U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
California

News.bytes News.bytes Extra, issue 231

7th Annual El Mirage Days

The 7th Annual El Mirage Days event was judged a big success. Over 200 volunteers converged on the El Mirage Cooperative Management Area to help improve the recreation opportunities in this popular OHV area.

On Friday, May 5, more than 130 volunteers from the Southern California Timing Association (SCTA) worked diligently to repair the dry lake bed and pick up trash in preparation for one of their annual time trials. SCTA has been utilizing El mirage Dry Lake for land speed record racing of motorized vehicles since the 1930s and logs hundreds of volunteer hours each year repairing and monitoring the lakebed.

Volunteers from the Southern California Timing Association (SCTA) worked diligently repairing the dry lake bed and picking up trash in preparation for one of their annual time trials.

On Saturday May 6, another 70 volunteers showed up to participate in a variety of work projects led by the BLM. Ed Waldheim , President of Friends of El Mirage was up before the sun preparing a full breakfast for all of the volunteers.

Ed Waldheim , President of Friends of El Mirage presents a full breakfast for all of the volunteers.

BLM staffers Mike Trost and Emilio Villegas led a crew to build and set up a new trail head kiosk, to replace one destroyed by vandals.

Volunteers pose near a new trailhead kiosk they built and set up

Vicki Salazer worked with a small group of volunteers to build stairs to one of the storage bins in the maintenance yard and Harold Thomas directed a group along the lakebed cleaning out fire pits. Park Ranger Art Basulto led a large group of people to repair and maintain the numerous Joshua Trees that have been adopted and fenced for protection. In the past, these trees were were harmed by nearby heavy use, such as for staging and camping. Thanks to the hard work and dedication of former BLM employee Gina Robison, these trees were fenced off and adopted out to concerned citizens and organizations that were willing to help in ongoing maintenance needs.

Gina received funding from a green sticker grant to help make this possible. Future plans include re-vegetating the area surrounding the trees with native plants to provide habitat for wildlife and to reduce soil erosion. Also, trails and surrounding terrain will be rehabilitated, through seed dispersal and plant growth. Ramadas will be built to replace the use of the Joshua trees and discourage use of other trees in the area.

Four more trees were adopted out on El Mirage Days. The Roughwheelers adopted a tree in dire straits from the Crow's Nest area, the El Mirage Chamber of Commerce adopted #23, the MacDonald family adopted #19a, and the R & R Duners adopted #27.

If you are interested in adopting a Joshua Tree in the El Mirage Area, please contact Rose Beardshear at (760) 252-6011 for details.

"The BLM Barstow Field Office is very fortunate to have the Friends of El Mirage on board to support our multiple-use mission in the El Mirage Cooperative Management Area," Beardshear said. "Working together we can develop innovative solutions to challenges as well as improve recreation opportunities in this area."

Next year's El Mirage Days event is scheduled for May 5th and 6th, 2007. Don't forget to mark your calendar!

Below: volunteers mix concrete to set the kiosk:

volunteers mix concrete to set the kiosk

A loader helps remove debris from the desert floor:
A loader helps remove debris from the desert floor:

Certificates of appreciation for the good work done:
Certificates of appreciation for the good work done

- May, 2006


BLM California News.bytes, issue 231