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Today is Thursday, May 5, 2016



Bermuda Dunes
Community Council
Meets the 2nd Thursday
every other month

supervisor benoit's office
joe pradetto
760 863 8211

sheriff's Department
lt. Johnny Rodriguez
760 863 8990

Cal fire
Battalion Chief
Eddy Moore
760 540 1878

code enforcement
brenda hannah
760 393 3344

Bermuda Dunes Community
Manny Marrujo
Community Services
Coordinator  Bermuda Dunes
Community Center
phone number 760-508-9562.

graffiti Removal
1 951 955 3333
1 866 732 1444

rubbish retrieval
760 320 1048

1 393 3344

ANIMAL control
1 760 343 3644


BDSA Meeting
Adm Bldg

4th Thurs. of every


Bermuda Dunes Security
Association (BDSA) is
responsible for streets
(potholes, cracks, street
drainage and dry wells),
Security entry/exit, patrol
vehicles, cable TV
agreement, fee collection
& payment, gates & gate
lights, medians, walls,
guardhouses and all
street/gate signage.

BDSA is managed by
Desert Resort Mgmt.

The Admin Office is open
Monday thru Friday for
questions and concerns.
Admin staff can also assist
with access to the
Resident Login System

Admin hours are as follows:

Monday 10-6
Wednesday Closed
Saturday Closed         
Sunday Closed

If this is urgent, please
contact Security at:

Telephone Numbers:

Main Gate: 760-360-1322
Glass Gate: 760-772-3137
Admin Building:

Bermuda Dunes
Home Owner's
Association Meets
Adm Bldg
4:30 PM

Here is what
responsible for:

Bermuda Dunes
Community Association
(BDCA) is responsible for
most problems relating to
property owner's home
and lot, dogs,
landscaping, pool
draining, trash cans,
fountains and landscaping
at the main gate.

The Architectural
Committee reports to the
Community Board.

Dues are $100 per year
and are payable in
January in lump sum.

Troy Reis | Association
The Management Trust
39755 Berkey Drive, Suite A
• Palm Desert, CA 92211

P: (760) 776-5100 x6343
F: (760) 776-5111

Email us:
Palm Springs Art

Free Admission Every
Thursday, 4-8 p.m.

Thank You to the City of
Palm Springs
Help restore the
Salton Sea!

Take your support for
the Salton Sea “on the
road.” You can reserve
a specialty license
plate of the Salton Sea
and do your part to
help restore the Sea’s
air quality, wildlife
habitat and precious
water. When 7,500
people have sent in
their reservation form
and paid the
corresponding fee, the
plates will go into

Be one of the first to
Save the Sea! -

Click Below

DIANE MORGAN'S watecolor class will begin the first week of May at the
Bermuda Dunes Community Center

I have signed up - how about  you?


With kitty season upon us, it is important to note that all of the animal shelters are over extended and do not have
enough people to bottle feed these little it would be up to us...and our friends to tend these babies
until they reach, at least, 2 pounds or 8 weeks old. Then, they can be taken to an animal shelter. Please don't ask
me what happens to them if you take them to an animal shelter prior to 8 weeks. Their fate is not pleasant.

They do have cat traps available at Animal Samritans in Thousand Palms. Rental Fee: $5.00 per day, with an $80
deposit.When you trap a cat you can take it to Animal Samaritans in Thousand Palms to either be spayed or
neutered. The fee is $25.00. Each cat will have its ear clipped so that you can tell they have been either spayed or

Please call phone number below for times that cats can be brought to be spayed and neutered.

PLEASE email MRS. B if you find kittens that need attention prior to 8 weeks. I will come and get them
and take care of them.


Volunteers are always needed for front desk and dog walking at our No-Kill Shelter and Adoption Center.  Please
call Karen at 760-601-3918.

Volunteers are also needed as clinic greeters at our Thousand Palm or Indio Veterinary clinics. Please call Carolyn
at 714-746-2316.

NOTE FROM COUNCILWOMAN, Donna Hubenthal-Nelson

I would like to personally extend an invitation to our next Bermuda Dunes Community Council meeting. We have
some great topics to discuss:

You will have an opportunity to meet the new Bermuda Dunes Airport Manager - Bob Berriman
* We will talk about the midnight landings and much more

We will also discuss Feral Cats and Kittens. I just got this email from RCDAS:

We will certainly have someone at the meeting to provide info on feral cats and bring along a couple of kitties for

Allan Drusys, D.V.M., MVPHMgt
Chief Veterinarian
Department of Animal Services
County of Riverside
(951) 358-5034

And...we will discuss the 'homeless' in Bermuda Dunes!

*Agenda to follow

Mrs. B
Why the Resident Community Membership should be approved.

1. How are country club communities different from other community associations?

A. The existence of a Golf Course changes the character of the community because the golf course becomes the central focus of
the community.

B. Members are dependent upon the viability of the golf course to maintain the value of properties within the community.
Regardless of being golfers or not and regardless if they are located on the course.

C. The Club House and other facilities add value to the community at large.

D. Membership in the club has a separate value of its own if it is transferrable.

2. What happens if an independent Golf Club fails?

A. The independently owned club has several options;

a. They can sell the club to a “for profit” course operator.

b. They can sell the real estate to a developer.

c. They can sell the club to the HOA.

d. They can file for bankruptcy and close down.

3. What are the possible results of each of these options?

A. Selling to a “for profit operator” could save the club for a time. Followed by increased fees, loss of privacy and a lack of concern
for property owners. If the operator is unsuccessful, they would likely just shut the course down and walk away. Due to current
conditions in the golf industry, the interest of golf course operators in such a purchase is very very low.

B. Sale to a developer would result in the construction of new residential units on the golf course property. These would tend to
be condos, units of another type such as assisted living facilities or even apartments.

C. Selling the club to the HOA could be beneficial if the HOA has the resources to purchase. The assessments would likely go
higher to cover both the cost of the purchase and the operations. (In order to sell to the HOA, the CC&Rs need to be amended).

D. Bankruptcy would be devastating to property values as the course would go barren and would eventually be sold to the
highest bidder with no concern for the future of the club.

E. In the Coachella Valley, where golf is of such high interest, the failure of a country club becomes general public knowledge
almost instantly. This causes a significant drop in property values as potential buyers are generally not interested in purchasing a
home in a failed club. The exception, of course, would be the speculators. This syndrome also holds true in other areas where golf
clubs are prominent.

4. Is there an alternative option with a proven track record?

A. The 100% membership concept has proven successful in many other clubs, both locally and around the country. Some clubs
were structured that way by the developer while some have adopted it later.

