TWENTYNINE PALMS, CA – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) returned to Twentynine Palms on Tuesday, Sept. 18, for its second public lands orientation session. The educational presentation was co-sponsored by the City of Twentynine Palms and the Visit 29 Tourism Business Improvement District (TBID) as part of the city’s partnership with the BLM as an official gateway to Mojave Trails National Monument.
The orientation was led by Mike Ahrens, BLM Field Manager for the Needles Field Office, who offered an informative overview of the Bureau of Land Management agency and the public lands that they manage. The presentation highlighted visitor safety and accessibility and highlighted some of the many places to visit in the Mojave Trails National Monument, including Amboy Crater, Cadiz Dunes, Bonanza Springs, and the iconic Route 66.
Lodging owners, managers, and hospitality staff had the opportunity to meet with BLM staff, obtain brochures and maps for their lodging properties, and ask questions about the recreation and business opportunities available on surrounding public lands.
“Our BLM staff were happy to come and provide an overview of the BLM and the tremendous recreation opportunities on public lands neighboring the City of Twentynine Palms,” said Ahrens. “I think we will look back at this as one of our most important first steps in building what will be a great partnership. It's exciting to be a part of the visionary approach Twentynine Palms has embarked upon to integrate public lands into its tourism market.”
“The city’s partnership with BLM distinguishes Twentynine Palms from other gateway communities in offering travelers access to unique and fascinating desert experiences still relatively undiscovered,” said Ann Congdon, vacation rental owner and member of the Twentynine Palms TBID Advisory Board and Sky’s The Limit Observatory.
TBID Advisory Board member and Marketing Director for Historic Inns of Twentynine Palms, Breanne Dusastre, emphasized the importance of the monument. “From stunning mountain ranges and ancient lava flows, to pristine sand dunes and diverse wildlife and plants, to important cultural sites and archaeological resources, to the longest undeveloped stretch of historic Route 66, Mojave Trails National Monument offers our visitors incredible exploration and recreation opportunities. Collectively, our hospitality industry in Twentynine Palms has such a great opportunity to attract new visitors, increase average length of stay, and grow our tourism and recreation economy through raising awareness for the Mojave Trails National Monument and inviting visitors to come and explore this special part of the Mojave Desert.”
BLM-managed public lands offer more recreational opportunities than lands managed by any other federal agency, with more than 99 percent available for recreation with no fee. Lands used for recreational activities also contribute significantly to local economies. In 2016, BLM lands received more than 64.6 million recreation-related visits, an increase over the previous year. In California alone, recreation on BLM-managed public lands had an economic output of $744.5 million in 2016.
For more information, go to www.Visit29.org/news for links to Mojave Trails NM and other BLM sites and resources.