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A celebration of the Wilderness Act in Tecopa

The Amargosa Conservancy (AC) is holding a celebration Saturday, Oct. 11 from 11:30 a.m. until 3 p.m., at the Tecopa Community Center on Tecopa Road. The event is free to the public. It’s recommended that people bring lunch.

The event begins at 11:30 a.m. with a welcome and a brief history on the Wilderness Act and the California Desert Protection Act.

At noon there will be a show “Living in the Rainshadow.” Snacks and refreshments will be served.

At 12:35 p.m. a display of kids’ arts and crafts will be shown. At the same time, more films will be shown of the area.

At 1 p.m. there will be a talk and walk with Len Warren. Warren has been a bird nesting habitat researcher for the last three seasons at Point Reyes Bird Observatory as part of the Amargosa Canyon Songbird Project.

The observatory is located in Shoshone, Calif. He is also a staff naturalist for Shoshone Village.

At 2 p.m. Brian Brown of China Ranch Date Farm will give a talk on the history of the area.

Brown is a fourth generation Mojave desert resident and the member of a pioneer family in the region.

In 1996 Brown and his family created China Ranch Date Farm and opened the ranch to the public for tours and visits.

This continues to be the Brown’s primary occupation. Brown serves as resource advocate for the AC.

At 3 p.m. there will be three seminar topics to choose from. Jordan Kelly, executive director of AC, will give a talk titled “Leave No Trace in Practice.” Kelly holds a B.A. in environmental science and a M.A. in landscape architecture.

Kelly said, “I grew up outside Saratoga, N.Y., in the foothills of the Adirondack mountains. I have always had a passion and a personal ethical responsibility to the natural world.”

The second option is a photography workshop by Nancy Good. Good is a full-time, mixed-media artist and fine-art photographer.

She lives and works in Tecopa, Calif. Currently, she specializes in desert landscape photography.

John Hiatt rounds out the day’s event with the topic “Future Planning in the Desert.”

Hiatt has been working on conservation issues for almost 30 years serving on numerous committees and boards of organizations involved in those issues.

The Amargosa River winds largely underground for 125 miles from the 7,700 foot Paiute Mesa in the southern Great Basin to Badwater Basin in Death Valley National Park.

The river surfaces along the way as springs, seeps, marshes and riparian (Relating to habitats along the bank of a waterway) stream corridors. This comprises the desert oases sporadically distributed along the river.

More than 100 species targeted for conservation are nested within these natural systems. These habitats, in an otherwise dry and harsh desert, are home to nearly 50 unique species found nowhere else in the world.

The lack of thorough environmental planning has led to numerous renewable energy projects in the groundwater basin on both sides of the state line. These include both wind and solar.

This has the potential to further tax an already over-appropriated groundwater system.

This can lead to tens of thousands of acres of pristine desert upland habitats to be unsuitable for the many native plants and animals.

The Tecopa Community Center is located at 405 Tecopa Road, Tecopa, Calif.

Contact Creag Rowland by emailing, creag.pvtimes@gmail.com

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