No. 82 Summer 2015
Celebrating the 45th Anniversary of the Bighorn Sheep Count By Bud Getty
In honor of the Bighorn Sheep Count’s 45th anniversary, ABF invited retired Park Superintendent (1972–1981) and longtime sheep counter Maurice (Bud) Getty to tell us about his experiences participating over the years. Bud was involved in the early years of the sheep count and has volunteered as a counter every year but one. That’s 44 years! In 1971, his first year of the count, 121 sheep were observed at 14 sites and last year, 2014, 265 sheep were spotted at 19 sites. There have been ups and downs in the years between, with a high of 354 in 2009 and low of 107 in 1997. Congratulations to Bud, and here’s to 45 years of contributing to the data and protection of our Park’s iconic desert bighorn sheep. Anza-Borrego Desert State Park’s Bighorn Sheep Count is held over the blisteringly hot 4th of July weekend every year. Why is the count held in the desert during the very hottest time of the year? The most important reason is that when the desert heat is at its peak, the bighorn must come down from the dry mountaintops for water, and that is when they can be seen and counted. Even during the hottest period, they seem to need water only about every three days. Thus, the annual count lasts over a threeday weekend so that most of the sheep would come down to water during that time period. The desert is also at its driest at this point in the summer. By the 4th of July, the small seeps and springs have gone dry in the desert heat. Later in the summer, predictable late July and August thunderstorms will replenish some of those smaller water sources. But in early July, it is hot enough to make the bighorn very thirsty, and the only available water is in the limited number of flowing streams, large springs, and year-round tinajas (natural basins in rocks). The sheep counters can stake out these water sources, knowing that the sheep will have to come to them.
The next question, of course, is why do we do it? My “non-sheepy” friends think that we are crazy to spend three days in the intense midsummer desert heat to count sheep. We get accused of going to the desert to party, drink beer and have fun. I’ve never heard any sheep counters say that the count is fun. Sitting in 110+ degree temperatures, suffering from the low humidity and the eye-burning sun glare, is not at all a delightful experience. And drinking beer could lead to a disaster. Alcohol would cause a drop in body fluids and could bring on life-threatening heat stroke. Instead, we each need at least a gallon of water just sitting still in the shade. Not an occasion to party! Every year we sit there, thinking how hot and miserable we are and wondering why we are doing this. Then a ewe and lamb appear across the way, cautiously making their way to water, and suddenly a big ram, his sides sunken in from dehydration, comes crashing down the hill. The sheep drink heavily, and we see the ram’s sides fill out with life-giving water. And that is why we are there — for those moments. continued on page 4
From the President
I have often thought that a saving grace of Borrego Springs is that it possesses the optimum
BOARD of TRUSTEES: Jim Smith PRESIDENT
Lynn Rhodes TREASURER Bill Reavey SECRETARY
TRUSTEES: Nicholas Clapp Ernie Cowan Sharon Goldsmith Bill McDonald John Peterson Philip Pryde Ralph Singer Linda Tandle David Van Cleve ABF STAFF: Paige Rogowski
DONOR RELATIONS MANAGER
LAND PROGRAM COORDINATOR
INTERPRETIVE SALES MANAGER
Christina St John SALES ASSISTANT
ANZA-BORREGO FOUNDATION 587 Palm Canyon Drive #110 & 111 Borrego Springs, CA 92004 (760) 767-0446 www.theabf.org firstname.lastname@example.org Anza-Borrego Foundation is a non-profit, tax-exempt [IRS code 501(c) (3)] charitable organization
number of imperfections. You have to travel an hour and a half to big shopping or the hospital, there are no freeways for fast travel, and other personal preferences go unmet. And then there is summer. Ah yes: “How can you live with that heat?” goes the query. I remember asking that same question well before Judy and I retired in Borrego Springs 14 years ago. I’m convinced that one has to experience summer in Borrego to really find out what it is all about. In a prior column I remarked upon the dearth of human ability to “sense” the environment: think frequencies of light, poor smell, inability to utilize electrical impulses, poor hearing (E.O. Wilson). Well, summer in Borrego might fall along the same lines. What are we missing out on by not experiencing desert summer and temperatures of 115 degrees? First comes the morning and the flurry of life that accompanies the coolest part of the day. All of us animals are of like mind: “Let’s get it done now.” And there are all the tracings of who was on duty before the dawn. Their tracks stand out in the sand as the sun shines low and slanting. The birds are catching up, having urgent conversations among themselves. And, of course, that makes them