On Saturday, September 29, volunteers across the nation will celebrate National Public Lands Day, the nation's largest hands-on volunteer effort to improve and enhance the public lands Americans enjoy. Seven of these projects will take place in Arizona on or near Bureau of Land Management (BLM) public lands.
Projects are currently scheduled for:
· Ironwood Forest National Monument
· Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument
· Sonoran Desert National Monument
· Vermilion Cliffs National Monument
· Mount Tipton Wilderness
· Colorado River Nature Center
· Sanchez Civilian Conservation Corps Camp
The BLM will waive standard amenity and individual day use fees on National Public Lands Day, Saturday, September 29, 2012. In Arizona, day use fees will be waived at: Burro Creek, Wild Cow Springs and Windy Point Recreation Sites near Kingman; Crossroads Campground and Bullfrog, Bass Point and Quail Hollow Day Use Areas near Lake Havasu City; Painted Rock Campground and Painted Rocks Petroglyph Day Use Area southwest of Phoenix; Hot Well Dunes Recreation Area outside of Safford; St. David Cienega/Land Corral, Fairbank Historic Townsite, San Pedro House and Hereford Bridge Trailhead near Sierra Vista; and Squaw Lake Campground and Boat Launch, Senator Wash Boat Ramp and Day Use Area, Senator Wash North and South Shore Campgrounds, Betty’s Kitchen Watchable Wildlife Area, Oxbow Recreation and Wildlife Area and Ehrenberg Sandbowl Off-Highway Vehicle Area outside of Yuma. Other fees, such as overnight camping, cabin rentals, and group day-use, will remain in effect.
National Public Lands Day keeps the promise of the Civilian Conservation Corps that worked from 1933 to 1942 to preserve and protect America’s heritage, alive by engaging citizens in the enhancement of natural and cultural resources.
In 2011, more than 170,000 volunteers worked at 2,067 sites in every state, the District of Columbia and in many U.S. territories. These NPLD volunteers:
· Collected an estimated 23,000 pounds of invasive plants
· Built and maintained an estimated 1,500 miles of trails
· Planted an estimated 100,000 trees, shrubs and other native plants
· Removed an estimated 500 tons of trash from trails and other places
· Contributed an estimated $17 million through volunteer services to improve public lands across the country
You, too, can be part of this amazing national effort!
Want to help? Here’s more information:
Participants for work projects should wear outdoor appropriate clothes (long sleeves and long pants recommended), sturdy shoes, hat, and sunscreen. Bring water bottles and gloves if available. Work project coordinators will provide tools and equipment, and work project instructions.
Ironwood Forest National Monument and Saguaro National Park: 7:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Removal of buffelgrass, an invasive nonnative plant that threatens the entire Sonoran Desert, will benefit both the Ironwood Forest National Monument and Saguaro National Park. No experience is necessary. This project is recommended for volunteers 16 years and older. Participants can help the BLM and NPS pull, dig and bag up buffelgrass.
Where: Meet at the Red Hills Visitor Center of Saguaro National Park, 2700 N. Kinney Road; project site is along Manville Road.
Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument and Gold Butte Area of Critical Environmental Concern (joint event): 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Volunteers will help revegetate areas impacted by the While Pass Fire, restore illegal trails, clean up trash, remove invasive species, and install signs, a kiosk and road/trail markings.
Where: On and around Virgin Peak
Sonoran Desert National Monument: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Another buffelgrass removal project will take place at the Sonoran Desert National Monument.
Vermilion Cliffs National Monument: 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Participants can watch up to three California Condors be released to the wild from the Condor Viewing Site on Vermilion Cliffs. The release will take place at 11:00 a.m. (Arizona time). Spotting scopes will be set up and experts will be available to answer questions. Activities will occur from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Bring binoculars, sunscreen, water and a snack (lunch items will be available to purchase).
Where: California Condor Release Site – Take Highway 89A from Kanab, UT/Fredonia, AZ, to the Vermilion Cliffs (from Flagstaff or Page, take Highway 89 to Highway 89A). Turn north onto BLM Road 1065 (a dirt road next to the small house just east of the Kaibab Plateau) and continue almost three miles. There is a restroom at the site.
Mount Tipton Wilderness: 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Volunteers will join Kingman Field Office staff to remove abandoned pipe, metal and plastic from the wilderness.
Sanchez Civilian Conservation Corps Camp: 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., followed by lunch
What: Volunteers will join BLM staff and local Boy Scouts to enhance this historic site, the best-preserved CCC camp in Arizona. Participants will cut and remove creosote bush that has taken over this historic site; efforts will include the entire camp site including paths, common areas, building sites, parade grounds and parking area. Rock-lined walkways and building sites will be redefined. Signs will be installed to identify each building.
Where: Meet at the Safford Field Office 711 14th Ave., at 6:30 a.m.; car caravan to the site. You can travel directly to the site if you know the way.
And later this year:
Black Canyon Heritage Park Grand Opening: Saturday, November 10, 10:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
What: Celebrate the grand opening of Black Canyon Heritage Park. BCHP is a gateway to various natural and cultural features of central Arizona: the Agua Fria National Monument, Black Canyon National Recreation Trail, the Colorado Plateau, the Phoenix metropolitan area, the past and present traditions of Native Americans, and the influence of mining and ranching operations. The grand opening will highlight the resources that BCHP is meant to conserve and celebrate, and will also feature the groups and individuals that contributed to this amazing accomplishment. This fun-filled event will incorporate activities for the whole family—plus, it will be accompanied by the Black Canyon City Car Show and the Veterans Day Parade (both are right next door). The BLM will recognize the exceptional BCHP volunteers during the ribbon cutting ceremony at the Grand Opening.
Where: Black Canyon Heritage Park, 33955 S Old Black Canyon Hwy, Black Canyon City, AZ 85324
Colorado River Nature Center: Saturday, November 17, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
What: Lake Havasu Field Office staff and volunteers will tackle vegetative maintenance, garbage pick-up, facility maintenance, trail and watchable wildlife refinements, and environmental education and interpretation efforts.
Mittry Lake: Saturday, December 1, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., followed by a cook-out
The Yuma Field Office is hosting a work project that includes general cleanup of BLM areas with fishing access. Some volunteers will also work on restoration of the Betty’s Kitchen Interpretive Area that was impacted by wildfires.
Where: Mittry Lake, Fortuna Pond, Redondo Pond and the confluence of the Colorado and Gila rivers; Betty’s Kitchen.
The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land – the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. In Fiscal Year (FY) 2011, recreational and other activities on BLM-managed land contributed more than $130 billion to the U.S. economy and supported more than 600,000 American jobs. The Bureau is also one of a handful of agencies that collects more revenue than it spends. In FY 2012, nearly $5.7 billion will be generated on lands managed by the BLM, which operates on a $1.1 billion budget. The BLM’s multiple-use mission is to sustain the health and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. The Bureau accomplishes this by managing such activities as outdoor recreation, livestock grazing, mineral development, and energy production, and by conserving natural, historical, cultural, and other resources on public lands.