B. What are the features of a 100% membership plan?

a. All property owners become members of the club. Usually “Social Members” with golfing as an extra option.

b. The members participate in the operation and maintenance of the club with the payment of a monthly dues assessment.

c. As Social Members, they have access to the club house and its facilities including dining, use of the lounge, parties and social
events and other community gatherings.

d. Additional facilities may exist or be added over time as desired by the membership.

5. What benefits accrue to the property owners under a 100 % membership plan?

A. The Golf Club is more financially secure thereby insuring its continuance.

B. Property owners tend to become more involved in their community.

C. The availability of the club’s facilities to property owners adds to the joys of living in the community.

D. Owners are likely to participate in activities at the club inasmuch as they are paying the monthly assessment anyway.

E. The Resident Membership, being attached to the property, is transferred to new owners when the property is sold. This adds
value to the property in the amount of the perceived value of the membership. The more active and successful the club, the greater
the added value. This usually appears as an increase in the “per square foot value” of the properties.

F. Inasmuch as the HOA is not purchasing the club, the costs to property owners can be much lower than if a purchase had to be
amortized over many years.

6. Has this concept been proven to work successfully?

A. Where the 100% membership has been in place for many years, the property values of the residences withstood the declines of
the recession, beginning in 2008, far better than those without that arrangement. (i.e. Sunrise CC, Chaparral CC)

B. In those clubs which recently faced the problems associated with declining club membership, the adoption of the 100%
membership has proven to be mostly smooth and has resulted in the retention of residential property values. (i.e. Avondale GC)

C. Research has shown that in clubs with 100% membership, per-square-foot property values have tended to be notably higher
than those clubs without this plan.

7. Where does BDSA and BDCC fit in this arrangement?

A. An agreement (MOU) has been worked out between these organizations that would be beneficial to both. This agreement
remains pending awaiting approval of the BDSA membership.

B. Under the terms of this agreement all BDSA members would become “Resident Community Members” of BDCC. They would
have access to the dining facilities, lounge, Grill Room and the use of the Club House for social activities within the guidelines of
such activities.

C. An Easement in Perpetuity would be granted to BDSA for the development of additional activities for which the membership
expresses a desire. Examples are: Pickle Ball, Croquet,

Bocce Ball, exercise area, secure pet area, and other such functions. Additionally, members would have access to the club
parking lot when using the ‘Park’ facilities.

D. The plan, as agreed to, is for three (3) years with automatic annual renewals. Either organization can cancel with proper notice.

8. Why are BDSA members being asked to vote on this proposal?

A. This plan would bring BDSA into an area heretofore beyond its scope. The governing documents (Articles of Incorporation,
CC&R’s, and Bylaws) will need to be amended to permit the association to engage in this activity.

B. To be successful, a YES vote of 50% plus 1 of all potential votes is required. Therefore, a non-vote would be equivalent to a NO

C. If the plan is rejected by the membership (receives less than the required number of YES votes) the agreement becomes void.
The Club would continue to function as it has in the past. There would be no further action on this matter.

9. Where does the Association Board of Directors stand on this proposed plan?

A. The Board has previously voted in favor of adopting this plan.

B. As a result of comments and suggestions received from members, some modifications of the original agreement have been
made which should be beneficial to BDSA members.

C. During the process of developing the proposed plan, the Board has worked closely with the Boards’ attorney to insure that all
aspects of the procedure were in compliance with the laws of the State of California and its existing governing documents.

D. The Board of Directors of BDSA believes that adoption of this arrangement with BDCC would be in the best interest of its
membership going forward. In considering the various aspects of the plan, only the interests of BDSA and its members was
considered in settling upon the terms with BDCC and their membership.

E. The Board is committed to bringing this proposal to a vote of the membership. They are prepared to accept the outcome as
final. The decision to continue with implementation of the Resident Community Membership or to drop the whole concept is
strictly up to the membership as expressed by a formal voting process.

F. The members of the Board of Directors encourage all BDSA members to cast their vote either for or against the proposal.
6:00 PM
Bermuda Dunes Community Center
Avenue 42 and Yucca Lane


Saturday May 21st & Sunday May 22nd 2016

The Temecula Valley Balloon and Wine Festival is held  at
Lake Skinner Recreation Area in the Southern California
Temecula Valley AVA. The event features morning balloon
launches, evening balloon glows, wine tasting from more than
20 wineries, wine competition, food and wine pairing, concerts
featuring country on Friday, Classic Rock and Rock on
Saturday, and Jazz on Sunday. There is also a giant arts and
craft faire, kids faire, and fine art paintings on exhibit within
the wine gardens.


760 772 -9053
Watercolor Painting- 14324

May 3, 2016

Tu 2:30pm to 4:30pm

Location: Bermuda Dunes Community Center

Facility: Multi Purpose Room B

Price:         $35.00 (Resident)

$80.00 (Non-resident)

Ages:         At least 18 but less than 99

Gender:         Coed

Spaces:         12 openings remaining

Get started painting in watercolor, or improve solid basic skills for creating realistic watercolors that glow and pop. Learn to
add drama and impact starting with a strong image and using good color choices to make the subject take center stage.
Learn color mixing both on palette and on the paper. Rather than boring exercises, techniques will be learned while actually
creating a finished painting. Often called the most difficult of mediums, there are plenty of tricks and tips in watercolor to
help correct mistakes and re-work an area that is less than desired result. Class format is a step-by-step process that
incorporates demonstrations of one small section of the painting at time throughout the class time. Photos of the subject
matter are provided and every student will be painting at the same painting. The class is interspersed with several
demonstrations, then time to paint as instructed. Each student will receive one-on-one guidance along the way. Bring your
enthusiasm and go home inspired. Supplies not included, but are available for purchase for an extra $10.

Supply list will be provided in advance if students wish to bring their own. Supplies may be purchased for an additional $10.

Click HERE for class sign up
Bermuda Dunes Country Club


Membership Offering

Live – Dine - Play

Social Membership

Initiation Fee: $500 (non-refundable) Monthly Dues: $119

Corrected from a previous post where I erroneously said there would be a F&B Minimum

Hey, this deal looks better all the time!

Capital Fee: $10 monthly

* Golf privileges - Special Rates for RCM - TBA
* Full privileges to the clubhouse, all dining, social events, and activities.

All fees subject to change.

NO INITIATION FEE OF $500 and $50 per month, not $119, no F&B Minimum

All aboard The Living Desert's Train Day!
Saturday, May 7
10am - 1pm

Train Day features fun events for all ages centered around
The Living Desert's 3,300 feet of track at the Garden
Railroad. Train Day includes a scavenger hunt, special
trackless train rides, a Choo-Choo-Churro special and more.
Model train enthusiasts and novices alike will enjoy
informative train chats being offered throughout the event.
Guests can also win a chance to be our
Conductor of the Day!