easier to see. An appreciation of the day shared. Now it’s beginning to warm up. What to do? I know, let’s go to breakfast at Kendall’s where you know everyone’s name. We can brag (indirectly, of course) about braving the heat while all the “others” have flown the coop to less stressful climes. And there are Josefina and Celina — if you don’t know whom I am talking about, then tsk, tsk. Hot coffee, good conversation, corn beef hash and elbow room. Noon till five. Guess what? You do all those things you deny yourself during the “season.” Like for once practicing your guitar and learning a whole song, reading those books on the shelf that you knew would make you a better person when you bought them five years ago and, who would believe it, actually writing a letter! Five till nine. Payoff time for being such brave souls! The hunt is on for the best wine for dinner, when one actually talks meaningfully to his partner — and anybody else he invited over while at Kendall’s that morning and forgot to tell the cook. Having company in summer is definitely a cause for celebration. Two bottles! Nighttime. One of the great reasons to be in Borrego in summer is the night sky. Already at this writing, Scorpio and Antares are announcing the arrival of our galaxy, the Milky Way. It is most spectacular during the hottest time of year. Unfortunate isn’t it? There’s always a price to pay, but what a treat to crawl into bed with an unfathomable sense of wonder to lull you to sleep. I can honestly report that my wife, Judy, and I have never returned home, even in the middle of August, and not been very happy to be back. Cheers for the land of the hot. Thanks, Jimmy Smith ABF President
DESERT UPDATE: ABF Staff
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Dragonfly seen in Borrego Palm Canyon. Photo: Jeff Young
Superintendent’s Corner by Kathy Dice, ABDSP Superintendent
The quiet of summer is descending upon the community of Borrego Springs and the Anza-Borrego Desert that surrounds it. As I write this, a spectacular sunset is putting on a show thanks to Hurricane Blanca flowing this way from Baja California. Any moisture we get in the next few months will come from the south — for now the moisture seems to be in the form of a little humidity. This year our nation will celebrate its 239th birthday. There are lots of ways to revel in the 4th of July: parades, fireworks displays, BBQs, apple pie, watermelon, etc. In Anza-Borrego Desert State Park we celebrate in a much quieter, more studious way. We count sheep — literally, but with eyes mostly wide open. This year we mark the 45th annual 4th of July Bighorn Sheep Count. Volunteers converge on Borrego Springs from all over the country, donating their holiday weekend time for the discomfort of hot weather and little shade in an effort to help park staff spot and identify our endangered Peninsular bighorn sheep in these local mountains and canyons. Our intrepid volunteers stake out known sheep “hotspots” — watering areas specifically, knowing that the rams, ewes and lambs will have to come down to drink at least once every three days when the temperatures are over 100 degrees. In addition to identifying the gender of each sheep, our trained volunteers also look for ways to recognize individual characteristics so they can tell how many times they spot the same sheep, so as not to skew the counting results. Some of our bravest volunteers backpack in and/or camp out in the Park the whole weekend, while others come back into town for a dip in a pool and a real bed. Some find that volunteering for one sheep
count is enough, while there is a solid core of folks that return year after year. One of these regulars is former Superintendent Bud Getty, who you read in the lead article has participated in all but one sheep count since its inception — an incredible accomplishment! The annual Bighorn Sheep Count is one of many tools we use to track the health and status of this endangered species. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife conducts helicopter surveys and has done capture and collaring to keep track of the sheep via radio telemetry. We are also working on oleander eradication projects in areas of our communities frequented by the bighorn. The leaves of the shrub are known to sicken and sometimes kill animals, and the sheep are especially susceptible. Removing oleander shrubs from their curious reach is one more way of protecting the bighorn. There is hardly anything more thrilling for visitors (and park staff) than seeing these beautiful, secretive creatures browsing in their native habitat! In other park news, all California State Parks, including Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, have been mandated by Governor Brown to reduce water use by 25% by the end of this year. Over the last year we have already been working to find ways to be more conservative with water: installing low-flush toilets, timed water taps, and springloaded water spigots as well as