May 24, 1989 |
Afton Canyon, a four-mile ribbon of green wetlands wedged between majestically weathered rock walls in the middle of California's Mojave Desert, has attracted many people for many reasons over the last century. It has a reputation as a cattle trail, campground, firearms range, off-road motorcycle course and bird-watcher's paradise. Wildlife, such as bighorn sheep, also come to the canyon for its life-giving, year-round Mojave River flow. But in trying to accommodate each of those often conflicting reputations at the same time, Afton Canyon has earned a new reputation as a clear example of the problems preventing the Bureau of Land Management from properly managing the Mojave.