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He called me his little sister; I called him my brother; but we were best friends.

Our beloved friend, fellow desert rat, and Cerro Gordo icon, Mike Patterson passed away on September 24, 2009.

He was only 62 years young.



Moving to Cerro Gordo in 1985 with Owens Valley born Jody Hardin Stewart, they took on together the task of keeping Cerro Gordo alive and well and in a state of restorative reuse.  Bringing out the best in all the volunteers who came from far and wide, the many talents in different fields of expertise, kept this dream alive.  They met people from all over the world in this little mining camp that was the Comstock to the sleepy little Mexican Pueblo of Los Angeles.  Mike & Jody brought the life back into the little camp and put it back on the map by way of magazine and newspaper, short film and documentary.

Read more: Owens Valley Legend Passes On

Next week's meeting of the Desert Advisory Council of the Bureau of Land Management has been canceled. It was scheduled for Friday, June 18 and Saturday, June 19, but the agency was unable to release an agenda to the public within 30 days of the meeting.

For more information click here to see the BLM website for the Desert Advisory Council.

In May of this year the National Park Service (NPS) announced it was initiating a Wilderness Stewardship Plan for the Congressionally designated wilderness areas within Death Valley National Park (DVNP).  The first public input opportunity on the plan will conclude on June 30, 2009.

There are 3.1 million acres of designated wilderness within Death Valley National Park, comprising 93% of the Park.  This planning process only applies to these designated wilderness units and, according a DVNP press release, "does not includes non-wilderness backcountry concerns, such as: backcountry road corridors and campsites, backcountry cabins near roads, Saline Valley hot springs, private inholdings or other non-NPS lands, and developed campgrounds."

Although among only a fraction of DVNP visitors, those who spend time in the backcountry wilderness should see this as a good opportunity to be heard on your concerns about the management of Park's wilderness units.

Click here to see the Request for Public Input on the NPS website. 

This week's heavy rains brought hope among flower seekers that Death Valley might find a good bloom this Spring.  Up to two inches of rain was reported in and around Death Valley National Park early this week which "has greatly increased our prospects for spring wildflowers," writes Park Ranger and Naturalist Charlie Callagan in his most recent wildflower report .

In his report Ranger Callagan cautions readers not to expect the banner displays of 1998 and 2005, but he is optimistic that the upcoming bloom will "still be worth a viewing."
 
Every spring ready visitors from around the world monitor the prospects for a big bloom and regularly email us at DeathValley.com requesting updates.  What we find most interesting about the blooms is that they can often be found as late as July in the upper elevations of Death Valley.
 
But even now, flowers are already poking out.  Callagan notes that "Desert Gold, Brown-eyed Evening Primrose and Sand Verbena have already been observed blooming along park roadsides in the southern and northern ends of the park."
Death Valley Area News
The latest news from inside Death Valley National Park