIVES NEWSLETTER:

 

"Your review and comments on the preliminary alternatives will help us refine them and guide the planning team in developing alternatives to be analyzed in the Plan/EIS. Once fully developed, one of the alternatives could be selected as the NPS's preferred alternative or a new alternative could emerge that combines elements from some or all of the preliminary alternatives."

 

A good case in point might be that by selecting the No Action Alternative is attractive on many of the Management Elements, but might not be practical or reasonable or the best course on all Elements, and as someone who has worked long and hard on representing the public interest through SPA, the No Action Alternative precludes the NPS establishing any MOU with SPA toward helping to define future policies and projects. The Community Engagement Alternative does allow for and MOU and agreements with user group, which might mean SPA.

 

 

I have a long list of questions for tomorrow night that may help shed some light on what many aspects of the alternatives means. It is not necessarily clear to me at the moment. For instance, with respect to the Auto Repair Support Services, what do they mean by "not meeting CA code"? Pardon the expression, but seems there is a lot of Lee-way here, perhaps.  Be assured I will share what I find.

And I am sure there will be opportunities to respond and comment more than once, as information comes to light.

 

MEANWHILE …. I have had quite a few folks asking me what SPA thinks, or what they should say. Organizations such as the Sierra Club and the AARP make it their common practice to think for their constituents, and direct their actions. In my opinion, that is not what SPA is about.  We are here to help represent you, not you represent SPA. We want to know what you think, in crafting our Position Statement to the Park. Once that is crafted and shared, you might want to get behind it or not, but it will likely be toward the tail end of the comment period, once we have as much input as we can gather. If you support the idea of SPA, share YOUR thoughts with us!

 

Comments can be made on the Park Website at: http://parkplanning.nps.gov/document.cfm?parkID=297&projectID=39438&documentID=56823

 

I will ask about the proper mailing address and pass that along.

Major Tom

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 #64 
The settling pond would be the goldfish pond. I am seriously hoping we can mix and match alternatives to categories, and plan on making that my very first question tomorrow night.

SYNCRO

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 #65 
Having just re read the NPS plan I support the no action alternative. It refers to a "settling pond". Where is that?
When I was at the springs in October I was surprised how many regulars I spoke with that didn't respond to the first survey. I hope we get more people responding this time!
Any ideas why they want to get rid of the dish washing stations?
timothy_sutherland

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 #66 
I support the No Action Alternative.

Saline.jpg

PahrumpGeorge

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 #67 
Maybe I was not real clear on a couple points.
Those which I talked to and invited to visit the springs, did not refuse to do so. We must remain aware that they are employees doing a job to which they were assigned; this is not a labor of love for them. As employees, they are acting within the framework of their assignments and time constraints, thus we should expect that most activities will occur during their normal work schedules. If their work assignment required them to go camping, they probably would; they are not going camping at Saline for a few days on their own time and expense. If the government would pay for such activities, then I want their job. I do believe that if some of us were to go camping for a few days and invite them to join us, if even for a day, they might do so.

Just supporting or rejecting an alternative in total, does not provide NPS with any real useful information.  Also, I do not believe that NPS or their consultant are addressing any issues wherein there has been serious complaints or a history non-compliance issues. As mentioned in the above post, the dishwashing station serves a real beneficial purpose, if there is a real problem, them let us identify and resolve it. The same applies to auto repair, very necessary, but maybe there could be improvements. Each "element needs to be addressed in a similar manner. Clothing optional did not appear to be of real concern as there are a few other national parks with limited nudity. 

Hope this helps. Ge.
Hi Desert Warrior

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 #68 
Looking at the alternatives- I support #1.  and #2 except removal of dishwashing stations and most important not to remove all auto repair support services.  I don't see where it does not meet CA code.  As Lee doesn't have a sign saying auto repair service and doesn't do engine overhaul.  He helps people get their broken down car running to get back to the highway for service.  Just I would help someone without water and give them water to make it back to the city without dying of thrust.  Lee doesn't repair cars as a business.  Sounds like someone complained to the Park service that Lee is running a business.  It couldn't be undead, could it? naaaa.
timothy_sutherland

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 #69 
If an invite to those on the committee to come to the springs as a user were not well received, that means that they don't understand the culture of the springs or probably the significance of the cultural history over the past fifty years and are uncomfortable with it. Is anyone educating them on this? I don't know all of it or most of it for that matter, all I know is I've been coming with the family for the past seven years and it's been amazing! I have also come to understand that nudity and sexuality are two very different things. I've traveled the world and nudity isn't an issue in many places because people don't make it an issue. I find that culturally in Saline Valley there is no issue if one chooses to use the springs any way they like. Sounds like the America I want to live in, the home of the free. We get one life, I hope that those government officials let US live it.

