Feburary 14, 2008:
The Alabama Hills arch will achieve national prominence thanks to a decision to use the image on a public lands pass.
The Lone Pine Chamber and Lone Pine Film History Museum have been notified by their Alabama Hills Stewardship partner, the Bishop Regional Office of the BLM, that the Alabama Hills arch will be a lot more familiar after this summer because it has been selected to be on the America the Beautiful Interagency Pass for 2008. It was selected through a competitive process and the photographer who took the picture was honored.
This pass is available to anyone. It is good for one year from date of purchase. It is good for access to any BLM, Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, United States Bureau of Reclamation and Forest Service sites that charge entrance or standard amenity fees.
The pass costs $80 and when you buy it at a local site, most of the money stays local. So buy you pass here at the Interagency Visitors Center, Manzanar, and Death Valley to keep the money local. The BLM does not have any fee lands in Inyo County.
The Stewardship Partnership to protect and preserve the Alabama Hills in a semi-primitive state while encouraging appropriate access has been active for over a year now with various projects. The partnership developed when representatives of the community of Lone Pine ask the BLM for assistance, appeared before the RAC Committee and began working with various employees and volunteers. First they wrote a Vision statement for the area, then prioritized various projects and have worked to accomplishment them.
The Partnership had a clean-up of designated areas of the Alabama Hills and then the Healthy Communities group worked on upgrading the path out to the Arch, trying to get visitors to all use the same path. While this project had nothing to do with the choice of the Arch for the pass, it is perfect timing as it is expected there will be more visitors.
“We are very proud that this unusual landmark has been chosen, and we think many visitors now will not pass it up in their visit to the many recreational opportunities of Lone Pine and the Alabama Hills area,” stated Kathleen New, Director of the Lone Pine Chamber.
“Thousands of citizens will have our arch in their wallet or pocket during the summer,” mused Film Museum Director Chris Langley, an active member of the partnership. “It is great when something local in our beautiful landscape can be shared nationally. I am glad we have begun preparing for increased visitation to the Alabama Hills as undoubtedly this will occur now.”
The Partnership has led to a Steward position, a person who will be out meeting and greeting visitors, reminding them to “Don’t Crush the Brush.” Dave Kirk has been selected for this position. A great lover of the landscape and outdoors and an artist of note, Kirk spends his days taking care of the area and shaking a lot of visitors’ hands.