replacing leaky water lines. Still there is more we need to do. This summer we are tackling a longwished-for project at the Visitor Center — updating the outdated irrigation system for the native plant garden to a more effective design. We are very excited to implement this project and believe that it will go a long way towards a water-efficient and healthy garden at the Visitor Center. If you happen to come around these next few weeks, you may have to take a detour around a few newly dug trenches. As we move into fall, look for us to begin plantings to fill in species that have gone missing these last few years as they aged out. Our hope is that our garden will have a new look by next spring, so stay tuned. In the meantime, remember that the Visitor Center is open only on weekends and holidays through October 16. We hope you will find yourself enticed into our desert by the quiet, the animal antics, the peace, the sunsets and the beauty that is Anza-Borrego. Happy Birthday, America and annual sheep counters!
Why I Give Brian and Michelle Silvey Brian and Michelle are brother and sister who, like you, have a love of the Park and the unique solitude of the desert. As California natives, Brian first learned of the Anza-Borrego Desert in the 80s through his in-laws, and Michelle quickly thereafter through her brother and his experiences. They both frequent the Park as often as they can and steal getaways with family and friends in Brian’s home that he purchased here in 2010. They are fond of many parts of the Park but love Font’s Point and the Borrego Badlands, acknowledging the beauty of the remarkable land formations. Michelle was able to witness the display of wildflowers this year and enjoyed the fascinating show of caterpillars that flock to the flowers just like we do each year. The desert flora and fauna, the night sky, the sunrises and sunsets are what captured the heart of Brian, who said, “It’s just such an amazing transformation of elements in the desert.” The siblings agree that there is a misconception about the desert, something they have become more aware of through their time spent here. They are both often asked by peers and co-workers,
“Why would you go to the desert, and why would you buy a house there?” Brian says he tries to break down the preconceived notions about the “nothingness” of the desert and share how full of life it is. Michelle said, “It may seem desolate and uninviting, but continued on page 6 www.theabf.org Desert Update Summer 2015
...Bighorn Sheep Count continued from page 1
The intent of the sheep count is to gain scientific data with which to make the decisions necessary to ensure the perpetuation of this iconic species. Now that we are approaching 50 years of annual counts, we can use these records to analyze bighorn population fluctuations and assess the relative importance of the sheep’s various water sources. During the count, meticulous notes are taken of the sex and age of the animals. We get ratios of ram to ewe, lamb to ewe, and yearling to ewe, thus monitoring survival statistics over the years. Maintaining water sources is critical for the sheep’s survival, and the count helps document their status. A spring may be failing because tamarisk trees are sucking it dry, and removal of those invasive trees would keep that spring available to the sheep. There are a lot of variables in the sheep count. Differences in weather is, of course, an important factor. If we happen to have a cold snap, and the temperature drops to a chilly 90 degrees, the sheep would not be thirst stressed, and fewer animals would be seen. The skill of the counters also varies. New counters are usually paired with veterans to get them started. Counters tend to be given the same count sites year after year so that they are familiar with the terrain and the routes sheep take to water. The time at which sheep are spotted at a particular count site is carefully recorded. For instance, if a ram, five ewes, and a lamb are seen at 10:30 at Lower Willows, and a group of the same composition is seen a half hour later at Upper Lower Willows, they are probably the same sheep and not counted twice. The end result of the annual count is a record of the sheep seen and the relative importance of the various water sources. This data can be compared year to year, and more importantly, over the full span of the count years. Mark Jorgensen used this sort of data in his recently published book, “Desert Bighorn Sheep – Wilderness Icon.” He cited, for example, the records (although not part of the official park count) that showed a steady population of about 25 bighorn in the Vallecito Mountains area for many years. Then a guzzler, an artificial catch basin for rainfall, was constructed, and the population has now grown to about 150 sheep, demonstrating the effect of one additional water source. Coyote Canyon provides critical water for sheep during the summer. However, for many years, vehicles could drive up the
