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News.bytesNews.bytes Extra, issue 324

 Desert lilies in bloom

A desert lily in early bloom, three white six-pointed flowers with more ready to bloom on the stalk above them
(photo Desert lily courtesy of Linda Dunger, desert visitor)  

The beautiful desert lily is blooming now in the California Desert near Desert Center in Riverside County.  The photo above was taken recently along Interstate 10 near the Desert Lily Sanctuary.

BLM administers the popular Desert Lily Sanctuary, officially designated by Congress in 1994 as part of the California Desert Protection Act (see description below) which reinforced BLM’s administrative protection of the area dating back to 1968.  The Sanctuary is located on State Highway 177, just 7 miles northeast of Desert Center.

The desert lily is usually found in dry, sandy flats below 2,000 feet. The plant's bulb lies dormant, sometimes for many years, waiting for the perfect blooming conditions. The plants can reach several feet tall with blossoms about two inches long.  The best time to visit the Desert Lily Sanctuary is February through April.

California Desert Protection Act

Pub. L. 103–433, title I, § 107, Oct. 31, 1994, 108 Stat. 4483, provided that: 
“(a) Designation.—There is hereby established the Desert Lily Sanctuary within the California Desert Conservation Area, California, of the Bureau of Land Management, comprising approximately two thousand forty acres, as generally depicted on a map entitled ‘Desert Lily Sanctuary’, dated February 1986. The Secretary [of the Interior] shall administer the area to provide maximum protection to the desert lily.
“(b) Withdrawal.—Subject to valid existing rights, all Federal lands within the Desert Lily Sanctuary are hereby withdrawn from all forms of entry, appropriation, or disposal under the public land laws; from location, entry, and patent under the United States mining laws; and from disposition under all laws pertaining to mineral and geothermal leasing, and mineral materials, and all amendments thereto.” 

- 3/08

BLM California News.bytes, issue 324

Last updated: 03-26-2008