U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
 
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News.bytesNews.bytes Extra, issue 355


Grand opening of the El Mirage Visitor Center

The grand opening of the El Mirage Visitor Center took place on Oct 25, 2008. The ceremony, organized by the Friends of El Mirage and the BLM's Barstow Field Office, was attended by almost 300 people who enjoyed a fajita lunch and a firsthand look at the new facility. (text continues below)

BLM-California State Director Mike Pool and Daphne Greene, deputy director of the California Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Commission, cut the red ribbon to "officially" open the El Mirage Visitor Center
BLM-California State Director Mike Pool and BLM Barstow Field Office Manager Roxie Trost cut the red ribbon to "officially" open the El Mirage Visitor Center

BLM State Director Mike Pool welcomed the many people who made the construction possible and commented that the visitor center was “a great example of how agencies can work with the friends group to make something positive happen for the area’s visitors.” Ed Waldheim, Friends of El Mirage, presented appreciation awards to Mike Pool and to Roxie Trost (Barstow Field Office Manager), Steve Borchard (California Desert District Manager), and Daphne Greene (Deputy Director of the California Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Commission). After the presentations, Mike Pool and Daphne Greene cut the ribbon to officially open the Visitor Center.

The El Mirage Off-Highway Vehicle Area is located in the Mojave Desert on the western edge of San Bernardino County near the Los Angeles County Line. Receiving more than 83,000 visitors last year, the area provides for a variety of activities. It is visited by people with dune buggies, quads, motorcycles, gyrocopters -- and rocket cars, for time trials conducted on the dry lake bed.

The Visitor Center was largely funded by the State of California and the BLM, and operated by the Friends of El Mirage. The Friends operate a bookstore at the center, sell permits and provide information.

A photo of the visitor center graced a cake
A photo of the visitor center graced a cake

Well-wishers take lunch next to a mural
Well-wishers take lunch next to a mural

A host at the lunch table takes a break
A host at the lunch table takes a break

Ed Waldheim of the Friends of El Mirage presents BLM-California State Director Mike Pool with a "thank you" plaque, one of several he bestowed at the ceremony
Ed Waldheim of the Friends of El Mirage presents BLM-California State Director Mike Pool with a "thank you" plaque, one of several he bestowed at the ceremony

 

Just in case ... a display of snakes asks visitors to "Please Do Not Touch." Other displays and booths offered information on BLM's abandoned mine lands program, cultural resources, environmental education for students, fire prevention and more.
Just in case ... a display of snakes asks visitors to "Please Do Not Touch"

See a 360-degree virtual tour of the El Mirage Visitor Center (note: you can click on the button under "tour audio" to pause or stop accompanying music).

- Michael Ayers, 10/08.  Photos by Mickey Quillman and Michael Ayers


BLM-California News.bytes, issue 355


 
Last updated: 10-30-2008