canyon through the creek bed, presumably disturbing the sheep. To determine this, we hired Paul Jorgensen to watch the sheep’s behavior. He found that when vehicles went through the stream area, sheep that were drinking or coming down to water retreated back up slope and abandoned their quest for water. Because traffic was clearly keeping bighorn sheep, including pregnant ewes and young lambs, from their vital drinking areas, we have closed Coyote Canyon during the summer months. Summer closure gates now keep people out of the canyon during the months when the sheep most need free access to water. The gates aren’t always “foolproof,” however. Five of us were going up to our count site in Lower Willows early one morning several years ago. As we came up to the closure gate area, we encountered a man, two women, and two young boys hiking up the canyon. We asked where they were going. When they told us they were hiking to Sheep Canyon, we told them that the canyon was closed to everyone and emphasized that it was unlawful to go beyond the closure gate. We continued on to our count site and conducted the day’s count. About five o’clock in the afternoon, as we were walking out to our vehicle, we saw the boys running down to the stream, filling coke cans with water, and then running back up the hillside. They told us their mother was hot, and they were pouring water on her to cool her off. We followed them back to where an unconscious woman was lying in the shade of a small bush. We emptied our water bottles over her and called for help. Fortunately, we were able to reach park headquarters by cellphone and requested a rescue helicopter, which came promptly and flew the woman to the nearest hospital. She remained in a coma for several days, but she did survive. Not all sheep counts have that much drama. But another time it was sort of exciting when we returned to our count site and began to re-erect our shelter, only to find a coiled rattlesnake in the tarps. Fun? No, I wouldn’t say the sheep count is fun exactly, but it’s always worthwhile and sometimes quite interesting!
Summer 2015 Desert Update www.theabf.org
Embrace the Dark Side of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park By Sally Theriault, State Park Interpreter II
"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science.” —Albert Einstein I often include this favorite quote in my stargazing programs, not just because the view of the night sky over Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is so awe-(and art-)inspiring, but also because, as a Park Interpreter and former science teacher, I feel a responsibility to convey a sense of What Science Is to our visitors. Science starts with a question, and astronomy started with our earliest ancestors watching and wondering — asking questions and trying to make sense of the motions and patterns they observed in the heavens. Of course, they had far darker skies than we have now, and they spent much more time outdoors than we do today.
Photo: Denise Zuranski
Summer is an excellent time to enjoy the dark skies of the Park: Nighttime temperatures are generally mild, and the Milky Way meanders high overhead. For the next few months, three easy-to-spot planets will be found in the night sky — Venus is brighter than all but the moon, Jupiter has four moons that can be spotted with a decent pair of binoculars, and Saturn shines with a golden light all night long. A small telescope is needed to see the rings around Saturn, an excellent reason to attend one of the stargazing programs at the Visitor Center this summer! Held once a month on Saturday nights, these programs are an ideal way to learn some of the constellations (and a little bit of the lore that goes along with them) as well as get a peek through our telescope at planets and other interesting features of the firmament. For dates and times, contact the Visitor Center or ABF Park Store, or access the Interpretive Schedule online at the Park’s website (www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=638). We also offer a free monthly star chart as well as planispheres and related books for sale. With light pollution widespread in most urban and suburban areas, dark places like Anza-Borrego have become meccas for stargazers and amateur astronomers. The Park has recently converted almost all of its lights to dark-sky-friendly fixtures that limit excess light, and amber bulbs that minimize our impact on wildlife. Scientists are continuing to learn about the negative effects of artificial lighting on the activities of animals and are even looking at links between light pollution and human health! Long-term exposure to artificial lighting at night can suppress melatonin production and has been associated with an increase in breast cancer risk, weight gain and other health disruptions. So the next time you are in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park at night, leave the TV, cell phone and tablet screens off, and gaze heavenward instead!
