News.bytesSPOTLIGHT ON PARTNERS
An occasional feature of BLM California's News.bytes

United Desert Gateway

In a unique partnership, BLM and the Chambers of Commerce for the cities of El Centro, Brawley, and Yuma, AZ joined forces in 2004 to form the United Desert Gateway (UDG). The UDG is aimed at developing support, improving communication and broadening cooperation with gateway communities as well as other interests associated with the ISDRA and other BLM managed lands in the region.

Below: BLM Director Kathleen Clarke (from left), and Nicole Gilles, UDG Director, look on as BLM's former California Desert District Manager, Linda Hansen, signs the formal UDG agreement, in September 2004.

The UDG partnership, led by Nicole Gilles, Executive Director, Brawley Chamber of Commerce, recognizes that the management of public lands in the region presents a significant opportunity to build collaborative stewardship that will allow participation by local Gateway Communities, the off-highway vehicle community and other interest groups in public land management planning, stewardship/education/outreach programs and to respond to impacts of public use on public land such as the ISDRA.
A formal Assistance Agreement among the partners was signed in September, 2004 with BLM Director Kathleen Clarke in attendance that laid out the UDG’s goals to include: assist in developing stewardship, education and outreach programs for the ISDRA and to respond to impacts to their local communities due to public use of the ISDRA. Initial UDG objectives in the short-term include:

Billboards -- 16 of them in Imperial County --carry safety and stewardship messages:
This billboard reads: "Welcome dune visitors! Together, let's preserve our playground and features sponsor logos and a picture of an OHV roaring through the dunes.

BLM Director Kathleen Clarke with an anti-littering poster featuring Leo - part of the litter education campaign currently in progress:
BLM Director Kathleen Clarke with an anti-littering poster featuring Leo - part of the litter education campaign currently in progress.

Nicole Nicholas Gilles of the UDG hosts a ceremony on the presentation of a trailer donated by Weekend Warrior to BLM for law enforcement use in the south dunes:
Nicole Nicholas Gilles of the UDG hosts a ceremony on the presentation of a trailer donated by Weekend Warrior to BLM for law enforcement use in the south dunes.

For further information, see the UDG’s website at www.uniteddesertgateway.org or contact Nicole Nicholas Gilles (760) 344-3160.

- January 2006 -

News.bytes, issue 214

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