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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2015 11:07 pm 
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Please forward on via Facebook if you can so we can spread the word: https://www.facebook.com/SDMBA

Action Needed - Help Save the Palm Canyon Epic

Response needed by March 29! See below:

A Draft Environmental Impact Statement addressing environmental effects of a proposed land exchange between the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians (Tribe) is now available for public review and comment. http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/fo/palmsprings/santarosa/Agua_Caliente_Land_Exchange_Extension_of_Comment_Period.html

Several of the proposed exchange scenarios, including the "Preferred" scenario, would remove sections of "The Palm Canyon Epic" from public ownership. We need everyone to send in comments in support of keeping trails publicly owned, before March 29th. A sample letter that you can cut-and-paste, add your name and personal experience, then send, is below.

PLEASE SEND A COMMENT ASAP! Your comments do have an impact. This Draft EIS was motivated by public comments from a 2010 plan: "The public previously commented on the proposed land exchange in response to the BLM’s release in 2010 of Environmental Assessment CA-060-0010-0005. A high level of controversy was stimulated by the proposal; comments were received from 144 individuals, ten organizations, and three governmental entities. Based on public comments and upon further internal review, it was determined that preparation of an environmental impact statement is necessary to address potentially significant effects of the proposed land exchange." Lets aim for over 1000 individual comments this time, WE NEED YOU to help keep one of the best trails in SoCal open to mountain bikes.

Scenario 1 would keep the Palm Canyon Epic and a popular hiking trail as BLM land and gain a parcel from the Tribe containing trail. On this map, parcels in red are BLM land up for trade in the other scenarios, but would stay BLM in Scenario 1. Yellow are BLM land that will become Tribe in Scenario 1, and orange is Tribe that will become BLM in Scenario 1. The trails are shown as black/red dashed lines.

Questions? Post them below.

Please also send to your Congressperson http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/ and the Congressman from Palm Springs https://ruiz.house.gov/email-me.

SAMPLE LETTER
Quote:
FAX to (760) 833-7199,
email to AguaCalienteExchange@blm.gov
mail to: National Monument Manager, Bureau of Land Management, 1201 Bird Center Drive, Palm Springs, CA 92262

Subject: BLM-Agua Caliente Land Exchange


Dear National Monument Manager,

I am submitting comment on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (Draft EIS) for the proposed land exchange between the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians (ACBCI). I support Scenario 1, which would keep all the BLM parcels containing popular trails (T.5S. R.4.E. section 36; T.4S. R.4E. section 16 & 36) as BLM managed land and help reduce the "checkerboard" landownership by consolidating BLM land base. These trails should remain within public ownership to preserve recreation and access, as the ACBCI has historically not allowed mountain bike access on their trails and charges for hiking/equestrian access.

To increase the viability of Scenario 1, the appraisal should consider that the ~2 ACBCI parcels lack infrastructure for traditional (dense high monetary value) suburban development and have similar value as the ~6 BLM parcels proposed for exchange in Scenario 1. All other Scenarios are not in the environments or public's best interest.

The "Palm Canyon Epic" (Palm Canyon-Indian Poterro-Hahn-Cathedral Canyon-Wild Horse-Goat Trails) is nationally regarded as the best long distance desert mountain bike ride in Southern California. I strongly support having the entire trail system under BLM management (including a short rerouting of Indian Poterro to not cross ACBCI land) so that future generations can experience the natural beauty and remoteness of the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument on their mountain bikes. Recreation such as mountain biking, hiking, and horse back riding help promote the protection of public lands.

Sincerely,
Name
Address

cc: Congressman Ruiz
My US Congressman


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2015 12:34 pm 
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Already sent my letter in and forwarded it to all the regulars I ride with....we do this ride twice a year. It's not my favorite but it's a killer day overall and you definitely feel a sense of accomplishment when you ride the whole thing as intended.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2015 8:57 am 
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BUMP!

Comments due tomorrow, Mar 29.