Our members make all the difference for Anza-Borrego Desert State Park! Become a member today and enjoy these benefits: • Save 15% at our State Park Store locations • Receive special discounts on education programs • Partake in free weekly hikes (November–April) • Attend a members-only annual event This year we celebrate 25 years of our membership program, which has raised over one million dollars since inception! Your membership makes a positive impact on the Park. Will you do your part in protecting the Park you love by joining the 474 new members who have enrolled with us this year? Together we make the difference — one membership at a time! Questions? Call Tracie: 760-767-0446 ext. 1002.
Membership starts at just $35 annually for the whole family!
• Primary $35 • Supporting $50 • Sustaining $100
• Booster $250 • Patron $500
Century Circle Membership • Benefactor $1,000 • President $2,500 • Founder $5,000 Learn more at www.theabf.org/centurycircle. www.theabf.org Desert Update Summer 2015
Land Program Update By Julie Gerson, Land Program Coordinator It has been three months since I began as Land Program Coordinator for ABF, and I learn something new every day. This desert park is a fascinating place. Luckily, over the last 18 months, ABF has added over 1,651 acres of land to this remarkable landscape! Here are a few explanations and highlights from ABF’s land program: ABF acquires properties throughout the Park. Our strategy is to work with willing sellers who own property within Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. This means on any given day, I may be researching a property near the Anza area in the north where the Pacific Crest Trail crosses into the Park, or far south near Jacumba just miles from the Mexican border. With over 20,000 acres of inholdings still to acquire to make Anza-Borrego Desert State Park whole, there is a lot work to be done. We are slowly reducing these inholdings, sometimes just three or five acres at a time. Every acre acquired represents another little step towards safeguarding this beautiful and unique area for future generations to enjoy. Each parcel of land has a story behind it. Often it’s a pretty interesting one, too. Land within Anza-Borrego Desert State Park has been owned by everyone from household-name Hollywood movie stars to Hungarian immigrants newly arrived in California. One landowner’s grandparent acquired the family property by trading it for a gun! In fact, many properties were purchased sight unseen in the 1920s by the ancestors of the current owners. How else can you explain someone buying an inaccessible cliff face or 10 acres in the middle of the roadless maze of the Borrego Badlands? As that generation passes away, their children and grandchildren see the value in conserving this special land forever. Each property has unique features. With advances in GPS technology, we are able to easily pinpoint the locations of parcels to visit and then inspect them before purchase. This can mean
quite a hike, as many are located in completely roadless areas. A few weeks ago, ABF President Jimmy Smith visited a 10-acre parcel in the Vallecito Mountains Wilderness that ABF had just acquired. In those 10 acres there are irreplaceable archaeological resources next to a beautiful garden of blooming cactus. Even though some properties are small, they provide important habitat for plants and animals in the Park. Everyone has heard of our endangered bighorn sheep, but did you know there is a lizard here in the Park that is found nowhere else in the world? It’s true, and it’s called the Sandstone Night Lizard. But not all features are good. Some parcels have old buildings, waste or other man-made hazards on them. Before ABF takes ownership of a piece of land, it must be cleaned up and returned to a natural state. ABF can only continue to save land because donors like you care. It is heartwarming to see how many people care about protecting the future of this special Park. I work with people who want to donate their property to the Park and also people who give ABF the means to save more land. It is wonderful to know that because donors contributed to ABF’s land acquisition fund, we have the ability to purchase critical inholdings as they become available. Right now I am excited that we have another 450 or so acres that are pending. This is in addition to Lucky 5 Phase II, another 1,170 acres that we expect to close on this fall. With your help, AnzaBorrego steadily becomes whole — one acre at a time!