The day's events are FREE for members or with paid
Bonnie Jermain

A note last week, from a dear friend and equity member of
BDCC, kind of says it all!
He was also one of the $100K
which, indeed, does say it all! The Club and Community
has lost a great person!

I have left the club .... and intend to make it permanent. I think the
condition of the course is terrible- whether it's mismanagement
by the board, the general manager or the superintendent I don't
care. It's the clubs best asset and it's just not good.
The community vote issue is to negative and toxic for me. Now I
have to view signs on the way to my house- just not for me. So I
rolled that all in to my brain and decided enough is enough.
As real estate will not sell until the actual community vote takes
place and about every other condo/house is for sale probably
wait a few months for actual listing........'
When do you think BDSA and BDCC will 'get it'????????????

Hi Bonnie:

It was so easy for me to check your information.

Here are comments from the Membership Director
at BDCC.
RE: Bonnie Jemain's Comments

To my knowledge no $100,000  Equity Member has
left.  Myra

Myra L. Sandlin

Director of Marketing & Membership
Bermuda Dunes Country Club
42765 Adams St. Bermuda Dunes, CA 92203

Phone:   760.345.2771 ext. 124
O's FB Page
Barbara J Black

John Thiele and others who believe the DEFENDERS
are blocking the vote on amending the are
seriously mistaken or misinformed on that point.

In their September 4,2015 letter to the general
membership all 3 Board Presidents said that a vote on
the matter would be forthcoming. The BDSA has
repeatedly said that while the vote would be a simple
"yes" or "no" they state they do not have the ballot
written yet.

As recent as yesterday they were asked again at the
Board meeting about the ballot and the election and
they said they were still working on it.

It isn't the DEFENDERS who are holding up the show, it
is the BDSA Board and their attorney.

The Board has TOTAL control of both what appears on
any ballot and TOTAL control of scheduling all elections.

In all fairness, please pass this accurate information
along to any of your friends, neighbors and
acquaintances who may not be aware of the law and
the true facts in this regard.

Thank you.

Hi Barbara:

You know full well this is incorrect! Why would
you post this?

The Kent group felt they needed to have their OWN
town hall meeting.

BDSA not only agreed with your request, but they
allotted you monies to help pay for a location.

You were given until mid-May to take advantage of
their offer.

Until these town hall meetings take place - or time
runs out for you...we wait!

Does this ring a bell for you? It should, you were
at this meditation meeting.

I do believe the ball is now in your court

Mrs. B
Mrs. B

We heartily recommend the Good Guys for Air Conditioning,
Heating and Pluming. Rubin came out with an apprentice and
was about as efficient as he could be. Lover the guy and his work.

The Good Guys Air, Pluming and Heating
Rubin's the owner of the Company and does
the work at site. Licence #984954

Thanks, Steve Elliott

Hi Steve:

We will certainly add The Good Guys Air, Plumbing and
Heating to our List. Click on 'P' for Plumbing

Mrs. B
Barbara J Black

I am predicting, with a 95-97% level of certainty, that Bermuda
Dunes Country Club community residents, with the exception of
Club equity members, will never have the opportunity to vote on
a Resident Club Membership in any form.

Details later.

Hi Barbara:

You are truly an Obstructionist!
Mrs. B.

Does this mean that we should thank her and her cronies for
successfully making Bermuda Dunes Country Club residents
the only residents that are to bound for life to our original
charter bylaws while every other residential community in
Coachella Valley and America enjoy the right and freedom to
amend their community bylaws at the will of the resident
majority that created them when such consensus sees it as a
common interest benefit to the community?  Really (?), we are
enslaved to and bound to a life sentence by the very bylaws we
ourselves created, they rule us instead of us ruling them?   Sad
news, very sad news.  I wonder how we were able to make
amendments to our United States Constitution that was created
by the people but yet we are to be enslaved by our own set in
stone residential bylaws for the remainder of our natural lives....

Edward Testo

A small young brown male dog was found near the junction of Baracoa and Starlight Lane today (Tuesday,  May 3) around
9:30 AM.
He has no collar and is not microchipped.

Contact Tony O’Doherty, 805-402-5183.

To: Mrs. B

Would you please add these people to your
vendor list.

They are the best. Very reasonable and

business name is Glez & Glez cleaning his name is
moyo gonzalas  phone 760 993 7575.

Chris Hogan

Hi Chris:

Thanks for contacting us. We will be happy to
add Glez and Glez to our List. Click on 'W'
for Window Cleaning

Mrs. B

Last May, when I stepped down as your Volunteer
Programs Manager, I was surprised with a fabulous party at
Maureen's house attended by many of my
friends-volunteers and staff-at TLD. I was shocked and
nearly speechless when presented with a huge card with all
your names, along with a big check.

Your generosity, though many of you could not even be at
the party, was overwhelming and really touched me.  
Maureen whispered a suggestion that I should use it on a
special birding trip-to commemorate my 20+ years at TLD.

What a great idea! So on February 25th this year, I did just
that. Stan and I, with friends Sue and Dave Valentino, set
off on a 10 day Road Scholar/Elderhostel Panama: Birding
at the Crossroads of America trip. What an adventure:  from
ultra modern and colonial Panama City to the Gamboa
rainforest area, then the cloud forest of Boquete in the
Chiriqui highlands from one side of the volcano to the other,
we birded amidst coffee plantations

Out of hundreds of species possible in this amazing
country, we managed to see over 200, thanks to our
fabulous and determined guide, Jacob Ortega. A few were
most unusual (like the 3-wattled Bellbird) and

exotic jeweled or long-billed hummingbirds. Along the way,
we were educated in the history of Panama, the building
and operation of the canal, as well as wonderful flora and
fauna (sloths, agouti, capybara, iguanas, monkeys).  

It was a trip that I will always remember as a gift from all of
you, and I can't thank you enough.

This season of working half-time at TLD has been a calm,
rewarding transition toward full retirement, so I am now
ready to actually "pull the plug". May 27th will be my last
day on the payroll and I leave with many mixed feelings. It is
time to do more traveling     throughout the year--not just
summer-- in our little rig. I love and will miss my Living
Desert "family" but I will eventually be back as a volunteer,
the way I started back in 1992 (once I tackle a few projects
at home that have been put off for a long, long time). So no
goodbyes-just a fade away and "hasta la vista"...until I see
you again.

Judi was our Volunteer Coordinater for over 20 years.
I am so happy she had such a wonderful trip.

We miss you...

