Ridgecrest Roundtable

July 23, 2015 Minutes


Meeting began with a welcome from Chairman Randy Banis. The July Agenda was approved. May Minutes were approved and June Minutes were amended by Dave Mathews and approved.   Meeting continued with introductions and comments.  


Sam Merk announces a proposed Water Bill by McCarthy. Kern County came out with a new Draft EIR on Oil and Gas.  Hearings will be held at a later time.   She announced several meetings to be held in various locations on the broadband issues of Frontier buy-out of Verizon.  One meeting will be held in Ridgecrest on August 20th details unknown at this time. Another meeting will be held in Mammoth Lakes on August 23rd . Your attendance will be greatly appreciated. Will Liebscher offered anyone who would like more detailed information to please ask him.


Joe Martori shared with us that someone has illegally dumped down Sleepy Bear Mining’s North Eastern shaft filling it with trash.  It is an important discovery shaft dated back to 1930. It was shared with the group   If two pieces of mail with same address can be found in debris, it is enough evidence for citation. A representative from Rand Mining will be attending next month’s meeting. Roger Dipaolo who represents small mining, continues to spread the word to the different small mining clubs and organizations; the importance of responsible prospecting and treating the public lands as if it was your own back yard. New guest attended this meeting, Bob Wood of the Desert Tortoise Preserve Committee.


Robert Pawelek gave an update on the Wild Horse and Burro Program. The BLM reached the adoption program target for fiscal year 2015. The goal of 150 has been exceeded with an approximate total of 160 with a few months left to go. WEMO is still being worked on to get a final out. The DRECP EIS will be released this Fall with a ROD (Record of Decision) in February 2016.


No Focus Topic for meeting. The meeting continued with membership reorganization. Several members and their interests were rearranged.   Several meeting ago Will Liebscher was nominated to become a member of Roundtable and it was determined he is now a member and will represent the 3rd general public seat. Sam Merk was moved from being an alternate to a general public member.   Dave Mathews will represent the general public also. Arzell Hale accepted the large mining seat. Earl Wilson accepted the Astronomy seat.   Bob Wood accepted the Desert Tortoise Preserve Committee seat.   Mike Powell accepted the Rand Water District seat.   A few other seats need to be addressed.   The group agreed that any discussion about a certain seat the member must be present.   Due to the members absence their seats will be an agenda item for future meeting.


A discussion of McCarthy’s plan to expand China Lake south into the Cuddeback area was made last year.   A portion of the land was acquired but now the McCarthy proposes to acquire the rest of it.  Randy Banis has written a draft letter on this issue. As a group, the roundtable brainstormed and re-constructed the letter on the China Lake Expansion to be sent out the next day after re-reading by Mark Algazy and Sam Merk.


The proposed Bylaw Change was voted and approved by members.

Next meeting will be August 27 at 6:30 p.m. at Ridgecrest BLM Field Office.