You can now view the Friends of Juniper Flats Hiking Trails on Google Earth We have been working overtime this year to map the trails we use for hiking. One reason is to share the trail information with members, but our big goal is to have at least some of the trails approved for official designation in the upcoming West Mojave Route Designation Project (WEMO). At present there are no official hiking trails in the Juniper Flats Area and very few in the West Mojave which covers millions of acres of public lands. In order to have hiking trails considered in the WEMO project, we needed to give the BLM some maps to compliment the information we had provided before.
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) began the WEMO project in 2003 as a motorized vehicle route network project only. After a lawsuit and another land management project which overlaps the same territory, the BLM is scheduled to release a new draft Environmental Impact Study (EIS) in January 2018. The WEMO project must now include consideration for all types of travel, including on foot and horseback. It is highly unlikely that the BLM would designate any hiking trails outside a large land use project such as the WEMO project. We have a wonderful opportunity at this time!
Hiking Trail proposal
The Friends of Juniper Flats have identified and mapped some locations where we have hiked in the past. These include old mining roads as well as footpaths created decades ago by animals or people on foot or horseback. Some of the footpaths may even be historic or pre-historic. We have recently provided the BLM with more information about why we think there should be designated hiking trails in the area. Our proposal includes maps of the suggested trail and trailheads. Hiking Trail Proposal for the Juniper Sub Region
Google Earth Maps
Until recently the average person could not use lines to define trails in Google Earth Maps , but about a year ago, the maps were improved to add that function. Google Earth has layers that show images dating through the years back to 1994. The definition has improved greatly! The hiking trails mapped in Google Earth include information about the trail length and % of slope. We will be adding descriptions in the coming months and posting the individual hiking trails as time allows. Meanwhile the lines are there for you to follow. Unfortunately, this site does not allow me to add the specific Google Earth kmz or kml link. We can share the link(s) via email. Please contact Friends of Juniper Flats at FOJF2@yahoo.com and we can send you the link. In the picture below, the orange lines are proposed hiking trails and the green lines are the BLM roads
What kind of Hiking Trails are in the proposal?
The proposal includes short and longer hikes, easy to strenuous. The Hiking Trail Proposal for the Juniper Sub Region includes short (1 mile or less round trip) trails off Coxey Truck Trail (aka 3N14) for instance. So if you are on a trip to Fawnskin you can stretch your legs and visit a spring or enjoy the view along a ridge, have a picnic or take photos. An early morning hike to Arrastre Waterfall and you will hear the birds announce a new day.
Perhaps you would like a cardiovascular workout or an evening stroll from the trailhead at Bonita Vista which has easy to access off the paved road – Roundup Way.
Under this proposal, you will still be able to hike or ride your horse cross country, and the short trails could just be the beginning of your adventure in the Juniper Flats Area.
How you can help
It is tremendously important for the community to come together with this proposal. We cannot stress this enough! Hiking Trails need people to get out and hike them, provide stewardship (especially at the trailhead) and to share them.
This proposal could also use your written support. Without community support the proposal may not be taken seriously and the existing trails will be ignored and left in disrepair.
For now we are collecting individual and group “Letters of Support” for our proposal. A Sample Letter of Support is provided to help you get started. Choose one or more of the comments and put it into your own words. When the WEMO draft is released in January, there will be a formal opportunity to write comments to the BLM’s WEMO team. Please send your short “Letter of Support” addressed to Friends of Juniper Flats, P.O. Box 83, Apple Valley, CA 92307 or email to FOJF2@yahoo.com. Thank you!