Mrs. B
Animal Encounter   

Keeping "Track" of Our Animals
By Christine "Sully" Sullivan, Animal Keeper

Did you know that every animal here at The Living Desert
gets evaluated by keepers every day? Each keeper is
responsible for a particular group of animals and exhibits, or
"Strings" in zoo-keeper lingo. For example, our "Village" String
includes the African Crested Porcupines, the Weaver Aviary,
Striped Hyenas, Amur Leopard, and all of the Kraal
hoofstock, totaling 49 individual animals. With that many
animals, it can sound very daunting when it comes to keeping
"track" of them all. However, it's a little easier than you might
think once you get to know the individual animals, their
normal behavior, and their histories. One of the indispensable
tools keepers and managers use at TLD to help keep "track"
of each animal is the ZIMS (Zoological Information
Management System) animal database.

When managing such a large collection of animals, it is
crucial to have a well-organized record-keeping system that
allows managers and keepers the ability to constantly update
the current status of, and/or research the life-history of every
animal. Thanks to the ZIMS database, everyone from the
colony of ants in our "Ant Lab" to our Ankole Cattle have
essentially their own "profile pages" that hold nearly
everything anybody has learned about that animal, such as:
where it was born, who the parents were, age, date of birth,
scientific name, weights, offspring produced, other  facilities it
has lived, etc., etc. Also included is the animal's daily life
events that keepers are responsible for updating on a daily

From veterinary exams to training sessions, swiftness or
refusal to shift on or off an exhibit, enrichment
demonstrations, and general daily care such as getting a
weight measurement, hoof-trims, or administering
medications, a lot happens with our animals from day to day,
and updating each of their "profiles" with those occurrences is
a constant job for keepers. At the end of  every day, keepers
are required to write what is called a "Daily Report", which
includes those items mentioned above, or anything the
keeper thinks is relevant to themselves or others that may
work with that certain animal.

This ensures that if an animal is to be transferred to another
facility (such as for breeding purposes), the receiving
institution can get an idea of "who" they are getting, and be
better prepared for that animal. Also, when keepers or
managers go on their weekend, a vacation, or leave a facility,
it's important that the knowledge they have of that area and
those individual animals gets passed along to the keepers
following them on that String, otherwise, it can be
overwhelming, and the animals may not get the proper care
they need. Thankfully, because of ZIMS and those constantly
updating it, managing the animal collections here at TLD is
made that much easier.

Desert Ironwood Tree (Olneya tesota)
Pea Family (Fabaceae)
by: Mack Nash

The tram driver confidently and matter-of-factly educated
the visitors on his tram, "this is the ironwood tree, its wood
is so dense it will not float in water and so hard it will break
your chainsaw".  Many years ago I remember frequently
hearing this statement and I often giggled to myself upon
hearing it.  It was not so much about the hardness of the
wood, but the part about the chainsaw I found comedic.  It
is true that the dense, fine-grained wood doesn't float; it has
long been used by Native Americans to make tools.  
Luckily, I don't remember breaking our chainsaw while
cutting the wood of an ironwood tree.

The desert ironwood tree is one of our few local native
trees in the Coachella Valley.  It is long-lived and slow
growing, but creates a canopy that casts shade which is so
important to life in our intensely hot and dry desert
environment.  Many animals and plants (and even weary
desert travelers) have utilized the protection of the shade
from ironwood trees.  In addition to creating shelter,
ironwood trees provide food for many types of animals from
insects to reptiles to birds and mammals with their wood,
leaves, flowers, and seeds.  Furthermore, ironwood trees
actually help nutrify the soil and their local environment
through nitrogen fixation.  As pea family representatives,
ironwoods host symbiotic soil bacteria in root nodules that
convert atmospheric nitrogen into chemical forms that can
be utilized by the ironwood trees in their growth.  Excess
nitrogen is eventually deposited to the soil as the ironwoods
shed their leaves.  Ironwood trees grow throughout the
Sonoran Desert in southeastern California, southern
Arizona, and in Baja California and Sonora, Mexico on
slopes and plains and in washes up to 2,900 feet in

Desert ironwood trees grow slowly up to 30 feet tall and
equally wide or wider at maturity.  They have small
pinnately divided bluish-green leaves and branches
covered by smooth gray bark punctuated by sharp, stout
spines.  The bark tends to split with age on old trunks,
which can become massive over time.   The trees can have
single or multiple trunks.  The trees can remain evergreen
but can also be drought deciduous and shed their leaves
during dry periods, usually before summer rains.  This
usually happens in the eastern portions of its range where
monsoonal moisture is more common.  Trees in the hotter,
drier western parts of its range are generally relegated to
washes or arroyos where water collects naturally from fickle
winter rains.  Ironwoods often grow with mesquite and palo
verde trees forming spiny desert woodlands.  Ironwoods
flower from March to June with small pink to light purple
pea-like (pappilionaceous) flowers which later give rise to
inch to two-inch long seed pods containing edible seeds.  
The flowers are often sparse in the upper branches of the
trees' canopies, and in some years may not form at all, but
during some years, the flowers may be prolific and entire
canopies can turn pink with blossoms.  The seeds were
historically collected in summer, cooked and ground into
flour or eaten whole.  The seeds are said to contain up to
20% protein and have a peanut-like flavor.

The dense wood was commonly made into tools such as
boat paddles, clubs, throwing sticks, harpoon shafts, and
pestles.  It is also known as excellent firewood as it burns
hot.  More recently, Seri and other native peoples use the
wood for carving sculptures and figurines as it takes on an
attractive polished appearance.  Unfortunately, it is
reported that many old great stands of ironwood trees in
Sonora, Mexico have been plundered for charcoal
production and are being replaced by non-native grasses.

At The Living Desert, look for ironwood trees along the
main visitor pathway in the Yuman Garden.  This year there
has been a spectacular bloom and many of the trees are
covered in flowers (the flowers are fading fast giving way to
seed pods).  Some of our most conspicuous insects,
carpenter bees (Xylocopa varipuncta) are super fond of the
flowers and can commonly be observed visiting the
flowers.  Honey bees as well as native solitary bees, such
as the pallid bee or digger bee (Centris pallida) also
frequent the blossoms in search of nectar and pollen.  
Some naturally occurring ironwood trees at The Living
Desert can be viewed from the pathway by the Peninsular
Pronghorn exhibit and the Carousel.  They are growing to
the south of the Pronghorn enclosure and appear much like
one would expect a true native desert tree to appear-like
big shrubs.

