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News.bytes Extra, issue 482

Springtime fun

This spring season was a flurry of partnership activity for the BLM's Barstow Field Office. Kicking off the season were the Friends of El Mirage with their annual Spring Fling hosted at the El Mirage Visitor Center on March 26.  Vendors attended to showcase some of the many recreation opportunities available at the El Mirage Cooperative Management Area.  (text continues below)

The Easter Bunny sits among students as an adult leads a program
Children attended the Jr. Ranger Program with the Easter Bunny followed by an egg hunt.

a young student lies back in a land sail craft
Children get to ride in a land yacht -- while it’s anchored down of course!

Next on the spring agenda was Earth Day.  This year the Barstow Field Office Desert Discovery Center partnership joined forces with the Barstow High School Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Academy and hosted a huge Earth Day event at the local high school on April 20.  The theme of this year’s community Earth Day event was “Save Our World” and nearly 900 5th & 6th grade students and 400 high school students were able to attend.  Partners and vendors provided 25 different hands on “Earth Friendly” activities ranging from disaster preparedness training to painting murals of various desert plants and animals.  The event was a huge success promoting environmental awareness in a fun and festive atmosphere.

students pose with signs on the steps of a building
STEM students await the arrival of 17 bus loads of 5th and 6th graders.

painting on a large sheet on the floor
Students paint a beaver tail cactus mural as part of their Earth Day rotation

The following week we headed to Shoshone, CA to participate in the Amargosa River Project Celebration.  A “sign cutting” ceremony was hosted at the Crowbar Café celebrating the transfer of three properties from the Nature Conservancy to the BLM.  The Nature Conservancy found the diverse habitats in and around the Amargosa River to be high-priority, biologically rich, threatened lands in need of long-term protection.  This land acquisition is a demonstration their long term commitment to work collaboratively toward shared goals with their federal partners.

A sign in the desert states "Entering Public Lands"
Insert pic #5—The actual sign along Highway 127 that was removed and staged at the Crowbar Café for the “sign cutting” ceremony.

a woman and a man hold saws that cut a red ribbon in front of a sign that states "entering your public lands"
Desert District Manager, Teri Raml, and Bill Christian from the Nature Conservancy, prepare for the “sign cutting” ceremony.

Icing on a cake includes a photograph of desert area with mountains and the words "Amargosa River Project"
A celebration cake depicting a picture of the beautiful Amargosa Canyon

Once again, the Friends of El Mirage pulled off a great event.  The 12th Annual El Mirage Day, held on May 7 was well attended and very productive.  Nearly 170 volunteers participated and were successful in filling a 40 yard dumpster, planting several native plants near the adopted Joshua trees, painting shade ramadas, and working on lakebed maintenance.  Although the Friends host two large annual events, they continue to make a difference in the El Mirage Cooperative Management area all year long.

a man speaks into a microphone to a group
Ed Waldheim, President of Friends of El Mirage, along with several members continue to make a difference at the El Mirage Cooperative Management Area.

As the BLM faces the growing challenge of accomplishing more work in the field with fewer operating funds, it becomes more imperative to utilize volunteers and partners in accomplishing our mission.  The Barstow Field Office is thankful for these valuable human resources and looks forward to future joint endeavors.

- Rose Beardshear, volunteer coordinator, BLM Barstow Field Office, 5/24/11

BLM-California News.bytes, issue 482
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Last updated: 05-25-2011