JT Happenings

Joshua Tree Peak Named for Park Founder

posted Sep 25, 2012, 10:49 AM by JTCA Contact

The U.S. Board of Geographic Names (BGN) has voted to adopt the name of Mount Minerva Hoyt for a peak within Joshua Tree National Park. The previously unnamed 5,405 foot mountain is located in the west central portion of Joshua Tree not far from the park’s highest summit, Quail Mountain. The action by the Board of Geographic Names came at a meeting in late August. The decision by BGN acknowledges the central role that Minerva Hamilton Hoyt (1866-1945) played during her 1930s campaign to bring the Joshua Tree area into the National Park System. As a pioneering desert conservationist, as an early female figure in the conservation movement, and as an example of the power of citizen action, Mrs. Hoyt, the “Apostle of the Cacti,” left a lasting legacy that continues to benefit California and the entire nation.

The Board of Geographic Names (http://geonames.usgs.gov/) is a federal body created in 1890 operating under the U.S. Geological Survey. The BGN maintains a uniform list of official geographic place names on federal lands within the United States and its territories. The BGN also establishes policies, principles, and procedures governing naming of geographic features that include domestic names, foreign names, Antarctic names, and names of undersea features.

The BGN had received one earlier proposal in 1979 from Robert and Maureen Cates to name a peak in the park for Mrs. Hoyt, but naming proposals to honor Minerva Hoyt have run up against a general Board policy against commemorative naming of natural features in wilderness. With nearly 80% of the park’s land classified as wilderness, proponents have found it difficult identifying a suitable landmark outside of wilderness boundaries that would reflect the magnitude of Minerva Hoyt’s tireless efforts on behalf of what became Joshua Tree National Monument, created by Presidential Proclamation on August 10, 1936. The original national monument was re-named Joshua Tree National Park with passage of the Desert Protection Act on October 31, 1994.

The current proposal, submitted in 2004 by Joshua Tree resident and park employee Joe Zarki, was also tabled for a number of years as the mountain selected is situated within Congressionally authorized wilderness. The Board’s naming policies provide for exceptions in cases where a significant public educational benefit is achieved by allowing the naming of a wilderness landmark for a specific person. With a strong supporting statement by current Joshua Tree National Park Superintendent Mark Butler and the endorsement of the agency’s Office of Policy, the BGN voted 8-3 in favor of the proposal to designate Mount Minerva Hoyt.

The park is planning a dedication ceremony for March, 2013 to coincide with Mrs. Hoyt’s birthday. She was born in Holmes County, Mississippi on March 27, 1866. For more information contact Joshua Tree National Park Chief of Interpretation Joe Zarki at 760-367-5520.

For more information on Joshua Tree National Park, visit the park’s website: http://www.nps.gov/jotr/index.htm, or call the park at 760-367-5500.

Park to Waive Entrance Fees for National Public Lands Day, September 29

posted Sep 25, 2012, 10:34 AM by JTCA Contact

All 397 national parks, including Joshua Tree National Park, will offer free entrance on Saturday, September 29 for National Public Lands Day. The 19th annual event encourages everyone to get outside and enjoy the great outdoors. In conjunction with National Public Lands Day, Joshua Tree plans to reopen all park campgrounds that were closed during the summer season. Beginning September 23, daily guided tours will also be offered at the Keys Ranch historic site except on Saturday, September 29 when the Ranch will be closed for a volunteer work project.

“National Public Lands Day reminds all of us of the vast and diverse nature of America’s open spaces, from small neighborhood parks to large national parks, and the importance of each one,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. “We are fortunate that more than 600 million acres of public land, including national parks, provide all of us with cherished places where we can go to unwind, recreate, or learn.”

Other Federal agencies offering free admittance on September 29 include the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the Bureau of Reclamation, the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, and the U.S. Forest Service.

Normally, 133 national parks charge entrance fees ranging from $3 to $25. The other 264 parks do not charge for admission. Along with the rest of the National Park Service, Joshua Tree will also waive entrance fees from November 10-12 in commemoration of Veterans Day.

Normal camping fees and other user fees will still be collected at Joshua Tree on September 29 and throughout the remainder of the weekend.

Campers and picnickers should bring drinking water as most park campgrounds and picnic areas do not have water available. Potable water is available at park visitor centers and at Black Rock and Cottonwood Campgrounds as well as the Indian Cove Ranger Station.

For more information on visiting Joshua Tree, visit the park’s website: http://www.nps.gov/jotr/planyourvisit/index.htm, or call the park at 760-367-5500.

For information about Keys Ranch and to purchase Ranch tour tickets, call the park at 760-367-5555.