The Arabian ostrich was fairly common until the time of World
War I. After this war, firearms became more plentiful in the
Arabian Peninsula and the arrival of automobiles made it
possible to pursue these ostriches. By the outbreak of World
War II, this ostrich subspecies was virtually extinct. The last
legitimate record of the Arabian Ostrich was an individual
shot and eaten by pipeline workers along the Persian Gulf in

Historically, the Coachella Valley fringe-toed lizard inhabited
about 270 square miles of sand dune habitat in the Coachella
Valley. The sand dunes or "blowsand" habitat consist of fine
sand that accumulates at the bottom of drainages deposited
by high winds. Today, the fringe-toed lizard habitat has been
reduced to about 50 square miles, but only about 19 square
miles of this land continues to receive the naturally occurring
"blowsand". Protection of the sand source for the "blowsand"
ecosystem is very important to the long-term conservation of
this native desert species.

Globally, 10% of all tree species (8,000 species) are
threatened with extinction. Although protecting a threatened
species in its natural habitat (in situ conservation) is the ideal
and most effective way to prevent extinction, there is a
growing realization that complementary protection efforts
outside a species' natural habitat (ex situ conservation) are
also crucial for species survival. Storage in a seed bank is
the most economic and practical way to protect tree species,
but many trees, such as oaks, cannot be stored using existing
technologies. These 'exceptional' species must be housed in
living collections.

Animal pollinators such as bees, birds, beetles, flies,
butterflies and bats are essential to the reproduction of nearly
85 percent of the world's flowering plants. By far the most
important of these are native bees. In contrast to
hive-dwelling non-native honey bees, most native bees nest
alone in small holes on open, sandy ground or in tree snags,
logs or excavated twigs.  Ensure that native bees have
nesting sites by reducing mulching, mowing, and tilling of the
soil, and limiting the removal of dead trees and limbs that may
destroy nests or future nesting sites.

During the week of April 17, 2016 the levels of atmospheric
CO2 exceeded 409 parts per million for the first time in
recorded history. We are now witnessing the fastest growth
rates of the entire record of CO2 measurements. This
record-breaking growth is an expected consequence of the
near record-breaking fossil fuel usage combined with the
largest El Niño event in several decades. The effects of El
Niño on atmospheric CO2 include drought, wild fires and
CO2 uptake by the oceans.

We currently have a total of 5 cheetah.  We have the two
older and three young females. The three new cheetah are
litter mates  and a bit older than 1 ½ years.  They came to us
from Fossil Rim Wildlife Center in Texas.  Look for them on
exhibit mid- to late-May

We currently have 8 giraffe - two females and 6 males.  The
newest giraffe, currently in quarantine, is a young male about
1 ½ years old.  He came to us from the Dallas Zoo.  Out mid-
to late-May.

We currently have  2 coyotes in our collection.  See article on

Did you know that in place of the video kiosk in the hospital
we now  have a large flat screen TV?  Many different animal
procedures run on a video loop.

Babies babies everywhere.  Of all the new babies born here
at The Living Desert, a really special one is the new Cuvier's
gazelle.  Not only is it in my opinion the prettiest of all the
gazelles that we have in our collection, they are also one of
the most endangered.

Cuvier's Gazelle (Gazella cuvieri) are a dark fawn color with
distinctive dark brown lateral bands. The coat is dense due to
the cold desert climate of its mountainous habitats.  The
upper side is a dull red-brown to slaty, grayish-brown, with
lighter flanks, and a white underside.  The nose and forehead
are darker brown.  Both males and females have curved
ridged horns.  Males can reach 31" at shoulder and weigh
55-66 lbs. Horns of adult males can be 14", growing upright
and parallel with 12-17 rings.

They are the only true mountain dwelling gazelle in Africa and
are found in open oak forests to stony deserts.  They are
usually found in small herds, rarely exceeding seven
individuals. It is the only surviving gazelle endemic to the area
north of the Sahara Desert.  IUCN estimates about 250 of
these animals remain in the wild.  Because of its range and
territory, getting accurate numbers is problematic.

We currently have three in our collection.  All three can be
seen on exhibit.  Wendy Enright, Animal Manager and North
America Studbook Keeper for Cuvier's gazelle was excited to
announce a new baby born March 23rd.  It is a
much-welcomed male.  Next time you are out and about
check out this beautiful gazelle and see if you can spot the
new baby boy calf.
New Coyote Pup

Say hello to our new coyote pup named "Stormy".

The male coyote was found near a drainage ditch following
a rainstorm in San Diego and was likely abandoned by his
mother after her den flooded. The pup was brought to Fund
for Animals Wildlife Center in Ramona, which rehabilitates
and releases animals back into the wild. Members of their
rehab team attempted to follow mom's tracks to the new
den in order to reunite him, but the tracks were washed
away. Once they deemed the coyote pup, appropriately
named "Stormy," would probably not survive in its natural
habitat without his mother, The Living Desert was
contacted and he was relocated to the Zoo on April 12,

Hand-raised, bottle-fed coyote pups do not have a good
chance at being released successfully back into the wild.
Now that Stormy has been hand-fed and raised by humans,
he has become comfortable around people and will rely on
humans for food and shelter, further reinforcing the decision
to make The Living Desert his new home.

He is currently being cared for at the wildlife hospital.   
Starting Saturday, April 30, he will spend some time in one
of the windows at the hospital.  He is growing  fast and will
eventual be put on exhibit.  Come by and visit.

Cat bites deemed more dangerous than dog bites

Getting bit by any domesticated animal is not something that most people want, but a new study has found that cat bites are
far worse than dog bites.

That said, the American Humane Society reports that about 4.7 million dog bites occur in the U.S. each year. Fairly common.

What are far less common are cat bites, and admittedly, you don't really hear much about them. Yet, according to scientists at
the Mayo Clinic, they can be extremely dangerous.

As noted by consumer reporter Mark Huffman over at Consumer Affairs:

Their jaws may be tiny compared to a dog's but their tiny teeth can do real damage, injecting bacteria deep into joints and
tissue, perfect breeding grounds for infection.

One indication of the danger is the required treatment. A Mayo Clinic study covering three years shows that one in three
patients treated for a cat bite had to be admitted to a hospital. Of those requiring a hospital stay, two-thirds needed surgery.

The study found that middle-aged women were the most common cat bite victims.

'Dogs' teeth are blunter

According to researchers, there is no more bacteria in a cat's mouth than what is found in a dog's mouth. But it's the fact that
little kitty's little fangs are designed perfectly to inject bacteria deep into your tissue that makes all the difference.

"The dogs' teeth are blunter, so they don't tend to penetrate as deeply and they tend to leave a larger wound after they bite,"
said senior author Brian Carlsen, M.D., a Mayo Clinic plastic surgeon and orthopedic hand surgeon. "The cats' teeth are
sharp and they can penetrate very deeply, they can seed bacteria in the joint and tendon sheaths."

