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SDMG Article Index

Public Lands Editorials, Op-Eds
and Desert District Advisory Council (DAC) Reports

Society activities

 

West Mojave Route Network Project (WMRNP)

Comment Period CLOSED (June 14, 2018)

Federal Register doc 2018-05272
https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2018-05272

BLM prepared a Draft Land Use Plan Amendment (LUPA) and Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (DSEIS) for the West Mojave Route Network Project (WMRNP) within the West Mojave (WEMO) Planning Area of the California Desert Conservation Area (CDCA). A 90-day comment period was opened on March 16th. The WMRNP is a significant component of the DRECP implementation. Read why the WMRNP is important for Rockhounds

 

Maps used to finalize motorized routes in California's deserts found to be severely flawed.
Stakeholders formally ask BLM for 90-day extension.
Read the entire article »

Several stakeholder groups surveyed selected areas within the WEMO boundaries to compare against BLM's maps provided for public comment on the WMRNP. The maps are so flawed that thirty-nine individuals and organizations, including eight rockhounds and one paleontological society, signed onto a letter asking the BLM to extend the comment period an additional 90 days, to September 12th. More time is needed for the public to grapple with the 16,000 miles of routes composed of 300,000 individual route segments (each and every one of which is clickable for comment). There are numerous redundant (overlapping) route segments with unique WEMO ID numbers, which should be consolidated into one set of segments. In addition, there are few labels and there is no separate Rockhound layer to enable hobby collectors to see what routes are relevant to their interest, specficially.

A May 30, 2018 letter prepared by Sheara Cohen et al. asking for an extension of the comment period was rejected by California BLM Director Jerome Perez on June 13th.

Many rockhounds submitted comments before the June 14th deadline, including rockhound advocates who submitted a letter (with attachments) that covered three topics all related to the WMRNP and the comment period process itself, in addition to route specific comments:

  1.    The letter memorializes the authors' communications w/ BLM and problems rockhounds and other stakeholders identified using the maps.
  2. a. The letter requests fixes to bad/questionable data or data discrepancies, better labeling.
  3. b. The letter requests an extension to the comment period after BLM fixes the bad data and/or difficult-to-use maps.
  4.    The letter resubmits past comments from WEMO-related and other geographically and subject related projects such as DRECP on gem-mineral collecting areas and route data. It was the impression of many rockhounds that the DRECP comments would be incorporated into the WEMO maps.

It would have been preferable to divide the contents into three separate letters, but given the time available, it was a single submittal. The authors thought it was likely that they were re-submitting information submitted by others previously and already in the WEMO database, but trying to sort out thousands of comments on thousands of miles of routes was beyond their best efforts, so erring on the side of caution lest anything was left out of the maps that should have been included, past submittals to WEMO and other BLM projects were re-submitted for the current DRAFT WMRNP.

 

 

Which twin has the Toni? BLM has made available two versions of maps for public comment on the West Mojave Route Network Project (WMRNP) – georeferenced PDF maps and an online interactive GIS map. Among the numerous problems with both versions is that the two sets of maps do not match. In a screenshot of the online map shown above, the highlighted (pink) route in the Cady Mountains is shown as a motorized route (lime green), but in the same view of the PDF map, the highlighted route is a translinear disturbance (brown).

 

 

WEMO & DRECP

Draft WMRNP LUPA/DSEIS [Docket: 2018-05272]
Authors: Kim Erb, Lisbet Thoresen, Jim Parrish, Andrew Hoekstra
06/14/2018
Comment letter (11 pages).

Copy of letter submitted to BLM via email posted on SDMG website
Comment letter submitted to BLM on behalf of Rockhounds on the Draft Land Use Plan Amendment (LUPA) and Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (DSEIS) for the West Mojave Route Network Project (WMRNP) within the West Mojave (WEMO) Planning Area of the California Desert Conservation Area (CDCA). The letter (with redactions) is on the SDMG website at:
http://www.sdmg.org/blmdocs/20180614_Thoresen_Erb_etal_comment_letter_WMRNP_FR2018-05272_redacted.pdf
or short url: https://goo.gl/AzSvhD

 