If you don't have time to copy + paste the above into an email you can also sign on to IMBA's letter:

https://www.imba.com/alert/help-protect ... epic-trail


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 12:35 pm 
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Bump - since evdog and Dirtrider were talking about the Boo Hoff trail in POD.

Anyone got an update? I can’t find a current item. Near as I can tell, the agreement went through, but hasn’t been published or made effective yet.

http://www.deserttrailscoalition.org/

I had no luck finding an update on BLM site.

Here is an interesting history link about Palm Springs trails. I think I posted it years ago, but can’t find that thread again.

https://www.palmspringslife.com/the-desert-riders/


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 1:52 pm 
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Based on the changes that have been made since this was posted in 2015, I'm going to assume some sort of agreement was made and that is why new signage went up.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 2:58 pm 
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k2rider wrote:
Based on the changes that have been made since this was posted in 2015, I'm going to assume some sort of agreement was made and that is why new signage went up.


Yes, an agreement was reached in 2016 per that Desert Trails Coalition site. Do you have a link to the finalized trail changes or photos of new signage?


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 6:55 pm 
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I don't think the land exchange was ever settled. After the last comment period the BLM was supposed to come to a decision on which of the alternatives to select and then there would be a decision notice and public comment period. But every time Ben would contact them the decision has been pushed back. I haven't heard anything since late last year. Google brings up nothing dated after 2015.

The signs that went up at Indian Potrero and a few other trails were put up unilaterally by the tribe as far as I know. The thought was they were trying to use that to piss people off so they'd put pressure on BLM to make its decision. Don't know if that is true or if they were just being assholes, which is probably since they hate bikes.

My big concern is our wise government voted last year to make all federal lands zero value. This could help the tribe in the land swap because it could bolster their argument that the 8 parcels they would get are equal value to the 2 BLM would get, since 0 = 0. If common sense or fair market value are used, this exchange as originally proposed is bullshit.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 8:18 pm 
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Well, actually google brings up the link I posted above. But I couldn’t find anything newer than late 2016, including on the BLM, Federal Register, and Agua Caliente Band sites.

Attachment:
A78E6D75-74F7-44F2-B9AB-23CD268D1D89.jpeg
A78E6D75-74F7-44F2-B9AB-23CD268D1D89.jpeg [ 80.41 KiB | Viewed 1661 times ]


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 9:41 am 
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The Oct 7th 2016 update doesn't sound very good...anyone check the Federal Register? Not sure how to do that.

For those that need a refresher on what land is being swapped, map I put together:
https://caltopo.com/m/7930

Last update I got from BLM was in March 2016 and then Ben took over:
Quote:
The exchange package is about ready to be transmitted from the BLM California State Office to the BLM Washington Office. Once the Washington Office has approved the package, the Final EIS will be available for public review along with the Record of Decision. At that point, the Record of Decision is subject to written protest for a period of 45 days. Right now, the schedule shows the Final EIS and Record of Decision being published in June.

Everyone on my email list for the exchange will be notified once publication occurs.


But I just emailed BLM asking for an update.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 9:42 am 
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Got a
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The e-mail address you entered couldn't be found. Please check the recipient's e-mail address and try to resend the message. If the problem continues, please contact your helpdesk.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 1:28 pm 
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Thanks 406. Yes, I did search the Federal Register for BLM docs each of the last three years, and found nothing on the land swap. Curious.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 5:26 pm 
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I asked Ben if he had heard anything. The monument manager retired, and Ben things it may have been sent back to Washington for further work due to the large number of comments received. That said, it didn't sound like he was actually able to talk to someone knowledgeable about it, so who knows....


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 11:42 am 
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^^^ Washington... not able to talk to someone knowledgeable...

Makes total sense to me.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2018 11:46 am 
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Just got email blast from BLM, just skimmed, looking like good news.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2018 2:57 pm 
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I got the same email but no maps so I had no idea where they are talking about the boundaries of the land swap

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