...Why I Give continued from page 3
the Park is so expansive and alive. It has so much to teach us about California, both current and past. It's alive with nature; we just have to reach out to it. It's a wonderful place for all sorts of activities — communing with nature, learning the local geology, visiting the Visitor Center, hiking the trails, camping, meeting the locals, just relaxing and decompressing. I would remind them not to judge a book by its cover.” ABF could not agree more. Brian and Michelle are among our thousands of cherished annual members who make so much of our success possible. This year they have decided to give beyond membership, in a new way. Brian and Michelle donated at the highest level in our summer park fundraiser with Julian’s Nickel Beer Company, which gave them naming rights and the opportunity to select the style of beer that would be crafted. The Silveys collaborated with owner Tom Nickel to name the beer, attended an exclusive beer-making event to learn firsthand how Nickel crafts their beer, and tasted their brew at a tapping party for 50 park and beer enthusiasts. The tapping party unveiled what Michelle and Brian decided to appropriately name Borrego Dark Sky Stout — a tasty vanilla oatmeal stout — after the 6
Summer 2015 Desert Update www.theabf.org
famous starry skies of the Park. “We were intrigued by this out-ofthe-ordinary opportunity to benefit the Park while including others and having fun,” said Brian. ABF is always looking for new ways to engage and educate while continuing to protect the Park. This was a delicious and fun way to do it all! Brian and Michelle support the Park however they can. But just for kicks, we asked what they would do if they had the chance to spend a million dollars on ABDSP. Their dreams would be to continue land acquisition, support a solution for the water issues in the valley, keep the Visitor Center open more often, and provide more interactive programs for visitors, residents and especially children. Michelle feels just like we do about our youth: “They need to learn early how amazing and important the Park is, so they can work to sustain it in the future.” Michelle would also like to see hiking trails for different skill levels to help visitors see all parts of the Park. These are wonderful ideas, and ABF is working on most of them. By continuing to support the Foundation, Brian and Michelle bring us closer to achieving our long-term goals — goals that we share and build upon with the Park, the visitors and the next generation of park enthusiasts. Thank you, Brian and Michelle, for your gifts to the Park. We could not do what we do without folks like you. Cheers!
Summer & Fall 2015 Programs Join us for one of our upcoming programs to stay connected with ABF throughout the year. Visit www.theabf.org/events or call 760-767-0446 ext. 1003 for full event information.
Photo: Sam Webb
Hikes & Hops and Bikes & Brews $15 / $10 for ABF Members; free for new members who joined within the last 3 months This social hike and bike series in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park and the neighboring environs connects people with two things in common: a love of Anza-Borrego and craft beer. Join us for a hike and some hops or, if it’s more your thing, a bike and a brew! Hikes & Hops with Volcan Mountain Foundation July 25, 2015 Leader: Kathleen Beck, VMF Education Coordinator 9 a.m.–1 p.m., with a stop at Nickel Beer Company in Julian after the hike Join Anza-Borrego Foundation and Volcan Mountain Foundation for a 6-mile trip to the higher elevations near Julian. Our destination on the Volcan Mountain hike will depend on our group, with a stop at a conifer forest grove and the option to continue to a viewpoint. Then we’ll gather into vehicles and make a stop at Nickel Beer to try the Borrego Dark Sky Stout brewed by Tom Nickel just for ABF! Hikes & Hops at Cuyamaca Rancho State Park September 12, 2015 9 a.m.–1 p.m. Leader: Cuyamaca Rancho State Park Interpretive Association Volunteer If you want to head to San Diego’s backcountry but can’t handle the desert heat in summer, we’ve got a hike for you! Join us in Cuyamaca Rancho State Park for a hike led by its park partner, the Cuyamaca Rancho State Park Interpretive Association. We will head out on the Azalea Glen loop and finish up with some ice-cold craft brews and relaxation time in the shade. Bikes & Brews with Jim Roller and Gary Haldeman
