August 17, 2004

SCI Facilitates National Park Service and California Department of Fish & Game Meeting

Tucson, Ariz., Aug. 17, 2004 - Safari Club International (SCI) organized a collaborative meeting between the National Park Service (NPS) and the California Department of Fish & Game (DFG) to discuss the important issue of maintaining water sources that are of critical importance for several species of wildlife in the Mojave National Preserve (Preserve).

“After several years of efforts by SCI on behalf of concerned California sportsmen, SCI was pleased to organize a meeting of this magnitude and be able to put the issue of water for Mojave wildlife closer to reality,” said John R. Monson, SCI president. “Bringing the policy makers together and making decisions to facilitate the reinstatement of traditional water sources to the Mojave by organizations like SCI is a win-win for wildlife. We feel the meeting was very productive and we are looking forward to solid results. SCI has taken the lead on this mission through the work of Dennis Anderson, SCI vice president and California legislative coordinator, and we hope to see a completed MOU between the parties no later September 15, 2004.”

"The Department of the Interior and the National Park Service have recently demonstrated the desire to work cooperatively with the California Department of Fish and Game on wildlife management on the Mojave National Preserve,” said Paul Hoffman deputy assistant secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks. “Working together to maintain water for wildlife in a desert environment is consistent with Secretary Norton's 4Cs -- cooperation, consultation and communication, all in the service of conservation. Moreover, the California Desert Protection Act clearly gives DFG jurisdiction over wildlife management on the Preserve. We will all work together to ensure that wildlife benefits and park resources are not impaired as a result of any of these activities."

The groundbreaking meeting was held August 10, 2004, when SCI invited key officials from the two agencies together at the DFG offices in Ontario, California and then moderated the meeting to enable NPS and DFG to discuss and overcome the obstacles they had encountered in the effort to maintain wildlife water development systems throughout the Preserve. In this meeting, the following innovative points were agreed upon:

1) DFG and NPS will work together on creating a water guzzler management procedural manual. This list will contain the locations of all guzzlers and will identify those that exist in wilderness and non-wilderness areas of the Preserve. In addition, the manual will designate those guzzlers that lie inside and outside of designated desert tortoise habitat. For each category of guzzler, the manual will establish guidelines for access to and ongoing maintenance and restoration of the water sources. The manual will help officials and private groups save valuable time and resources that they intend to devote to insuring continued availability of necessary water sources for the wildlife of the Preserve.

2) DFG will immediately submit a proposal to the NPS to restore at least 12 big game guzzlers or wells in the eastern part of the Preserve, near the Lanfair Valley area. These wells were removed by ranchers who sold their ranches and grazing allotments to the Preserve, leaving the area devoid of much of the water that wildlife has relied upon for decades to survive. The NPS agreed to review the proposal without delay.

3) This collaboration to prepare guidelines will not prevent work from continuing in the interim period nor will it prohibit the volunteer efforts of organizations like SCI.

At this time, SCI welcomes input from other organizations and individuals throughout the region who, like SCI, seek to assist in the effort to maintain water for wildlife within the Mojave National Preserve. If there are any questions, please contact Ken Schwartz in SCI’s Washington, D.C. office at

Safari Club International is the leader in protecting the freedom to hunt and in promoting wildlife conservation worldwide. This chapter driven, nonprofit association is a tireless advocate for the world’s 45 million sportsmen and sportswomen, who, through legal hunting, annually drive more than $1.7 billion in funding to conserve all wild species. For more information, call 520-620-1220 or visit

Rick Parsons