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Northern California District
Release Date: 04/01/10
Contacts: Jeff Fontana , BLM , (530) 252-5332
  Karin Evans , WLT , (970) 963-6068
News Release No. CA-N-10-53

Wilderness Land Trust Donates Emerson Creek Land to BLM

The Wilderness Land Trust recently donated 160 acres of formally private property in far northeast California to the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) for management as public land.

The property is near the Surprise Valley community of Eagleville, along Emerson Creek in eastern Modoc County.  It adjoins the South Warner Wilderness and is within the BLM’s South Warner Contiguous Wilderness Study Area.

It was the last remaining private property inholding in the South Warner Contiguous Wilderness Study Area, and provides habitat for a variety of wildlife including mule deer and elk.

The property also provides good public access to the Emerson Creek Trail, one of the only trails on the eastern side of the South Warner Wilderness, which is managed by the Modoc National Forest.   Visitors can use the trail to reach Cole and Eagle peaks, and spectacular views of Surprise Valley from over 9,000 feet in elevation. 

“This acquisition makes it easier for the South Warner Contiguous Wilderness Study Area to be managed in a way that protects wilderness values.  Wildlife and people will benefit from this acquisition,” said Wilderness Land Trust President Reid Haughey. 

“After we received the property donation, we conducted a closing inspection of the property and saw elk, an unusual sighting in this area, and fresh mountain lion tracks,” said Ken Collum of the BLM Surprise Field Office.  “We are very pleased to now have the site in public ownership.  We look forward to managing it for protection of its wilderness characteristics.”
The BLM’s South Warner Contiguous Wilderness Study Area adjoins the South Warner Wilderness, one of the first wilderness areas designated under the 1964 Wilderness Act.  The South Warner Wilderness is one of California’s most remote and least-visited wilderness areas.

The Wilderness Land Trust
The Wilderness Land Trust is a small, highly specialized nonprofit organization established to buy and protect wilderness land. Since it was founded in 1992, it has preserved more than 344 parcels comprising more than 31,000 acres of wilderness inholdings in 76 designated and proposed wilderness areas. The Wilderness Land Trust, a 501 (c) (3) organization, has offices in California, Colorado and Washington State.  For more information visit

The Bureau of Land Management
The BLM manages more land - 253 million acres - than any other federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The bureau, with a budget of about $1 billion, also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's multiple-use mission is to sustain the health and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.  More information is available at


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Last updated: 04-01-2010