Will Red Rock Canyon SP become the ORV industry's next victim?

In 1994 the California Desert Protection Act transferred 17,000 acres of Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Lands to California State Parks (CSP) as an addition to Red Rock Canyon State Park. Called “the Last Chance Addition,” the transfer was intended to provide “maximum protection” of its amazing landscapes, wildlife, fossil deposits and archaeological resources. During the last 14 years under CSP’s management, those resources have seen steady decline, largely due to the refusal of CSP to deal with the growing assault on park resources by off-road vehicles.

Under pressure by PEER and other conservation groups for the past 5 years, CSP has finally initiated a General Plan Amendment for the entire Red Rock Canyon State Park. Our hope was to finally get the promised protection for RRCSP’s important natural and cultural resources. Unfortunately, the Off Highway Division of CSP has been given inappropriate influence over the planning process, and the OHV lobby is pressing hard to maintain and increase OHV access within the park.

The scoping period for the Red Rock Canyon State Park General Plan has been extended until a Draft EIR is completed. Please take time to send a letter.

The current status of the planning process can also be accessed online at: http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=25064.

If you are a teacher, talk about the wonders of education in Red Rock Canyon. If you are an artist, talk about the inspiration and passion Red Rock brings to your work and your life. If you are a birder or a wildflower enthusiast talk about the diversity of both within the park and how rewarding your spring visits have been to see wildlife and enjoy the emerging desert wildflowers. If you love the clear desert nights and enjoy stargazing, talk about these peaceful pursuits. Send your letter to:

 Russ Dingman
California State Parks, Tehachapi District
43779 15th Street West
Lancaster, CA 

Phone: (661) 726-1672

Or email: rdingman@parks.ca.gov


Dear Mr. Dingman:

Please provide the maximum protection for Red Rock Canyon State Park intended by the Desert Protection Act!

Make the following points in your letter, as appropriate:

1)    Red Rock Canyon State Park is one of the most beautiful and scientifically diverse landscapes in all of California. Its scenery is unique and unmistakable. Rare plants and animals abound within its hollows. 

2)    Red Rock enjoys wide popularity and when properly stewarded attracts an impressive array of California, national and even international users. 

3)    Red Rock Canyon represents both an intricate and a fragile ecosystem. This sensitive terrain can be and has been negatively impacted by inappropriate uses. Positive actions must be taken to reduce or eliminate these documented impacts.

4)    The Red Rock Canyon State Park General Plan Revision must incorporate the long-term preservation and perpetuation of the park’s most important heritage and values. The present management strategies are not sustainable. Greater protections are necessary, such as creating Natural and Cultural Preserves within the park to further protect the parks most sensitive resources.

5)    Red Rock Canyon is classified as a “State Park” and as such must reflect the same management strategies, protections and values as those incorporated in the recently completed Anza Borrego Desert State Park General Plan.

6)    Two-thirds of Red Rock Canyon State Park represents lands transferred from the federal government with the understanding that significant new protections would be implemented. After 14 years of state management, these protections are been seriously and inexplicably lacking and must be incorporated within the General Plan Revision. 

7)    The park’s wetlands or riparian resources are especially important and sensitive resources within desert ecosystems. These park resources must receive the protection called for under both California and federal laws.

Please add me to the state’s mailing list to receive notification of future state park meetings and comment windows.