Ridgecrest Roundtable

December 2, 2014

The November/December meeting began with introductions and comments. Randy Banis the chairman led the meeting.During introductions any items not on the agenda were to be discussed. Jim Kenney mentioned movement in Red Rock Canyon and suggested anyone who would like to be added to the email list for the Red Rock Canyon Management Plan email Russ Dingman at rdingman@parks.ca.gov. Sam Merk expressed the importance of the DRECP and how crucial it is that people submit comments. The DRECP will change the landscape of the desert on the classification of land definitions; i.e. limited use, etc.  This was also not noted in the Original Federal Register Notice.   Randy began his comments with an update on HR4458 among other things the bill expanded the China Lake Naval Weapons station to the south into the Black Water Well and Cuddeback Gunnery Range. The original proposal containing 20 thousand acres was scaled back and it consists of the gunnery range and two sections above it. The DAC Desert Advisory Council nominations have been called for by January 12, 2015. There are 6 seats available. An applicant must have a letter of recommendation to even be considered.

Carl began the BLM reports. A copy of the DAC report was passed around for viewing. After first of year the BLM field office will have 18 vacancies.  The corrals and fire station is now being charged for water and electricity which was previously paid for by base.  At the DAC meeting the CAPA planning process was discussed.   Carl is promoting the WEMO process at this time.  It is unclear whether WEMO will involve the CAPA Process or not.

Randy continued meeting with the topic of Senator Feinstein intends to introduce her desert bill on day 1 of congress and has been renamed California Desert Conservation and Recreation Act. Randy passed around a copy of his report for viewing. To obtain your own copy it can be downloaded from deathvalley.com/cdcra/report.

By Deneal Schiller