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A Piece of the Puzzle

Hummingbird

Last spring, a Costa's Hummingbird built her nest in a tall bush not ten feet away from my back door. In one sense, she picked the perfect location – my house protected her nest from the howling winds that persisted throughout late winter and spring. I wondered, however, why she chose a location so close to human activity. I worried that back patio dinner gatherings, hanging laundry on the clothesline, or my husband's backyard exercise routine would disturb her.

Big Scary Outdoors

Do you remember your first overnight camp experience?

Mine was an overnight in Angeles National Forest with my Brownie Girl Scout Troop. After a fun time singing songs and roasting smores around the campfire, it was time to go to sleep in a tent. I was scared to death. As the youngest child I had always been the first to go to sleep which meant that all the lights in our house were still on. The darkness of the outdoors was so thrilling for me. Even though I was in a tent with a few other girls, but I was convinced that a bear was going to eat us.

It didn't, of course.

Protecting Clark Dry Lake For You and Your Descendants

Wild Flowers, Success, Land Conservation

Last spring the Anza-Borrego Foundation celebrated the acquisition of 50,000 acres of important lands within and adjacent to the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. This is a tremendous achievement for a local land conservation organization. We owe our success to the extraordinary partnership between our volunteers, our staff, the park’s land managers, the support of our generous members, and the philanthropy of inspired donors.

Steele Burnand Anza-Borrego Desert Research Center

At 615,000 acres, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is the largest state park in California and one of the largest desert protected areas in the west. Located in the eastern half of San Diego County, the park extends roughly 25 miles east to west and 50 miles north to south.

The Steele Burnand Anza-Borrego Desert Research Center, housed in a former country club, is located adjacent to the park in the town of Borrego Springs. An agreement with Anza-Borrego Desert State Park and the Anza-Borrego Foundation makes the park available to reserve users.

Historic Borrego home to become Research Center

BORREGO SPRINGS — The historic Desert Club in Borrego Springs, once envisioned to be the centerpiece of a thriving desert city much like Palm Springs, will soon become a field research center for biologists, astronomers, anthropologists and others.

A large monetary gift from the daughter-in-law of the original developer of the 4,280-square-foot, architecturally stunning Desert Club, has been given to the University of California, Irvine, which plans to open the research center late next year.

Ballot Proposal would Mandate Car Fee for State Parks

SACRAMENTO — Today, $18 can buy a couple of movie tickets, a decent bottle of wine or six gallons of gasoline.

In the future, that same $18 could buy a year's worth of strolls through wildflowers, visits to selected museums and prime beach parking.

Supporters of California's state parks took the first step Tuesday toward launching a campaign for the November 2010 ballot. They want voters to approve a mandatory $18 annual fee on most vehicle registrations, with the money going to the state parks department.

Big Budget Cuts Let State Parks Avoid Shutdowns

Under fire from park supporters and the state's own attorneys, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger announced Friday that he has found a way to cut millions of dollars out of the California State Parks budget without completely closing any parks.

The plan, which some are criticizing as little more than a shell game, slashes $14.2 million from the park budget this year by closing some campgrounds and facilities on weekdays, eliminating unfilled seasonal and administrative positions, and cutting back on maintenance and things like bathroom cleaning.

State Paring Down Number of State Park Closures

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger intends to close far fewer than the 100 state parks that California State Parks said it would have to close as a result of budget cuts, the governor's spokesman said Tuesday.

Schwarzenegger spokesman Aaron McLear said the administration is looking at ways to cut the parks budget by $14.2 million that would result in fewer parks being closed. California State Parks officials have said that about 100 parks would have to be closed as a result of the cuts.

More Time Needed to Decide which State Parks to Close

Neighborhood watch-style groups will have to do the work of rangers to prevent illegal activity in closed state parks unless voters approve a vehicle license fee or some other method is found to save the beleaguered park system, officials and park supporters said Tuesday.

California State Parks officials - who had planned to tell the public this week which state parks were going to be closed this year due to budget cuts - admitted Tuesday that the job of determining which parks to shutter is more complicated than they thought it would be.

State Parks brace for Closures and Fee Increases

California's state parks have wide disparities in the number of visitors they attract and the revenues they generate, two of the key factors officials are using to determine which parks they will close to make up for budget cuts.

State parks officials estimate that 100 parks will close in California, and their decisions about which parks will get the bad news will probably come soon after Labor Day.

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