What's more, the scientists point out, it really doesn't take a gaping wound to cause much damage. Just a small, pinprick of a
bite, Carlsen notes, can lead to infection from bacteria being injected into a tendon sheath or into a joint where it can grow
and flourish with relative protection from the blood and the human body's immune system.

In fact, bacteria from a cat bite can include a common animal bacteria strain that is hard to treat in humans, because it is
difficult to fight off with antibiotics, Huffman wrote.

The study was published in the February issue of the Journal of Hand Surgery.

According to researchers, cat bites can often land the victim in the hospital. And when they do, such patients must often have
wounds surgically cleaned and flushed out, as well as infected tissue removed -- a procedure that is called "debridement." In
the Mayo Clinic study, eight of 193 patients required more than one operation; some even needed reconstructive surgery.

Reconstructive surgery

According to MinnPost, the clinic undertook the study to see if they could find any new risk factors that might help predict
which patients who come in for treatment of a cat bite to the hand would eventually have to be admitted to the hospital.

Most of what the scientists found, however, only confirmed what they already knew -- that such bites are more likely to land a
victim in the hospital when they occur over a joint or tendon and are subsequently accompanied by redness, pain and
swelling. They said risks increase for people with immune-deficiency disorders, as you might imagine.

"The hand surgery community isn't so shocked by our paper, but I do think the public may be surprised," Carlsen told

"I have seen some really bad infections [from cat bites] that have required multiple operations," he added. "I had one patient, a
farmer, whose tendons were destroyed on the back of his hand by the infection. He couldn't straighten his fingers out. We had
to reconstruct the tendons."

Pet your pet kitty with care.
All Day

The Living Desert is dedicated to the conservation of endangered wildlife and participates in several Species Survival Plans.
The Zoo actively protects wildlife on a local, national and global scale, so Endangered Species Day is a special day at The
Living Desert.

Throughout the day, Friday, May 20 animal keepers will conduct chats and educate zoo-goers of ways they can help
threatened animals thrive. Activities on this day are free to members and with paid admission.

What if your favorite wildlife animal vanished?

Friday, May 20th is Endangered Species Day and The Living Desert will raise awareness of the work the zoo does to save
animals from extinction and will also highlight the public’s role in saving species. Throughout the day we will demonstrate a
variety of ways to help the public consider what it would be like not to be able to see, learn or connect with these incredible
animals again.

Through AZA SAFE: Saving Animals From Extinction, for the first time, the entire AZA-accredited
zoo and aquarium community will focus our conservation science, our wildlife expertise and our 180 million visitors on saving
species in the wild.

For example, the amazing cheetah, the fastest land mammal on earth, once numbered more than 100,000 in the wild. Today
there are estimated to be fewer than 12,000 due to human-animal conflict and shrinking habitats. AZA SAFE will bring
together AZA accredited zoos and aquariums working together with conservation partners to create a real future for cheetahs
in Africa.

For more information, follow the online conversation on May 20 via #savingspecies or visit to learn more
Since the BDSA board members are fellow resident home
owners in our community elected to represent the common
interest of all the rest of their fellow homeowners in day to day
issues pertaining our cost of service benefits provided by our
community service provider vendors,  I would love to know what
their incentive would be for them to be on a mission to
arbitrarily raise their own HOA costs along with the rest of the

Especially, since historically their performance has been
successful in keeping our HOA's the lowest of any other
competing exclusive private golf course anchored gated
Coachella Valley community!  

I would be interested in Kent's reasoning behind his accusation
since the facts don't support his claim.

Edward Testo
Note from Mrs. B

Looks like a desperate attempt to keep his followers in

Kent Knobelauch

The BDCC social membership agreement is just a distraction.
The most dangerous and $ costly action the BDSA is taking is
the amending of the governining documents, CC&Rs, Bylaws &
Articles. By LAW the BDSA board does not have the authority
to engage in the contract with BDCC. The board and attorney
Guralnick have agreed on that point. Therefore, they MUST
obtain the authority by attempting to pass amendments to the
governing documents. These amendments will attempt to give
them the authority to engage in ANY type of bulk contract they
desire without member voting approval of the contract. The
BDCC social membership is a BULK CONTRACT.BDSA is only
the collection agency, just like Time Warner.

Second, they will attempt to abolish the protections of law
found in Civil Code 5605. That section protects all members
and limits the BDSA board from raising our dues more than
20% over the previous year without member voted approval.

The BDSA board will attempt to abolish that protection and give
themselves the power to raise BDSA dues by any amount
WITHOUT member voting approval.

The BDSA board CANNOT legally put the Social Membership
on a ballot until they have obtained the authority. THIS WILL

Stop paying attention to the "Distracters" on here that want to
drag you down the Social membership dog and pony show
road. Pay attention to the MOST dangerous part of the BDSA
action attempts. The amending of the governing documents.

The BDSA cannot pay for the BDCC social membership
amount of $50 per month without abolishing the 20% dues
increase protection.

The only item the BDSA board can put on any future ballot is
the amending of the governing documents. To put the Social
membership contract on the same ballot would give perfect rise
to legal action to invalidate any vote.
Rattlesnake Facts

A rattlesnake striking with fangs extended. Rattlesnake bites can be dangerous but are very rarely fatal to humans.
Credit: Audrey Snider-Bell | Shutterstock

Rattlesnakes are large, venomous snakes that are found throughout North and South America. The greatest concentration of
them is in the Southwestern United States and in Northern Mexico. Arizona is home to 13 species of rattler, more than any
other state. The most distinctive feature that these species share is the rattle.

Rattle and hiss

Residents of the Southwestern United States likely have heard the distinctive buzz of these pit vipers. Their namesake rattle
is a highly effective warning sign, signaling predators to stay away. “Rattles are segments of keratin that fit loosely inside one
another at the end of the snake’s tail,” explained Sara Viernum, a herpetologist based in Madison, Wisconsin. “These
segments knock against each other to produce a buzzing sound when the snake holds its tail vertically and vibrates the rattle.
Each time a rattlesnake sheds its skin it adds another segment to the rattle.”

Scientists consider the rattlesnake’s rattle a highly evolved and sophisticated warning system — which makes sense since,
according to the San Diego Zoo, these are the newest and most evolved snakes in the world.

Rattlesnakes also hiss, a second element of its warning posture that is often overlooked and overshadowed by its rattle,
writes Laurence Monroe Klauber in "Rattlesnakes: Their Habits, Life Histories, and Influence on Mankind" (University of
California Press, 1997). Viernum said the behavior “is similar to a cat hissing when threatened by a dog. In rattlesnakes,
hissing and rattling their tails both serve as warning signals.