November 21: Grapevine Canyon Mountain Bike Ride January 31: Borrego Badlands Mountain Bike Ride March 12: Coyote Canyon Mountain Bike Ride April 3: Glorieta Canyon Mountain Bike Ride
More information coming soon. Check www.theabf.org/events for more details as fall approaches. www.theabf.org Desert Update Summer 2015
Mike’s Hikes with Mike Puzzo $45 / $35 for ABF Members Want to go on a serious adventure in AnzaBorrego but don’t know the area well enough to go it alone? Not for the feeblelegged or the weak-hearted, Mike’s Hikes are extremely strenuous treks through difficult terrain. All participants should be very experienced hikers, accustomed to full-day, 10+ mile strenuous hikes. Each person should be prepared with their own essentials: water, food, clothing … the works. December 12: Yaqui Pass to The Slab January 9: Indian Head Peak February 20: Granite Peak
More information coming soon. Check www.theabf.org/events for detailed descriptions and times.
2015 Colorado Desert Cultural Heritage Symposium December 4–6, 2015 Join ABF for a weekend devoted to the cultural history of our Southern California desert. The weekend of events will include research posters, a full day of lectures, a banquet dinner and field tours. Participants can enjoy a relaxed weekend learning about the variety of research projects happening in our region. We hope to see you there!
Ironwood Canyon Hike October 18, 2015 9:30 a.m.–3 p.m. Leader: Frank Colver $25 / $20 for ABF Members
Sunset-to-Stars Dinner Excursions with California Overland June 13, July 18, August 15, September 12, October 10 5–10 p.m. $135 / $95 for ABF Members Experience the desert by day and by night! Join California Overland on an off-road adventure through the badlands and out to Font’s Point. Then enjoy dinner with wine at the remote Clark Homestead site. As the stars come out, kick back in camp chairs and see why USA Today has called Anza-Borrego Desert State Park a “stargazer’s paradise.” Contact California Overland: (760) 767-1232
Join ABF and ABDSP supporter Frank Colver for a guided hike in Anza-Borrego’s newestnamed canyon, Ironwood Canyon. Frank named the canyon and is very excited to share its unique beauty with other desert lovers. This will be about an 8-mile, moderate hike that has a continuous incline and a slightly rocky section near the turnaround point. Total elevation gain will be around 1,000 ft.
There’s a new item for sale at the Visitor Center & State Park Store! Anza-Borrego Desert State Park: Sky Trails (2015) Updated and now with GPS coordinates, full-color aerial photos & map. Supervising Ranger Kelly McCague developed “Sky Trails” for pilots and their passengers. There are three different loops (Anza-Borrego, Clark & Harper Loop) for airplanes to explore. This edition is printed in two parts for the convenience of both pilot (aerial map) and passenger (informational booklet). 34 pages, 6”x9” ($14.95 plus tax) Available at www.theabf.org, the ABDSP Visitor Center and State Park Store 8
Summer 2015 Desert Update www.theabf.org
Celestial Overnight Camping Trips with California Overland June 20, August 12 (Perseid meteor shower) October 3 $250 / $195 for ABF Members Join California Overland and astronomer Dennis Mammana on a fascinating tour of our incredible night sky. You’ll experience the magnificence of the Milky Way as it nears its peak of brilliance. The price includes a telescope viewing, gourmet dinner with wine, hot breakfast, 3-hour daytime excursion, and all camping gear provided and set up. Contact California Overland: (760) 767-1232