WMRNP: BLM response to request for comment period extension
Author: California BLM Director Jerome Perez
06/13/2018
BLM response to May 30 letter from Cohen et al. requesting 90-day extension on WMRNP comment period to September 12, 2018. Request denied. June 14th deadline reaffirmed.

http://www.sdmg.org/blmdocs/BLM0014927.FINAL_SIGNED.Response_to_May_30_Request_for_WMRNP_Extension.pdf
or short url: https://goo.gl/zBgEHD

 

WMRNP: Request to BLM to extend comment period 90 days
Author: Sheara Cohen, The Wilderness Society, et al.
05/30/2018
Comment letter co-signed by 39 individuals and organizations, including eight rockhounds and one paleontological society.

http://www.sdmg.org/blmdocs/WEMO_extension_request_20180530.pdf
or short url: https://goo.gl/LwqaWY
Attachments: http://www.sdmg.org/blmdocs/WEMO_routes_GIS_issues_CBD_20180426.pdf
http://www.sdmg.org/blmdocs/WEMO_data_irregularities_20180430.pdf

 

BLM proposal to open DRECP to plan-level review
Author: SDMG et al
03/22/2018
Comment letter co-signed by 10 gem-mineral societies and 14 rockhound advocates opposed to opening DRECP to review.

http://www.sdmg.org/blmdocs/SDMG_DRECP_FR2018-02098_letter_20180322.pdf
or short url: https://goo.gl/p6D43Q

 

DRECP Transitioning to Implementation
Author: BLM
02/24/2017
Interim draft report presented at DAC mtg, 2/23/2017

http://www.sdmg.org/blmdocs/DRECP_transition_to_implementation_2-24-17.pdf
or short url: https://goo.gl/mfxls6

 

 

Draft DRECP
Author: SDMG
02/21/2015
DRECP NEPA/CEQA [Docket: 09‐ RENEW EO‐01]. Comment letter (48 pages).

Docketed on DRECP website »
A clean scan of the identical letter is on the SDMG website at:
http://www.sdmg.org/blmdocs/SDMG_DRECP_comment_ltr_20150223.pdf
or short url: https://goo.gl/ZNPbPe

 

Archive: Letters & Notices

DAC Reinstatement
Author: SDMG.
05/11/2017
Request to reinstate the Desert District Advisory Council meetings.

http://www.sdmg.org/blmdocs/SDMG_Zinke_letter_request_reinstatement_DAC_20170604.pdf
or short url: https://goo.gl/K6Pg4V

 

RAC Reinstatement
Authors: 71 DOI Resource Advisory Committee members.
05/11/2017
Request to reinstate the meetings and activities of the Resource Advisory Councils.

http://www.sdmg.org/blmdocs/RAC_Reinstatemen_Request_Letter_20170511.pdf
or short url: https://goo.gl/YC0ouj

 

PRPA
Author: Southern California Paleontological Society (SCPS).
02/03/2017
Docket No. NPS–2016–0003. RIN 1093-AA-16. Comment on proposed Rule on Paleontological Resources Preservation Act of 2009.

SCPS's letter had 61 signatories, including SDMG.

http://www.sdmg.org/blmdocs/SCPS_PRPA_comment_letter_20170203_final.pdf
or short url: https://goo.gl/Rewue6

 

SGMNM
Authors: SDMG and CFMS.
10/17/2016
San Gabriel Mountains National Monument Plan and Land Management Plan Amendment #46964

http://www.sdmg.org/blmdocs/SDMG-CFMS_comment_letter_SGMNM_Management_Plan_final.pdf
or short url: https://goo.gl/h2DP1n

 

National Monuments

Nat'l Monuments Review
Author: 24 members of Congress
11/09/2017
Letter to President Trump with recommendations on recissions to 27 National Monuments, including five in California.

https://westerncaucus.house.gov/uploadedfiles/11092017_final_monuments_letter_to_trump.pdf
or short url: https://goo.gl/cjCosq

 

 

Rockhounding in Nat'l Monuments
Author: Senator Dianne Feinstein
05/12/2016
Letter to DOI Secretary Sally Jewell in support of rockhounds.

http://www.sdmg.org/calnatmonuments/Feinstein_to_Jewell_support_rockhounding_CalNatMonuments_20160512.pdf
or short url: https://goo.gl/bnEn5j

 

 

 

 

 

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