U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
Bright Star celebration!
On a Saturday in mid March, 40 people assembled off of Piute Mountain Road in northeastern Kern County to celebrate a 434-acre addition to the Bright Star Wilderness. The addition was donated to wilderness by the National Audubon Society, who bought several private in-holdings and edge-holdings from willing sellers in the area. (See News.bytes Extra, issue 471) (text continues below)
The new addition permanently protects a previously unincorporated portion of Kelso Creek, a perennial steam with an extensive riparian area. It also provides the public with easy, street vehicle access to the wilderness area.
Ceremonies commenced with a description by Reed Tollefson of the Kern River Preserve of the process that Audubon followed to acquire the parcels and make them ready for donation. Two of the willing sellers, Ben Rudnick and Richard Rudnick (coincidentally a California Desert District Advisory Council member), spoke of their delight in seeing the land permanently protected and conserved for posterity.
Greg Thomsen, National Landscape Conservation System lead from the California Desert District, thanked Audubon and acknowledged the BLM staffers involved with making the donation happen, principally Scott Eubanks, Al Stein, Chris Roholt, Mark Conley and Lauren Pidot. Hector Villalobos, manager of the BLM's Ridgecrest Field Office presented Reed with a plaque of appreciation from BLM for all his hard work and perseverance.
A cake in the shape of the new Audubon addition to the Bright Star Wilderness was rolled out to much applause and laughter. The day concluded with a leisurely, family friendly hike down to the banks of Kelso Creek, brimming with water.
- Marty Dickes, wilderness coordinator, BLM Ridgecrest Field Office, April 2011
|Last updated: 04-12-2011|