PLEASE HELP US KEEP THIS VERY IMPORTANT BACKCOUNTRY ROAD OPEN
It was recently learned that the Center For Biodiversity, Sierra Club,
and others are flooding BLM and Forest Service fax machines with comment
letters requesting the total closure of Furnace Creek to motorized
Yesterday alone, the BLM received 500 letters supporting the closure.
This is NOT the Furnace Creek located within Death Valley but another
Furnace Creek in the White Mountains between Bishop, CA and Dyer, NV.
Thanks to Randy Banis of Death Valley Dot Com we now have our own
Internet fax software to easily send faxes to the BLM and Forest Service
support a modified version of Alternative #6 which would keep the long
existing road open for public use. The comment period is open until
February 17 so we have enough time to offset the closure advocates mass
Please help us keep this fabulous backcountry experience open to the
public. Go to <http://www.deathvalley.com/action/furnace_creek.shtml>
in the appropriate blanks, scroll down the page, review the letter, and
click on the "send my fax" button. A fully customized letter with your
name and address will be automatically faxed to the BLM and Forest
and a copy returned to you via e-mail for your records.
The Furnace Creek Road is an incredible 8.5 mile road on the eastern
side of the White Mountains that begins near Dyer Nevada. The road was
originally built at the turn of the last century for ranching and
It was improved with heavy equipment in the early 1950s. The road passes
old mines, old corrals, an elaborate old cow camp, and many points with
breathtaking vistas. Up until the CBD lawsuit, it was one of the best
secrets and used almost exclusively by locals. Roger Mitchell, in his
book, "Inyo Mono Jeep Trails", states, "Furnace Creek Road undoubtedly
offers one of the most interesting jeep trips in the county. Mitchell
on to say, "Unlike many canyon roads, the jeep trail up Furnace Creek
not just happen. As you will soon see, the route has been carefully
constructed. In places where the canyon bottom was impassible, a-road
bulldozed out of the canyon wall". The road, at least the two-track
portion, ends at Tres Plumas Flat, a most beautiful aspen dotted flat
situated at 9200 ft. elevation. There are several deer hunter's camps
dispersed in the aspen groves. The view from Tres Plumas Flat is
astounding and makes one think of a calendar quality photo.
The Inyo National Forest Land Use and Management Plan designated the
entire Furnace Creek Road corridor to Tres Plumas Flat as
Motorized Recreation". The environmentalist have fought for 20 years to
close the road because it would be a corridor into their proposed
wilderness legislation, however, there has never been adequate resource
concerns to justify closure. There are no Threatened or Endangered flora
or fauna, no fishery, or any other identifiable significant issues. The
riparian issue is associated with only a very tiny portion of the road.
fact, there really isn't any creek as there is no water flow except
spring runoff and heavy rains.
PLEASE PASS THIS MESSAGE ON TO ANY FRIENDS OR ASSOCIATES THAT SUPPORT
PUBLIC ACCESS TO PUBLIC LANDS.
This information is provided by Ron Schiller, Chairman, High Desert
Multiple Use Coalition. As usual, please feel free to pass this
information on to any other interested parties. Anyone wishing to
receive future information regarding issues related to the management of
public lands in the California Desert should send an e-mail to
and request to be placed on the distribution
list. Please print "PLEASE ADD TO LIST" in the subject line.