“The process of hissing occurs when a snake forcefully expels air from the glottis within the throat,” Viernum continued. “This
causes structures within the glottis to rattle, creating the hissing sound.” The snake's one functional lung has relatively large
air capacity, and as the snake hisses, its body may swell up or deflate. Interestingly, snakes are deaf to airborne sounds, so
the hiss is only a warning for animals that can hear and not a means of communication with other snakes.

This rattlesnake was stretched full length on a sunny February day on the dirt near a freeway in Phoenix, Arizona. When
approached, it coiled up, rattled a bit, flicked its tongue, hissed and otherwise warned off any fool who might get too close.
Said fool stayed back.

This rattlesnake was stretched full length on a sunny February day on the dirt near a freeway in Phoenix, Arizona. When
approached, it coiled up, rattled a bit, flicked its tongue, hissed and otherwise warned off any fool who might get too close.
Credit: Robert Roy Britt.


Rattlesnakes can range from one to eight feet, depending on the species (the big one is the eastern diamondback), according
to the National Wildlife Federation. They are thick-bodied snakes with keeled (ridged) scales in a variety of colors and
patterns. Most species are patterned with dark diamonds, rhombuses or hexagons on a lighter background.

“Other distinctive physical characteristics include producing venom, heat-sensing facial pits, hinged fangs and live births,”
said Viernum. “These characteristics are shared with other pit vipers such as the cottonmouthand copperhead.” After the
rattle, rattlesnakes’ most distinctive physical feature is their triangular head. Also, they have vertical pupils, like cat’s eyes.

Young rattlesnakes do not yet have their rattles, though they are as dangerous as adults, according to the National Park
Service at Yosemite. Furthermore, some adults may lose their rattles, so it is a good idea look out for the triangular head.


These adaptable serpents can thrive in a variety of environments. They are most abundant in the desert sands of the
Southwest, but they also like grasslands, scrub brush and rocky hills. They can be found in the swamplands of the
Southeastern United States and in the meadows of the Northeast. These snakes can handle high elevation and are found
everywhere from sea level to 11,000 feet (3,353 m), according to the San Diego Zoo.


Rattlesnakes spend some time in dens, which they make in rocky crevices. Those in colder climates hibernate there for the
winter. According to the South Dakota Game, Fish, and Parks Department, generation after generation of rattlesnake will use
the same dens. The San Diego Zoo reported that they sometimes use the same den for more than 100 years. Upon leaving
their dens, they like to sun themselves on rocks and other open places. Though they are not nocturnal, in the hot summer
months they may be more active at night.

Despite their venom, rattlesnakes are no match for king snakes, which are fond of putting them on their dinner menus,
according to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

In addition to rattling and hissing, rattlesnakes exhibit other defensive behaviors. “They may also coil their bodies and raise
their heads high off the ground in a defensive posture,” said Viernum. “This coiled position serves as a way to anchor the
body if they body if they feel the need to strike with their raised head.

Rattlesnakes are ovoviviparous, which means that eggs incubate inside the mother’s body. Babies are born live, encased in a
thin membrane that they puncture after being born. Ratters mate in the spring and summer, depending on the species, and,
according to the Denver Zoo, males may engage in combat. Mothers can store sperm for months before fertilizing the eggs,
and then they carry babies for about three months. They only give birth every two years, usually to about 10 baby rattlers.
Mothers don’t spend any time with their offspring, slithering off as soon as they are born.

The National Wildlife Federation reported that rattlesnakes typically live for 10 to 25 years.


Rattlesnakes’ favorite foods are small rodents and lizards. They lie in wait until a victim comes along, and then strike at
speeds of five-tenths of a second, according to the San Diego Zoo. Their venom paralyzes the prey, which they then swallow
whole. According to the University of Michigan Museum of Zoology’s Animal Diversity Web (ADW), timber rattlesnakes wait
until the prey is dead before swallowing it. The digestive process can take several days, and rattlesnakes become sluggish
and hide during this time. Adult rattlers eat about every two weeks.


Most people bitten by rattlesnakes have inadvertently stepped on them — so watch where you’re walking! Rattlesnake bites
can be dangerous but are very rarely fatal to humans. With proper medical treatment, including antivenin, bites are usually not

Their venom is extremely potent. “The venom of most rattlesnake species is composed mainly of hemotoxins,” Viernum said.
“Symptoms include temporary and/or permanent tissue and muscle damage, loss of an extremity depending on the location of
the bite, internal bleeding, and extreme pain around the injection area.”

Some rattlesnake species have venom that contains neurotoxins. “Mojave, tiger, and speckled rattlesnakes are examples of
rattlesnakes where either the entire species or certain populations within the species produce neurotoxins,” said Viernum. She
explained that neurotoxins act faster than hemotoxins and attack the nervous system. “Symptoms from a neurotoxic
rattlesnake bite include problems with vision, difficulty swallowing and speaking, skeletal muscle weakness, difficulty
breathing, and respiratory failure.”

Nevertheless, Viernum reinforced the idea that fatalities from rattlesnake bites are rare if treated in a timely manner.

According to DesertUSA, there is some evidence that rattlesnake venom is becoming more neurotoxic across the board, which
may be an evolutionary strategy, as some rodents are evolving to be more resistant to hemotoxins.

Rattlesnakes have triangular heads — an important identifying feature in case the snake has lost its rattle.
Credit: Casey K. Bishop Shutterstock


Rattlesnakes are pit vipers, in the same family (Viperidae) as cottonmouths, copperheads and other vipers. Rattlesnakes are
in the genus Crotalus, and are closely related to pygmy rattlesnakes, which are in the genus Sistrurus.
Mojave Trails National Monument
by Kristine Bonner

Three new national monuments were designated by President Obama on February 12, 2016.

At a whopping 1.6 million acres (2,500 sq mi), the Mojave Trails National Monument dwarfs the other two national monuments
created by decree of President Obama on February 12, 2016. This vast area links Joshua Tree National Park with the Mojave
National Preserve, creating a land bridge of safety for migrating wildlife such as the desert bighorn sheep. Wilderness areas
abut much of the new monument, increasing its value as a wildlife corridor. Its designation as a national monument will also
limit large energy developments within its confines.

Map of Mojave Trails National Monument

Mojave Trails contains a host of fascinating features, both geological and historical. Pisgah Crater is located on the western
side of the monument, just south of I 40 and west of the town of Ludlow. It's the most accessible of the the Lavic Lake volcanic
field's four cinder cone volcanoes in the area. It was once mined by the Mount Pisgah Volcanic Cinders Mine for pumice so
the top is not as regularly shaped as Amboy Crater, also contained within the monument.

