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News.bytes Extra, issue 481

U.S.-Mexico Border Field Coordinating Committee meets in El Centro area

Sixty representatives from the U.S. and Mexico participated in the biannual meeting of the Department of the Interior U.S.-Mexico Border Field Coordinating Committee (FCC) in El Centro, California on May 3-4.  Hosted by the BLM’s El Centro Field Office, the group enjoyed proximity to a variety of renewable energy (and other) projects, discovering that the El Centro Field Office leads the nation in the number of these applications received.  A strong recreation program also helps to keep the office busy year-round. (text continues below)

a group of people pose for a photo in the desert
On a field trip to the Yuha Desert, the group (briefly) followed the trail of Spanish Explorer Juan Bautista de Anza.

Presentations on the first day included cooperative U.S. and Mexican conservation strategies for the flat-tailed horned lizard, lessons learned from the 7.2 Mexicali earthquake, a renewable energy panel, coordination between Border Patrol and U.S. resource agencies, and implementation of the DOI Southwest Climate Science Center.  Participants were greeted by the five members of the Imperial County Board of Supervisors and BLM El Centro Field Office Manager Margaret L. Goodro.  FCC chairperson Delfi Montano and BLM California Border Coordinator Greg Thomsen led the organization of this bi-national forum. 

The following day the group headed out to the field for on-site visits.  Tour highlights included a stop in the Yuha Desert to discuss the Anza National Historic Trail, a tour of Imperial Valley College Desert Museum and a visit to Airport Mesa.  The mesa provided a scenic view into Mexico and a spot to discuss border infrastructure and mitigation, as well as renewable energy and electrical transmission projects in Southern California and North Baja.  The day ended with a presentation and tour at the Campo Reservation Kumeyaay wind farm.  Participants from the two nations provided perspectives from both sides of the border on the emerging technologies and development of renewable energy, as well as cultural and natural resource issues important to both countries.

tour members watch a speaker in a college meeting room
Committee participants enjoy a tour of Imperial Valley College Desert Museum.

-Joya Szalwinski, BLM El Centro Field Office, 5/17/11

BLM-California News.bytes, issue 481
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Last updated: 05-17-2011