Desert Survivors is an affiliation of desert lovers committed to experiencing, sharing and protecting desert wilderness wherever we find it. We recognize the places we love to explore will not remain wild unless we give others the opportunity to experience them as we do and unless we remain vigilant and active in our efforts to monitor and preserve them.

A rim with a view.
  Desert Survivors spent Labor Day weekend 2018 living on the edge––of the highest fault escarpment in the  nation, 2,500 ft. above Abert Lake in Southeast Oregon.  On the three-day backpack, trip participants hiked across land that changed from
from a complex and rugged forest to simple and flat desert. These backpackers enjoy lunch and the vista from the clifftop edge of the escarpment.  Although somewhat obscured by smoke from wildfires, the view went on for miles.  Become a member of Desert Survivors and we will take you to places where you can see forever.
Photo: David Oline

The 2018-2019 Desert Survivors Board of Directors
Left to right: Marc Eldridge, Barb Bane, Michael Goretz, Michelle Bashin, Mike Wells, Stacy Goss,
Nick Blake, Deirdre Cerkanowicz, Marisa Seaman, David McMullen, Kevin Pope, (not pictured) Charlene Daniels.
Photo: A.H. Cominos

Desert Survivors 2018 Annual General Meeting 
On the weekend of October 12-14, 2018 Desert Survivors held its yearly retreat and Annual General Meeting (AGM) at Mission San Antonio de Padua in Monterey County, CA.  Weekend activities included a day hike in the Santa Lucia Mountains, speakers on the 1775-1776 Anza Expedition, a slide show on the flora and fauna of California in the late-1700's, a Happy Hour and potluck feast.  On Sunday we met for the AGM, and discussed organization issues, made bylaw changes and elected a new board of directors. 

Michelle Bashin was elected the president of Desert Survivors.  Other organization officers: Barb Bane - Secretary, Michael Goertz -  Managing Director, Marisa Seaman - Activities Director, Nick Blake - Communications Director, Chalene Daniels - Volunteers Director.  Those who were elected Directors-at-Large: Deirdre Cerkanowicz, Marc Eldridge, Stacy Goss,
David McMullen and Kevin Pope.

Special thanks to Marisa Seaman for organizing this terrific event.

 Bi-State Sage-Grouse Gain New Chance at Federal Protections.
  Results of a lawsuit by Desert Survivors and other conservation groups.

On August 24, 2018, a federal judge reinstated the  proposed “threatened species” listing status for the bi-state population of greater sage-grouse and proposed designation of 1.8 million acres of its “critical habitat.” The same judge in the Northern District of California overturned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s decision not to provide Endangered Species Act protections to the bi-state grouse in May. The court agreed with conservation plaintiffs that the agency failed to adequately justify changing course and depriving the bird of Endangered Species Act safeguards in 2015. The court also invalidated the Service’s definition of “significance” in its controversial “significant portion of range” policy.

“This important victory reinstates crucial protections for these beleaguered birds while a new listing decision is made,” said Lisa Belenky, senior attorney with the Center for Biological Diversity. “Sage grouse in the California and Nevada Bi-State population are in deep trouble, and the Fish and Wildlife Service should do the right thing and shield them from extinction. The Endangered Species Act is the perfect tool for pulling these amazing animals back from the brink.”

Bi-state greater sage-grouse are an isolated group of greater sage-grouse living in the far southwestern reach of the species’ range along the central border of California and Nevada. The entire population of the bi-state sage-grouse is estimated to be between 2,500 and 10,000 birds, within just six population management units and 43 active breeding grounds, called ‘leks.’ The limited connectivity between and among the subgroups raises concerns about inbreeding and a loss of genetic diversity, threatening the species’ survival.

In addition to finding flaws with the agency’s rationale to not provide Endangered Species Act protections to the bird, the court found that the agency impermissibly defined “significant” in its application of its “significant portion of the range” policy. The current policy, found to be illegal under this ruling, limited “significant portion of its range” to populations that would cause the entire species to go extinct if they were lost. Last year, the Center for Biological Diversity and allies won a precedent-setting ruling that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s policy interpreting “significant portion of range” for a species was legally invalid in the context of litigation over the rare pygmy owl, but that ruling limited the scope of the victory to Arizona. This new bi-state sage-grouse ruling overturns the so-called “SPoR” policy nationwide.

The plaintiff organizations include Desert Survivors, Center for Biological Diversity, WildEarth Guardians, and Western Watersheds Project and were represented by attorneys at Center for Biological Diversity and the Stanford Law Clinic.



Fall is here and the deserts are cooling down after a torridly hot summer, and Desert Survivors is heating up with activity.  We are sponsoring two car campingt trips this season.  One will focus on petroglyphs in Centennial Canyon near Death Valley and will visit Little Petroglyph Canyon at China Lake.  The second trip is a tour of the north end of Anza-Borrego State Park with its slot canyons, unusual geology and stunning views of desert badlands. We will be going on a backpacking trip to Lemoigne Canyon in DeathValley.  In October we will join BLM crews at the Salt Tram in the Inyo Mountains for a service trip to clear pine trees that have taken root near the tram structures and are a fire hazzard.  Desert Surviovrs has a pot luck party for Southern California members in September and our annual Holiday Party in the Bay Area in December.  For our 2018 Annual General Meeting we will be returning to Mission San Antonio De Padua for a weekend of fun activities and speakers who will talk on the  Spanish era of California History.  Do not miss this event!

For more information on these trips and events please go to our TRIPS PAGE.

Desert Survivors as a public service. Desert Survivors is a 501(c)3 non-profit public-benefit organization based in Oakland, California. More than  95% of our revenue comes from membership dues and donations. We have no corporate sponsors. You can support our work by becoming a member for $30 per year (or more if you can). Non-member donations are also gratefully accepted. Send checks to Desert Survivors, PO. Box 20991, Oakland, CA 94620-0991. All donations are tax-deductible. To pay with a credit card, click here for membership, or here for donation 1995 - 2018 All Rights Reserved. Desert Survivors.