by Nick Ervin
Some people want to undermine the Desert Protection Act by cutting funding.
Others tresspass with motorized vehicles and destroy posted signs. Can you
assage of the California Desert Protection Act on October
8, 1994, was a great achievement in conservation history, but it was only
the beginning in the long prrocess of defending our beloved desert wildlands.
While implementation and oversight have less glamor
than legislative action, they are essential to any success on-the-ground
in preserving local desert wilderness from degradation.
For years it has been well known that the Bureau of
Land Management (BLM) has had neither the budget nor manpower to adequately
monitor the enormous lands it has under its jurisdiction. This is especially
true for the BLM El Centro Resource office which administers the ten new
desert wilderness areas in San Diego and lmperial counties.
The BLM has had a volunteer wilderness monitor program
for several years although the numbers of volunteers have been small. Please
contact Tim Finger, the wilderness coordinator in the El Centro office (337-4442),
if interested in becoming a formal volunteer monitor.
In addition, as part of our local club's efforts on
behalf of the new desert wilderness areas, we are instituting an "Adopt-a-Wilderness"
program. An individual or individuals can easily sign up to become a "parent"
of one or more areas over which you will take some rcsponsibility for monitoring
and "nurturing." Perhaps a couple of times per year you will explore
and note any changes in your adopted area(s). We will provide you with detailed
maps and an orientation of how to care for your "baby," if you
This program is intended to be fun as well as useful!!
Please call Nick Ervin at 565-9582 for more information.
Nick Ervin is a Sierra Club volunteer and coordinator.