Century Circle members are annual supporters of ABDSP who give $1,000 and above. Their passion and support are what make so many of our projects possible. Thank you all for your commitment to our mission. Century Circle Business and Organization Members
Century Circle Individual Members Janet Anderson and Victor Van Lint Anonymous Hank and Christie Barber Sharon Barta Pat Carson Bonnie and Nicholas Clapp Bruce and Christine Clegg Clifford and Carolyn Colwell Frank and Judy Colver Steve and Carolyn Conner Bruce Crabtree Alan and Jay Creutz Jim and Kathy Dice David and Peg Engel Henry Feilen Richard Fowler and Terry Begole Fowler Thomas F. Garner Susan Gilliland Sharon and Jerry Goldsmith Bruce Heimbach Nancy and Bill Homeyer Diane and Frank Hydoski Dick and Joanne Ingwall Elizabeth A. Javens Fred and L. Louise Jee Jeanne Johnstone and George Jefferson Ann Keenan Janet and John Kister Robert and Barbara Kleist
Callie Mack and Phil Roullard John Martinez Leslie and John McQuown Mike Medema John and Christine Murphy Eric Mustonen and Amee Wood Jack and Arlene Oakes Barbara Oyler John Peterson Larry and Peggy Puzzo Judith Begole Rahner Laura Roderick Jim and Linda Roller Joan and Martin Rosen Susan and Haddon Salt Dr. George Sardina Ralph Singer and Lou Bahar Jim and Judy Smith Karen Smith Donald J. Stang and Helen Wickes Herb Stone Cynthia Stribling and Paul Webb Melvin and Ellen Sweet Homer and Bettina Townsend Ralph and Rosalie Webb Mike Wells and Marie Simovich Kirsten Winter and Charles Vantassel Gabriel and Diana Wisdom
Borrego Outfitters Borrego Springs Rotary Foundation Borrego Valley Inn California Garden Club California State Parks Foundation CH Stout Foundation Cuyamaca Rancho Foundation Desert Protective Council Disney Conservation Fund Donald Stang and Helen Wicks Schwab Charitable Fund EarthShare of California Foster Family Private Foundation, Inc. Mr. and Mrs. Thomas F. Garner Jr. & Dr. and Mrs. William V. Garner at The Community Foundation Serving Richmond and Central Virginia Heller Foundation of San Diego contribution to Charity John and Diane Prewitt Family Foundation Last Desert Days Production Company National Environmental Education Foundation New Belgium Brewing Co. Oceanside Photo & Telescope Porter Sesnon Foundation Arthur Pratt for the Pratt Memorial Fund Resources Legacy Fund Rose Foundation’s California Wildlands Grassroots Fund San Diego County San Diego Gas & Electric Subaru of America The Nature Conservancy Toyota 100 Cars for Good Tubb Canyon Desert Conservancy UC Irvine
Obituaries: Rest in Pieces, ABF Van. What We Do Century Circle members are an integral part of making a larger impact and have unique opportunities to learn more about AnzaBorrego Desert State Park though exclusive tours, lectures, and events. Whether it’s a tour to view a newly acquired property, or a gathering to discuss Park activities and celebrate accomplishments, Century Circle members have access to park officials and communicate closely with Foundation staff and Board Trustees. Together we achieve our goals for a world class park. How You Can Join Becoming a Century Circle member means you are making a measurable and critical difference in the success of the Park. We offer three accessible levels of annual membership:
$1,000 - $2,499
We are sad to share that our big, blue ABF van suffered internal injuries and passed away on May 6, 2015. It was 16 years old. Born in 1999, ABF adopted the Ford Aerostar from ABF Trustee John Peterson in 2013. In the short time that the van was with us, our staff was challenged by its unpredictable and embarrassingly loud alarm, incessant clicking sounds, and doors that took three tries to close. However, we are grateful for the air-conditioned time we had together — the van serving us well as it hauled tables, bikes, boxes and people. The van has no known survivors. ABF is grieving, but also hoping to welcome another vehicle into our family. If you know of a vehicle looking for a good desert home, please contact Executive Director Paige Rogowski at 760-767-0446 ext. 1001. www.theabf.org Desert Update Summer 2015