Environment

Susan Sorrells Gives Amargosa Basin Protection Presentation in Bishop

amargsoa basin

Susan Sorrells Gives Amargosa Basin Protection Presentation in Bishop, Wednesday, October 18

Something big is happening in the far southeastern corner of Inyo County. A campaign is in place to create the Amargosa Basin National Monument and Susan Sorrells, President of Friends of the Amargosa Basin, is sharing the news at a special presentation here in Bishop the evening of October 18.

The Amargosa Basin is a beautiful desert landscape, nestled between Death Valley and the Mojave National Preserve. Home to diverse plant species, endemic and threatened wildlife, vibrant rural communities, and significant Native American history and culture, it’s often called the crown jewel of the Mojave Desert. It is truly a place worth protecting for generations to come. The Amargosa Basin National Monument is the dreamchild of diverse groups and individuals who love the many important values of the Amargosa, including its culture and small communities, wildlife and plants, and unique ecosystems. Friends of the Amargosa Basin and their many allies want to preserve the integrity and natural beauty of the area while at the same time continuing to develop accessibility for recreation and providing economic and social sustainability for its communities.

Amargosa Basin National Monument
Map of the proposed Amargosa Basin National Monument. Photo credit Friends of the Amargosa Basin.

The proposed Amargosa Basin National Monument would be bordered by Death Valley National Park on the west and the Nevada border on the east. The monument would stretch south nearly to Interstate 15. It could encompass the villages of Death Valley Junction, Shoshone, Tecopa Hot Springs, and Tecopa––and at its heart will be the Amargosa River, which runs above and below ground from its headwaters just east of Beatty to the Badwater in Death Valley.

Susan Sorrells grew up in Shoshone, a desert town pioneered by her grandfather in the early 1900’s, which she owns and manages. In 2020, she helped launch Friends of the Amargosa Basin––a non-profit dedicated to supporting the rich diversity of life in the Amargosa Basin by protecting its land, water, and beauty. Ms. Sorrells will describe the efforts to safeguard this important landscape at a special event on Wednesday, October 18, starting at 6:00PM at the Jill Kinmont Boothe School at 166 Grandview Rd in Bishop. She’ll share experiences and stories about the Amargosa and the campaign to create a national monument to honor, protect, and enhance both the land and its people. This will be a hybrid presentation (in-person and Zoom) and is being supported and promoted by INYO350, Friends of the Inyo, the Sierra Club Range of Light Group, and others.

Event: Amargosa Basin Protection Campaign Event
Date and Time: Wednesday, October 18. Pizza and soft drinks will be available at 6:00PM. Presentation begins at 6:30PM.
Location: Jill Kinmont Boothe School at 166 Grandview Rd, Bishop.
Details: This will be a hybrid in-person and Zoom event. To attend in person, please RSVP to [email protected] to ensure that there is pizza and drinks for all. To attend via Zoom, please visit the INYO350 website at https://inyo350action.org/ for details and the Zoom link. The Zoom presentation will begin at 6:30PM. A recording of Susan’s presentation will be available online at the INYO350 website following the event.

Susan Sorrells’ Bio:

Susan Sorrells grew up in Shoshone, California as a member of the Fairbanks Brown pioneer family. She graduated from Smith College and after college worked for Senator Kuchel in Washington, DC under the direction of Leon Panetta. This position led to a job as a community worker for the Cornerstone Project in Atlanta, Georgia. She left Georgia for the Peace Corps and worked as a school teacher and community worker in Liberia, West Africa. She then attended UCLA where she got a Master’s Degree in African Studies. After living in Europe for several years she returned to her home in Shoshone. She has been involved in many conservation groups and was the founding member and president of the Amargosa Conservancy. She also was the founding member and wrote the grant for the establishment of Death Valley Health Center. In addition, she was the founding member and president of the Death Valley Chamber of Commerce and the Shoshone Museum. She, and her husband, own and operate the town of Shoshone. Their goals are to integrate nature and wildlife into the “development” of the village. Their strategy for economic sustainability is developing and promoting ecotourism. (https://friendsoftheamargosabasin.org/)

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