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 Agua Caliente-BLM Land Exchange, Palm Springs South Coast Field Office, Bureau of Land Management Californial and comment.
Several of the proposed exchange scenarios, including the "Preferred" scenario, would remove sections of "The Palm Canyon Epic" The Palm Canyon Epic trail from the 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 SDMBA and 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, CalTopo - BLM land exchange 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 Find Your Representative · House.gov and the Congressman from Palm Springs https://ruiz.house.gov/email-me.
Please complete a short survey after submitting your comment. http://click.icptrack.com/icp/rclick...26cid%3D148361Code: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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