At any rate I thought it would be good to point out the past fifty years historically/culturally and why this should be celebrated and preserved. Thanks.
paul belanger

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 #70 
The Furnace Creek meeting figured to be the last well attended, being where it was. Lone Pine and Ridgecrest should be better attended. I'll be at the Ridgecrest meeting.
Spider

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 #71 
First off, thank you so much for taking the time to attend the meeting as well as to write up your observations.

I had a feeling that the numbers of Salineers showing up would be small, in part because the meetings are in the middle of the work week, and because the driving distance is just too much for some.

Your suggestion to propose a meeting out at the Springs makes sense to me. 

I really hope this will have some decent outcome for us.... 
PahrumpGeorge

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 #72 
Kathy and I attended the NPS/Saline meeting last night at Furnace Creek along with only a very few other Salineers. The meeting was not a formal structured presentation, but was formatted for one-on-one discussion of the issues; there were approx. 3 NPS rep's. (including their environmental consultants) per attendee. Obviously the NPS had expected and prepared for a much larger turn out. If I were the NPS, I would interpret the poor attendance as possible sign of indifference on the part of Salineers. I truly hope that our attendance at the next two meetings will be  substantially greater and in keeping with our concerns and the magnitude of the potential impact of the issues being considered.

The NPS is required to prepare a management plan for the springs area; this is a reasonable requirement for any Gov. agency. Based upon my discussions at the meeting with both NPS personnel and their environmental consultants, I believe they are trying to act in good faith and that the final outcome has not yet been pre-determined. It appears that their environmental consultants are doing most of the gathering of information and preparation of the matrix of potential issues. It is my belief that the NPS and their rep's. are receptive to meaningful and objective dialog, but that may be difficult without much better attendance that meetings. I believe that our written responses to the issues may not be as effective as personal contact.

The decisions for the preliminary impact report will be determined by a "Team" which is made up of several NPS personnel from different departments, their environmental consultants and someone from Inyo County; conspicuous by their absence is anyone from the public users group. Further, I was unable to identify any member of their Team with experience  actually using the springs or intimately interacting with those of us which do. It appears that most, if not all, of the Team Members have only been to the springs as part of one day trips where they were only able to observe activities on very limited and arms length basis. This lack of hands on experience of the Team Members at Saline, is a serious shortfall and may well lead to un-necessary and invalid conclusions on the issues by the Team.

This shortfall is why it is so important the we Salineers provide objective input, both pros and cons, on each and every "element" contained within the "Comparison of Preliminary Alternatives" matrix. At the meeting, I encouraged the NPS rep's to go to the springs as a user, this was not well received. Possibly we Salineers should invite them to the springs on a day trip and personally, on-site, discuss each and every "Potential Issue". I believe we can make a positive difference.

Happy soaking. Geo.
paul belanger

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 #73 
MK -- you said ==

"It seems like most everyone would agree to wear a bathing suit in exchange for leaving everything the way it is."

Are you kidding me?  I would be totally upset if some government type told me I have to wear a bathing suit in the springs.  There are also obvious issues with persons washing clothes in the water I soak in.  Our tradition has always been that one cleans oneself in the showers and then soaks naked.  This traditions helps keep the pools clean.

What about the cultural heritage of OURS?  Why does not the Saline Valley Tribe's (SPA) cultural heritage count for anything??  The Timbusha-Shoshone indigenous persons are making claims to the land based on activities that allegedly took place 100 or more years ago, but have long since been discontinued.  How can the NPS just disregard our claims of cultural heritage, the evidence of which are easily viewed in the desert today?  Are their claims more valid than ours?


minner

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 #74 
The NPS has all of its Ducks in a row. While these issues were of no real concern to BLM now they are under the NPS.
I hope those of you who have a better understanding of the NPS's wishes have an idea of where this might lead!

To those of you who are passionate about this place, like so many of us are, I hope you are able to stay calm and  collective when you are representing the future of the springs. It would be nice not having to laid down all of our chips before knowing what their most important items are.

The remoteness of the springs is a good thing, however the easiness of individuals to post their vacation on some social media site in my opinion has bit us in the butt! Places like the spring were only talked about with personal close friends. Now all you need to do is type in the name and hell people have directions in getting you there!

Those of you good natured individuals who are going to attend the meetings please lat us know how you would like us to respond to the NPS.




Sam D.

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 #75 
In case anybody's wandering, this URL will lead you to the Potential Issues identified by NPS (Mike Cipra):

http://parkplanning.nps.gov/document.cfm?documentID=47178

Read Potential_Issue_2.pdf document. Nothing has happened but there is a "potential".
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