Lake Havasu and Kingman, Arizona
This last week I had the opportunity to travel to Lake Havasu and Kingman, Arizona, for law enforcement training. While in Arizona I was able to meet with District Chief Ranger Jonathan Azar. Sunday and Monday morning were travel days for me, enjoying the views of a different landscape. Arizona is much different than Colorado; it has some amazing geology, varying in different land forms from plateaus to the Mojave desert. Monday afternoon I reported to the BLM District Field Office to meet with Mr. Azar and other employees and do some job shadowing. Tuesday consisted of a field day learning about the area of Lake Havasu which the BLM manages. Lake Havasu management is much different than I have seen in Colorado. They have what you call “concessions,” which are subdivisions along the lake and riparian corridor that the BLM and private landowners co-manage. Many years ago the land owned by the BLM was sold illegally to private companies, and instead of taking the land back and making the owners move, the BLM decided to work with the owners of the subdivisions and charge them annual rental fees for the land they have their houses on. This is huge for the BLM, as the money from the annual fees is used to patrol the area, and for habitat management, campground maintenance, and much more. Wednesday I traveled to Kingman, Arizona, which is about an hour northeast of Lake Havasu. There I met with a BLM ranger and rode with her on her shift. It was amazing to see the difference between Lake Havasu and Kingman, and how the two areas are managed. Lake Havasu is 90% recreation and Kingman is 80% rangeland. While on the ride-along, I was able to interact with the public and educate the locals on conservation and preservation of our local resources. To me, this was huge. Education is important in terms of sustainability, and if we want to enjoy public lands in the future then it is our responsibility to educate others about protecting the land.