Saline Preservation Association

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Macfly

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 #1 
Thanks so much for the report, and the excellent work of preserving what we love. Look forward to seeing y’all out there this spring.
timothy_sutherland

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 #2 
Thank you so much for all your conversations and hard work to protect the place we love as is!

Romy

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 #3 
Thank you for the update.  It sounds pretty promising considering where it started.
Jukebox Mark

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 #4 
It will be interesting to see how the NPS handled the National Register process. If the management plan calls for de facto compliance with National Register criteria, then I guess it won’t matter if the SHPO process has been completed ahead of plan implementation.
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Perhaps what we hold most in awe about nature is its majestic indifference to humanity.- Mark Algazy 
P3Tacco

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 #5 
That does sound good. Especially good news about the burro roundup.
Salt Peter

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 #6 
Thank you for sharing the news. All things considered it sounds very good.
SilverBob

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 #7 
There was no mention made of Tribal involvement, but I'm sure it will be addressed in the Management Plan.
James Sel

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 #8 

In hindsight...."the sky is falling, the sky is falling!!!...their going to bulldoze the springs"

 

Thanks for the report SB

speakeasy

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 #9 
Any news about the tribal involvement ?
SilverBob

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 #10 
P3Tacco, thanks for reminding me.  The burro round-up is scheduled to begin in Saline Valley next month.  Somehow, Saline Valley was moved up on the priority list from number 5 to number 3.  Visitors can expect to see professional Ass-Wranglers in the valley very soon!

I saw at least 7 burros in the immediate vicinity of the Lower Springs during the Presidents' Day weekend.  Several people were petting and feeding them, and rumor has it that someone was cited for doing so.  I can't confirm this, but I heard it from 3 different sources.
Jukebox Mark

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 #11 
This is great news Bob. I remain happy to help the BOD craft the documents .
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Perhaps what we hold most in awe about nature is its majestic indifference to humanity.- Mark Algazy 
P3Tacco

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 #12 
Yep, not bad!  Thanks again for all that you and SPA do!

P.S. Do you have any updates on the burro roundup? Are there still a large number at the springs or few and far between?
SilverBob

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 #13 
On Feb. 18th, Superintendent Mike Reynolds and several members of his staff came out to Saline Warm Springs to hold a meeting with the SPA Board.  The purpose of the meeting was to introduce a couple new staff members to the Springs and to SPA, as well as to discuss the final Management Plan for the Springs and the MOU between SPA and the NPS.  All of the SPA Board members were present, except for Michelle Hamiltion who had a prior work commitment.  Since I am Michelle's husband, I was invited to attend as an observer to relay to Michelle what went on. 

Superintendent Reynolds opened by announcing that the Management Plan is completed and is scheduled to be sent to his boss, the Regional Supervisor this week.  After he approves it, it goes to Washington to get the final blessing from the Secretary of the Interior.  30 days after that happens, the plan goes into effect.  Reynolds and his staff were sure that this approval process is almost guaranteed and there should be no further delays.  He also suggested that as soon as possible after the plan is in effect, he wants to sign the long-awaited MOU with SPA.

Oregon John reminded him that since SPA still doesn't know exactly what is in the final plan, he couldn't really comment on anything.  The Plan is not yet ready for full release to the public, but Reynolds and his staff gave us an overview of what was changed since the Preferred Alternative was published, based upon the several hundreds of comment letters they received from the public.  Here are a few highlights:

The perimeter fencing plan has been scrapped altogether.  Now the plan calls for "Decorative Fence" around the source pools.  The example cited was the existing fence around the lawn.

The grass on the lawn has been reclassified as "Invasive, but Contained".  That means that as long as we don't allow it to spread, they won't rip it out.

The existing "mature" Palm Trees will not be removed, but new growth will be stopped.  At this time, they weren't able to say exactly how tall a Palm has to be to be considered "mature", but at least there's hope.

There will be NO FEES charged for camping at the Springs.  As it has been, we still need a Death Valley Entry Pass or Annual Pass, but the camping will always be free.

In time, as the budget allows, NPS will be providing standard Park Service fire rings/grates that will replace the larger rock fire rings that folks have built over the years.  SPA will be able to provide input to the number and locations at that time.

The Burro Spring siphon will be removed by Park personnel. The Park's Botanist has convinced the Superintendent that the established Mesquite trees don't need the water to survive, and that stopping the flow will assist in keeping non-native grasses from becoming established in the draw.  We'll see.

We obviously didn't cover the entire Management Plan, as the meeting only lasted a little over an hour.  I did hear enough to believe that Mike Reynolds and his staff actually did take our concerns and comments into consideration, and that wherever possible, found a way to incorporate them into the final Plan.  Several things have changed since the Preferred Alternative was published and it seems like they are the things that we complained loudest about.  I'm cautiously optimistic that the Management Plan, while not perfect in my view, will be something we can live with for a long time, and it's a hell of a lot better than it could have been!
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