Current Board Minutes
Meeting Minuets 2/17/23
Four SPA board members Mike Ramsey, Fred Dickson, Timbo Hynes & Bonneau Dickson met with NPS Mike Reynolds & Rob Wissinger on the lawn at the lower springs.
Agenda for the SPA NPS Meeting 2/17/23
Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).
NPS stated their desire to renew the MOU. This should be started 10 months ahead of expatriation. Mr. Reynolds stated he is no longer the one to sign the MOU. It would be signed by his boss.
NPS Management Plan.
The plan stands as is.
The need for another Pit Toilet at the Palm Springs.
There currently is no funding for this project. NPS stated the need has been elevated, whatever that means. The type of toilet was discussed. NPS is wanting to make it a composting type. This type separates solids from liquids, dries the solids. The solids are bagged in a type of cartridge. When full this can easily be changed. First step for this type of toilet is an “engineering study”. SPA expressed that since the other three toilets were vault style, why not make the additional toilet the same? NPS reasoning is the composting style can be maintained without the need for pumping. SPA also stated we would make a considerable donation towards an additional toilet. Also discussed was SPA has offered to seek funding through a grant.
The need for a regular pumping schedule
This has been previously discussed and is an ongoing discussion. NPS has a new pump truck that did make it out to pump the toilets on 2/15/23. Mr. Reynolds agreed to present the concept of a schedule to his boss.
Does NPS have any new changes to propose?
No new changes. Saline Valley camping is considered developed camping and will remain as dispersed camping within the currently used areas.
How is the relationship between SPA & NPS?
The working relationship between NPS and SPA is good. Mr. Reynolds stated he is always interested in ways to help SPA.
Future Camp Hosts
The discussion revealed if Lee were to retire, Dave would step up as the main camp host. Additionally it was discussed that there is currently no need for an upper springs camp host. If in the future there is a need for a new host it would be through the normal application process through Death Valley National Park.
Emergency Communications check-up.
NPS stated the current system is working and will remain the same. Additionally NPS will provide SPA with the FICC dispatch phone number. This number would be for the public to contact NPS with concerns about persons in the park that have not checked in at home or any emergency. There are 3 numbers available to call the Federal Interagency Communications Center (FICC) dispatch. 1 760 786-2330 2 909 383-5651 3 888 233-6518
The first number is the local number and likely the best one to use. All numbers go the dispatch.
Does the NPS want to contribute anything to the next SPA newsletter?
NPS would like to provide a historical article each time SPA produces a newsletter.
Ford truck recovery effort project
NPS stated it is on BLM land and is out of their jurisdiction, but advised the first step would be to have the truck declared abandoned. SPA will continue to pursue the steps necessary to get the truck removed from the valley.
NPS Park Update
There is good communication between NPS & SPA.
NPS explained there current funding changes within the park. The original mandate from congress was 80% of all park entrance fees were to be used for park maintenance. When Scotty’s Castle flooded all fees collected were to be used to restore Scotty’s Castle. Recently congress changed the mandate back to it’s original 80% to maintain the park. Congress allocated disaster funds to be used for Scotty’s Castle. This change “could” expedite funds for the second toilet at Palm Spring.
NPS encouraged all visitors buy park passes when visiting the park. Saline Valley is part of the park. Passes are available in Lone Pine, Panamint Springs and online.
The burro relocation project is ongoing.
Mention was made of the marijuana grow sites discovered in Death Valley. So far 15 have been discovered. If a visitor discovers a site get away and alert authorities. These sites create a lot of long-term damage and are run by dangerous people.
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