Joe Zarki
Public Information Officer
Joshua Tree National Park
760-367-5520
email: joe_zarki@nps.gov

Joshua Tree National Park’s 2012 BioDiversity Hunt - April 27th and 28th

posted Apr 20, 2012, 10:23 AM by JTCA Contact   [ updated Apr 20, 2012, 10:27 AM ]

Greetings!

Please join us for Joshua Tree National Park’s 2012 BioDiversity Hunt, Friday April 27 and Saturday April 28! During the BioDiversity Hunt, scientific experts from around Southern California will join forces with National Park staff and local naturalists at 49 Palms Oasis and race to identify every living thing – mammal, insect, bird, reptile, plant and more – that calls the Oasis home. 49 Palms Oasis is one of only five California Fan Palm Oases in the Park, where towering palms create a canopy over clear pools of water and a unique habitat fosters a diverse array of plants and animals.

From 10am – 4pm on Friday and Saturday, visitors can hike the 3 mile round-trip trail to and from 49 Palms Oasis, join an informative “walk and talk” with one of our BioDiversity Hunt scientists and discover more about the vast diversity of life at Joshua Tree National Park.

Please see the attached BioDiversity Hunt poster and feel free to distribute this poster and advertisement far and wide. Feel free to contact me with any questions. Hope you can join us!

Best,
Amelia

Amelia Rodelo
Biological Science Technician
Joshua Tree National Park
74485 National Park Drive
Twentynine Palms, CA 92277-3597
Phone: 760-367-5578
Email: amelia_rodelo@nps.gov

April 22 Artist-in-Residence to Offer Free Performance at Joshua Tree National Park

posted Apr 18, 2012, 10:26 AM by JTCA Contact

Visiting Artist-in-Residence Adam Tinkle will conduct a free musical performance on Sunday, April 22 at the Indian Cove Amphitheater within Joshua Tree National Park. Tinkle, a musician and composer working on his PhD at the University of California, San Diego, will lead an ensemble of almost twenty musicians hailing from around the state and as far away as New York and Denmark, in a concert of original musical compositions created during his current residency.

The acoustic group, featuring brass, woodwinds, strings, percussion and voices, will fill the dramatic natural amphitheater at Indian Cove with explorations of the site's acoustic phenomena, and meditations on its vast spaces and its engulfing silences. The performance, which is free to the public, will start at 4:00 p.m. Audiences are free to come and go throughout this long-form performance as they wish. Last year Tinkle composed and arranged music for a live performance by dancer and choreographer Shayna Keller of Los Angeles. Ms. Keller, a 2011 Artist-in-Residence at Joshua Tree National Park, conducted original dance performances on March 19 & 20, 2011 at Indian Cove to an audience of approximately 100 people.

Due to limited public parking at the Indian Cove Campground, free public transportation to this year’s music performance will be provided. Members of the public wishing to attend the performance should arrive at the Indian Cove Market at 3:30 p.m. to receive a ride to the Indian Cove Amphitheater, three miles away. Return transportation back to Indian Cove Market will be available following the performance between 6:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.

Volunteers will be on hand at the Indian Cove Market to assist event attendees with the free shuttle service.

For further information about the Adam Tinkle music performance, please contact Joshua Tree National Park Artist-in-Residence Coordinator Caryn Davidson at 760-367-3012.

Free Entry and Special Activities Highlight National Park Week, April 21-29, at Joshua Tree National Park

posted Apr 11, 2012, 7:43 PM by JTCA Contact   [ updated Apr 11, 2012, 7:49 PM ]

Visitors who make the nearly 1,000-foot climb to the summit of Ryan Mountain during the upcoming National Park Week will be treated to a stunning view across a vast stretch of Joshua Tree National Park encompassing desert mountain ranges, mazes of granite boulders, historic gold mines, and uncounted numbers of Joshua trees– all of it free. Celebrating the theme, “Picture Yourself in a National Park,” National Park Week will run from Saturday, April 21 through Sunday, April 29. Throughout the country, visitors can enjoy the beauty and wonder of 84 million acres of the world’s most spectacular scenery, historic places and cultural treasures free of the customary park entrance fees. Camping and special user fees will still be collected, however.

“America’s national parks have something for everyone,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. “Take a break and experience something new, enjoy some fresh air, get some exercise, and see where history happened. And, since admission is free to all 397 parks, all week long, National Park Week is a great time to get up, get out, and explore a park.”

Apart from the outstanding opportunities national parks present for outdoor recreation, they are also wonderful stress relievers. Natural quiet and solitude are never far away at Joshua Tree, and spring is an especially good time to enjoy the park’s natural wonders as many desert plants and park wildlife are at the peak of their annual activity.

The park will also be conducting several special events during National Park Week.

Saturday, April 21 is National Junior Ranger Day at Joshua Tree.