Amboy Crater - BLM Photo

An undeveloped stretch of America's most classic and beloved highway, Route 66, connects to the I 40 near Ludlow and runs
through the central part of the monument, providing access to 103 miles of scenic areas. Travelers can experience driving the
iconic road that early 20th century travelers once relied upon as the main, and most direct route from east to west. Some of
the old cafés that fed travelers are still standing, like Roy's Café. Some are even operational, like the Bagdad Café.

The Marble Mountains and Ship Mountains are located in Mojave Trails National Monument. The Marble Mountains' Mojave
desert habitat hosts the desert tortoise and the golden eagle. There is a fossil bed collecting area famous for trilobytes as well
as a rockhounding location where green epidote, dolomite, chrysocolla, chalcedony, serpentine, marble, garnet and specular
hematite, iron and kenatite, chalcedony crystals, geodes and gold have been found. The Ship Mountains, so called because
they look like a ship sailing across the flat desert surrounds, are known for pastel colored opalite. BLM's website says,

This area can be found by taking historic route 66 to the town site of Chambless then taking Cadiz Road approximately 4
miles south. At this point the road turns sharply to the left (east) You will see Cadiz Farms housing on the left side of the road.
Continue on east for two miles and just before reaching the rail road crossing turn north on Route (Rt.) NS376 for .4 miles at
the intersection with Rt. NS299 drive east for .2 miles. your final turn will be north on NS380 for .7 miles park here near the
base of the mountain and hike west to east along the wash. Hiking up the mountain and looking down hill will allow you to see
where others have excavated pits in the shale and help indicate where fossils have been found.

Over the years this site has been used heavily and it is recommended that only one trilobite per person be removed. Be aware
that the collection of antiquities is protected by the Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979.

Cadiz Dunes - BLM Photo
Not too far from the Marble Mountains lies the Cadiz Wilderness, the home of the Cadiz Dunes. These dunes are low and
have been formed by formed by winds pushing sand from Cadiz Dry Lake. Borrego milkvetch grows in the dune area, and
Mojave desert wildlife such as black-tailed jackrabbits, coyotes, rattlesnakes and roadrunners thrive there. BLM's website

Getting There: Travel 62 miles east of Twentynine Palms on State Highway 62. Turn north and follow the graveled Cadiz
Road for 26 miles. The next 5 miles of the Cadiz Road forms the eastern boundary of the wilderness. Cadiz Road is passable
by two-wheel drive vehicles, but the southern and northern bound routes require four-wheel drive vehicles.

Meeting at Camp Ibis - BLM Photo

Remnants of World War II desert training centers, Camp Iron Mountain and Camp Ibis are contained in Mojave Trails. Facing
the need to train soldiers for combat in North Africa, the Desert Training Center was set up in 1942 with General George S.
Patton Jr. as its first commander. Camp Iron Mountain is said to be the best preserved.

The heart of the monument, some feel, is Sleeping Beauty Valley. Situated between the Cady Mountains, and Kelso Dunes
and Bristol Mountains Wildernesses, the valley is an almost untouched example of Mojave ecology and is probably the most
scenic part of Mojave Trails. It contains an immense range of biological life as the western Mojave desert zone combines with
the eastern Mojave in the valley. The valley is named for Sleeping Beauty Mountain, which has a ridge formation that looks
like a sleeping woman. Broadwell Dry Lake, sometimes called Tonopah Lake, lies at the center of the valley. The Wildlife
Conservancy says, "The valley provides critical linkage between northern and southern populations of desert tortoise, and it is
also home to an unusual, and perhaps ancient, plant called the crucifixion thorn, a species believed by some scientists to live
as long as 10,000 years. " To get there, the BLM says,

Broadwell Dry Lake - 6 miles north of Ludlow via Crucero Road; west to hilly area.

Other areas of interest in the monument are Ward Valley, considered sacred to the Colorado River Native Americans, the
Sacramento Mountains and Bigelow Cholla Garden, with the densest population of its namesake cactus in California, and
Lobeck's Pass, with its erie rock formations on US Hwy 95, just south of Needles.

Cadiz Wilderness - BLM Photo

California Sen. Dianne Feinstein and the Wildlife Conservancy were instrumental in the creation of the three monuments:
the Mojave Trails National Monument, the Sand to Snow National Monument and the Castle Mountain National Monument.
A quarter million acres of the Mojave Trails National Monument lands had been privately purchased by the Wildlife
Conservancy and donated to the US Department of the Interior in anticipation of governmental action. Feinstein had long
advocated for the protection of the desert lands, but had been unable to get legislation passed by Congress. She, and many
others, requested Obama act to protect the lands. Feinstein had introduced the California Desert Protection Act of 1994 to
Congress. The Act converted Death Valley and Joshua Tree National Monuments into their present designation as National
Parks and the East Mojave National Scenic Area into the Mojave National Preserve. The monuments created in February of
2016 fulfill a vision of interconnected preserve areas to promote the well being of wildlife and ecosystems, and long term
protection for California's desert wildernesses. This preserve is now the second largest desert preserve in the world; only
the enormous Namib-Naukluft National Park in Namibia is larger at 19,216 sq mi. (12,298,240 acres)
MAY 5,1961

The first American in space

From Cape Canaveral, Florida, Navy Commander Alan Bartlett Shepard Jr. is launched into space aboard the Freedom 7
space capsule, becoming the first American astronaut to travel into space. The suborbital flight, which lasted 15 minutes and
reached a height of 116 miles into the atmosphere, was a major triumph for the National Aeronautics and Space
Administration (NASA).

NASA was established in 1958 to keep U.S. space efforts abreast of recent Soviet achievements, such as the launching of the
world’s first artificial satellite–Sputnik 1–in 1957. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, the two superpowers raced to become the
first country to put a man in space and return him to Earth. On April 12, 1961, the Soviet space program won the race when
cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin was launched into space, put in orbit around the planet, and safely returned to Earth. One month
later, Shepard’s suborbital flight restored faith in the U.S. space program.

NASA continued to trail the Soviets closely until the late 1960s and the successes of the Apollo lunar program. In July 1969,
the Americans took a giant leap forward with Apollo 11, a three-stage spacecraft that took U.S. astronauts to the surface of
the moon and returned them to Earth. On February 5, 1971, Alan Shepard, the first American in space, became the fifth
astronaut to walk on the moon as part of the Apollo 14 lunar landing mission.
Just cause you got the monkey off your back doesn't mean the circus has left town.
George Carlin