• Kelso Mountain


    National Preserve California

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Water Resources Management Plan

The public comment period has closed.

Written comments may still be submitted to:

Stephanie Dubois, Superintendent

Attention: Water Resources Management Plan

Mojave National Preserve

2701 Barstow Road

Barstow, CA 92311

Mojave National Preserve is a 1.6 million-acre unit of the National Park Service, established by the California Desert Protection Act in 1994. The Act protected a vast landscape of Great Basin, Sonoran, and Mojave desert ecosystems.The Act also specified hunting as a permitted activity within the Preserve.

By 1994, many wells, springs, and seeps had been developed within the Preserve for cattle and game. Six big game guzzlers and numerous small game guzzlers, which intercept and store rainwater for wildlife, had also been built. All of the big game guzzlers and many of the small game guzzlers are in areas now designated wilderness.

Private donors started buying and donating grazing land in 1998. When ranchers left, their troughs, windmills, and pipelines were taken or left in disrepair. Some hunters have called for abandoned wells to be converted to game guzzlers. Conversely, wildlife advocates have pointed out harm to wildlife as a reason for taking guzzlers out.

Mojave National Preserve now manages water sources on a case-by-case basis. The Preserve's general management plan called for an ecosystem-scale Water Resources Management Plan for springs, seeps, water diversions, and artificial water sources to maintain wildlife and groundwater at safe yields; this plan seeks to meet that goal.


Did You Know?

photo of detail on Kelso Depot.

The railroad town of Kelso in Mojave National Preserve was named in 1905 by railroad construction workers. Two men placed their names in a hat, along with that of a third who had just moved away. The name drawn from the hat was that of John H. Kelso, the man absent from the drawing. More...