This year's Junior Ranger Day activities will take place from 9 a.m. to Noon at the Echo Tee parking area near Hidden Campground. The park will have a fire truck, a ranger patrol car, and a large earth mover parked for kids to explore. A solar astronomy telescope will be available for looking at the sun. Smoky Bear will be on hand to greet young Junior Rangers, and park rangers will be at Echo Tee with displays, Junior Ranger activity books, and badges for children who have completed their Junior Ranger requirements. For more information for Joshua Tree’s Junior Ranger Day events contact, Park Volunteer Coordinator George Land at 760-367-5507.

On April 27 and 28, the park will also hold its second Biodiversity Hunt.

The focus of this year’s survey will be the 49 Palms Oasis. Visitors who make the 1.5 mile hike into the Oasis will witness a 30-hour intensive race to identify all living things at the 49 Palms Oasis and riparian area. Scientists, park staff, and community members will join forces at 49 Palms Oasis in this collaborative citizen science effort. Biodiversity Hunt scientists will deliver hands-on talks at the site throughout the day to those who trek to the site. The park is also seeking volunteers to help with this year’s Biodiversity Hunt. For more information, visit www.nps.gov/jotr/planyourvisit/bioblitz.htm or to sign-up for any of our BioDiversity Hunt activities, contact Amelia Rodelo, Biological Science Technician at (760) 367-5578, or e-mail Amelia_rodelo@nps.gov.

Other ranger programs scheduled for National Park Week can be found on the park’s website: www.nps.gov/jotr. Current park wildflower reports can be found on the park website as well.

Park Superintendent Mark Butler reminds everyone that National Park Week can also be a time to think about the benefits national parks bring to the American people. “The people of southern California have long looked to Joshua Tree as a place of refuge and recreation. We hope that as they visit us during National Park Week, they will also think about how they can get even more involved. There are many ways people can support the park, and rangers will be happy to suggest ways people can make a difference.”

Visitors to Joshua Tree National Park should report emergencies to park rangers, or call the Federal Interagency Communications Center Dispatch at 909-383-5651. For general information about park services and facilities, visitors can call 760-367-5500, or visit the Joshua Tree National Park website.

Supervisors Candidtate Forum to be held at Copper Mountain College - Friday May 4, from 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm

posted Apr 11, 2012, 1:55 PM by JTCA Contact

A chance to hear from the three candidates for the 3rd District County Supervisor. Copper Mountain College and the Morongo Basin Regional Economic Development Consortium invite you to a County Supervisors' Candidate Forum set for Friday, May 4, from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the Bell Center Community room at Copper Mountain College. The three candidates, Jim Bagley, Neil Derry, and James Ramos, will have the opportunity to make opening statements. CMC Superintendent/President Dr. Roger Wagner will moderate a series of prepared questions provided by the four area Chambers of Commerce, Twentynine Palms City Manager, Yucca Valley Town Manger, and the Tourism Economics Commission. Responses will be limited to three minutes for each candidate. There is no charge to attend the forum and the Yucca Valley Chamber of Commerce will be hosting light refreshments beginning at 5:15. For information contact the Copper Mountain College Public Information Office at 760-366-3791, ext. 5310

Art in the Park 2012! 20th Annual Joshua Tree National Park Art Festival

posted Apr 1, 2012, 7:46 PM by JTCA Contact

April 6, 7 & 8, 2012
(9:00 am to 5:00 pm each day)
Joshua Tree National Park Visitor Center
74485 National Park Drive, Twentynine Palms, CA 92277
(760) 367-5525

Work exhibited at the Art Festival reflects the the artists' interpretation of the landscape, wildlife, history, or archaeology of Joshua Tree National Park and the California deserts. Subjects are presented in representative or abstract form and do not have to be site-specific. Original work on display and for purchase includes the following media: sculpture, drawing, painting, ceramics, gourd art, photography, and other two- and three-dimensional art forms.

2012 Artists:

Thomas and Amara Alban, Betsey Amador, Donald Austin, Roger and Louise Bridges, Roberta and Ray Blomster, Chuck Caplinger, Cynthia Cox, Valerie Davis, Darryl Elliott, Elizabeth Green, Mark Heuston, Ellen Hill, Chigusa Ichimiya, Rachel Rausch Johnson, Mike Madison, Helen Matoush, David Jesse McChesney, Scott Monteith, Lynne Nelson, Ralph Nordstrom, Wally Pacholka, Eric Pfranger, Sam Roberts, Margo Recker, Terry Rothrock, Steve Ruiz, Craig Schoenbaum, Michael Smiley, Ellie Tyler.

Joshua Tree National Park Association, sponsor of the Art Festival, is a nonprofit organization that provides support and assistance to the Park’s interpretive, educational and scientific programs. Open to the public, admission to the Art Festival is free.

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