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Hauser Mountain Wildlife Study Area

Hauser Mountain Wilderness Study Area

Hauser Mountain Wilderness Study Area Photo taken by Robert Morales Sr.

Introduction

Highway 94 or Campo Rd winds around the hilly back country of San Diego County.  Beginning the journey in Rancho El Cajon at the junction of Jamacha Rd & Campo Rd.  As you travel the road through the backcountry the view is beautiful.  But there is so much more to the sight than what y our eyes can behold.

The view from the highway you can see the trees, hills, grasses, grazing land, a few homes, and on occasion birds.   Cattle and horses graze in the fields more during the winter than the summer.  Most of the land is privately owned, but there are areas that are owned and controlled by the government.

The Hauser Mountain Wilderness Study Area is one that is controlled by the United States Forestry Service (USFS) and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).  There are places along Highway 94 that you can get a peek at the country.

Wilderness Study Area Explained

On September 3, 1964 the Wilderness Act was created.   The BLM was instructed by Congress in 1976 to report back in 15 years regarding wilderness areas.  These areas are defined by the Wilderness act as:

  1. Primarily impacted by nature with little to no impact by humans
  2. Consists of at least 5,000 acres of land
  3. Offers the potential for solitude or primitive/unconfined recreation opportunities
  4. Offers the possibility of ecological, geological or historical value

15 years later over 200 sites were reported on for suitability and non-suitability.  Since then California BLM manages 80 active Wilderness Study Areas (WSAs).  Once the study is complete Congress will either designate these areas as wilderness or otherwise release them for other uses.  (See References Debenhan Energy)

Hauser Mountain Wilderness Study Area

Flowers found in the WSA. Photo taken by Robert Morales Sr.

The Hauser Mountain Wilderness Study Area

The Hauser Wilderness Study Area is designated as #81 of the WSAs, it spans 8.53 square miles or 5,540 acres.  The study has been concluded on this WSA, the recommendation is non-wilderness, despite the preference to designate it wilderness.

The Hauser Wilderness study is surrounded by private land owners, which according to the documentation is unusual and poses a few challenges.  The most significant is access without crossing someone’s land.  The right to access is by permission of the landowners surrounding the study area.

The area elevation is on average over 2,000 ft. above sea level and is considered a mountainous region, with a few valley areas.  The wildlife include owls, golden eagles, mule deer, mountain lions, San Diego Coast horned lizards, and as noted by Weather Channel over 135 species of birds.  Of course the usual mix of wildlife may also be found, including rattlesnakes, ground squirrels, mosquitoes, ticks, and a variety of other insects.  (See References: Weather Channel)  The vegetation is as varied, oak trees, chaparral, scrub sage, and variety of wild grasses and flowering plants.

Hauser Mountain Wilderness Study Area

Another view of the WSA. Photo taken by Robert Morales Sr.

Designation of the Hauser Mountain Wilderness Study Area

The recommendation by the BLM is non-wilderness.  This designation will open the Hauser Mountain Wilderness Study Area to other uses including development for personal use.  Despite the meeting of the criteria as specified by Section 603(a) of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act

(FLPMA) and explained in the SD County Renewable Study Area document.  (See References BLM: Hauser Mountain).  The argument states that despite meeting the criteria the study area is low in these standards.  To date nothing has been changed, the wilderness area of Hauser Mountain remains intact.

Hauser Mountain Wilderness Study Area

Another view of the WSA. Photo taken by Robert Morales Sr.

Visiting Study Areas

If you decide to visit any of the numerous study areas, check with the desired one first to determine restrictions if any.  Some wilderness areas are not easy to get to, while others may not allow visitors.

The Hauser Mountain Wilderness Study Area is visitor friendly if you can gain access.  The Computer Smith document provides more information about access, terrain, and trails for hiking and horseback riding.  It would be great if the land was left untouched by recreational vehicles, but that does not seem possible.  It is suggested you verify availability of off-roading in all wilderness areas.

To learn more about the Hauser Mountain Wilderness Study Area please use the following References.

References

The Weather Channel Online:  Hauser Mountain Wilderness Study Area

The Computer Smith:  Hauser Mountain Wilderness Study Area

The Debenham Energy, LLC Wilderness Study Areas

BLM: Hauser Mountain Wilderness Study Area

(Note: Featured image is taken by Connie Kirkpatrick, Officewife.biz)


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