Speak out to protect Eagle Lake's wilderness and wildlife

The Eagle Lake region in northeastern California and northwestern Nevada comprises more than one million acres of public lands in California's Lassen, Sierra and Plumas counties and in Washoe County in Nevada. The rugged landscape of this remote area includes grasslands, sagebrush flats, deep canyons, steep mountains, innumerable caves and spires of volcanic rock. Herds of pronghorn antelope, Rocky Mountain elk and mule deer graze there, while golden eagles soar above.

Over the years the open space of this region has been slowly criss-crossed by roads that facilitate mining, livestock grazing, utility development and recreation. It's up to the Bureau of Land Management to protect the region's tens of thousands of acres of remaining wilderness-quality lands from the rugged Skedaddle Mountains to the petroglyph-etched rocks of Tunnison Mountain. The BLM has released a draft land use plan that will serve as the agency's blueprint for managing the region over the next decade or more. The BLM is accepting comments on its proposed plan through July 28th.

== What to do == Send a message, before the July 28th comment deadline, urging the BLM to adopt the strongest possible protections for Eagle Lake.

== Contact information == You can send an official comment directly from NRDC's Earth Action Center at //www.nrdcaction.org/action/index.asp?step=2&item=53487 . Or use the contact information and sample letter below to send your own message.

Eagle Lake RMP Comments Att'n: Planning Coordinator Bureau of Land Management Eagle Lake Field Office, 2950 Riverside Drive Susanville, California 96130 Fax: 530-257-4831 Email: necarmp@ca.blm.gov

== Sample letter ==

Subject: Choose and strengthen Alternative 2 to protect Eagle Lake

Dear Eagle Lake Planning Coordinator,

The Eagle Lake Field Office is the steward for one of this country's most unique and remarkable landscapes. As one of the owners of the public lands in this region, I appreciate your proposals in the draft resource management plan to close roads in several wilderness study areas, manage Smoke Creek as a wild and scenic river, designate seven areas of critical environmental concern, confine vehicles to designated routes and manage much of the region for non- motorized or primitive recreation. I also support your proposal to allow fire to play an important role in maintaining the high desert's ecological health.

I urge the BLM to choose Alternative 2 as the preferred alternative in the final version of the management plan, with the following key changes: First, please manage all wilderness study areas as primitive zones. And second, please manage the core portions of the Observation Peak, Shaffer Mountain, Shinn Mountain, Skedaddle Flats, Skedaddle West and Snowstorm Mountain roadless areas as primitive zones. These areas have extraordinarily high wilderness qualities and deserve to be protected to the fullest extent.

Please develop a final plan for this remarkable region that will adequately protect its irreplaceable resources for the future.

Sincerely,

[Your name and address]

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