News.bytes News.bytes Extra, issue 252

Living history in San Diego

Greeting visitors at the

Local staff and volunteers from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and Old Town San Diego State Historic Park staged a living history reenactment of the exploration and surveys of public lands at the Historic Park on September 30, 2006, in recognition of the 13th annual National Public Lands Day (NPLD).

Eight BLM staff and volunteers were joined by six State Park staff and volunteers and one former wild burro for the event. The General Land Office and survey camp was used to demonstrate how the exploration and surveys of the public lands in the west led to the BLM Public Lands, National Parks, Monuments, Forests, and Wildlife Refuges the public enjoys today. The State Historic Park offers living history programs every month. The BLM/NPLD program was the living history event for the month of September.

A visitor learns some history, among displays of animal pelts and other historical artifacts

Old Town San Diego State Historic Park is the most visited unit of the California State Park system. The living history survey camp was open on the historic Old Town plaza from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM on Saturday. The BLM talked with several hundred visitors about the General Land Office, the Homestead Act, and other important milestones in the history of the public lands. Visitors viewed 19 th century survey instruments, public land maps, scientific specimens from public lands (animal skins, fossils, etc.), and demonstrations of surveying techniques and map making. Visitors also received “deeds” to their 650 million acres of public lands. A modern display of today’s public lands and BLM literature brought the story up to the present.

BLM staff and volunteers that participated were John Kalish, Paul Kalish, Justin Seastrand, Joyce Schlachter, Janaye Byergo, Greg Hill, Tracy Albrecht, and Lance Albrecht.

A burro joins the other volunteers

Submitted by Greg Hill, BLM Palm Springs-South Coast Field Office (NPLD Coordinator)

BLM California News.bytes, issue 252