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Geology of Parks and Federal Lands of the Southwest

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Task 5 - Geology of Federal Lands in the Eastern Sierra Region, southwestern Great Basin

Statement of Problem: federally owned and managed by the National Park Service, U.S.F.S., B.L.M., and D.O.D. Federal lands in this area are of importance to land and resource managers at the federal, state and regional levels for several reasons including active fault hazards, volcano hazards, geothermal resources, ecologic and water resources, proximity to the high level nuclear waste facility, and recreation. This region is tectonically active accommodating approximately 20-25 % of the Pacific- North American Plate motion which is why active faults, volcanoes and geothermal resources are present. The Eastern Sierra Deformation Zone, which lies in this area, links the northern and central Walker Lane belt in western Nevada with the Eastern California Shear Zone in the Mojave area south of the Garlock Fault Zone.

One area, the Mono Basin Wild and Scenic area managed by the U.S.F.S., has been prioritized for surficial geological mapping and neotectonic studies (subtask 5.1). The work associated with Subtask 5.1 has been designed in cooperation with, and at the request of the U.S.F.S., Bishop Field Office. In addition, a letter of support for this task is provided by the BLM. Cooperative efforts with BLM are currently underway during FY06. The work for subtask one is also being done in cooperation with the USGS funded Geothermal Assessment Project lead by Colin Williams. The Mono Basin, similar to Lake Tahoe, is considered a popular, well known, high profile and visible area that hosts a number of important resources that are managed by the N.P.S., U.S.F.S., and B.L.M. The Mono Basin is mainly underlain by the Mono Basin Wild and Scenic area managed by the U.S.F.S., Inyo National Forest. Most of the other lands within the watershed are managed by the B.L.M, although there are also small private land holdings.

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