Naturalist, author Obi Kaufmann guest at Anza-Borrego State Park events

The Anza Borrego State Park wildflower bloom has not started yet, but a week of special events in Borrego Springs beginning Saturday, Feb. 23, is scheduled with the inaugural “Boots Ball” book signing and dinner fundraiser.

Visitors to the Park’s Steele/Burnard Anza Borrego Desert Research Center, 401 Tilting T Drive Friday, Feb. 23, can meet up with Richard Carrico, Department of American Studies from San Diego State University, to learn about the “Prehistoric Peoples of the Anza-Borrego Area” at 7:30 p.m. Admission is $5 at the door.

Then, if not filled, join Carrico Saturday, Feb. 24, at 9 a.m. in Coyote Canyon in daylong field class to explore the rich culture, trade networks, art, astronomy, medicines and economy of the region’s First People. Cost for field trips is $50 for Anza Borrego Foundation members and $60 for the public.

Always call for field trip information at (760) 767-0446 or visit the website at The lecture and field trip underwritten in memory of Fran Medema.

A series of special events will be taking place Saturday, March 3, at different locations in Borrego Springs Park, culminating with Anza Borrego Foundation’s inaugural Boots Ball from 2-5 p.m. at the Research Center. The cost is $51 per person.

Foundation members urge guests to wear their “desert dressy” and finest hiking boot fashion for an afternoon of fun and festivities while exploring their visions of the next 50 years for the Foundation. The event includes live music, food by Kesling Kitchen, a silent and live auction and special guest Obi Kaufmann, poet, artist and advocate for wilderness defense and conservation.

The ABS is the nonprofit partner of Anza-Borrego State Park with all event proceeds going to benefit the park including providing financial support for Park program, acquiring land for conservation in and around the Park, educating the public about the Park’s resources and supporting research relevant to the region—for more than 50 years.

Boots Ball information is found at or contact Lauren Poole (760) 767-0446 ext. 1002.

Kaufman, on Saturday, March 3, will be conducting a reading and book signing for his book “The California Field Atlas.” That is said to be a “love letter to the natural world of the Golden State” at the Borrego Spring Performing Arts Center, 590 Palm Canyon Drive, in Borrego Springs. A donation of $5 at the door would be appreciated.

His latest book has been on several best-seller lists, with the second printing sold out. Visitors will still be able to purchase his handbook which is an inventory of what is ours to protect.

To complete a day of fun and education visitors may wish to have an intimate ABF dinner from Kelings Kitchen from 6:30-9 p.m. with the artist, poet and naturalist surrounded by local art in the Borrego Springs Art Institute Gallery at 665 Palm Canyon Drive in Borrego Springs. Seating is limited for this event costing $150 per person. Each attendee will receive a specially designed Kaufmann Poster made especially just for the event and a copy of his “California Field Atlas.” There are limited tickets available.

Dinner reservations can be made by contacting Lauren Poole, (760) 767-0446 ext. 1002 or see or

March 9-10 Anza Borrego Park event

Visitors to Anza Borrego State Park can register for lectures and a field trip to better understand the Peninsular Big Horn Sheep that occupy the rocky mountain slopes of the desert park Friday and Saturday, March 9,-10.

Mathias Tobler, Ph.D., and Lisa Nordstrom, Ph.D., from the Institute for Conservations Research, San Diego Zoo Global Friday, Mar. 9 will discuss their research on the bighorn sheep in Baja California examining their populations status, genetic structure, disease prevalence and linkages across the US-Mexico Border into California.

The following day Saturday, Mar. 10 Field Instructor Mike Puzzo, environmental scientist, California State Parks will lead a short hike in Pinyon Wash to one of 11 wildlife guzzlers (man-made water sites) and discuss the bighorn sheep in the Anza Borrego Park. He will explain how they survive on the scarce resources, seasonal movements and their current status based on monitoring efforts.

Hikers will hear about the guzzlers’ history, how they work and how they are monitored and maintained through a partnership with the Safari Park. Following the hike, the group will stop near Tamarisk Grove Campground to observe bighorn sheep (hopefully there?) on nearby hillsides and continue the discussions on the bighorn sheep.

The Friday lecture from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. will have refreshments provided. The Field Class Saturday will be 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The registration fee is $60 and $50 for ABF members. A $5 donation is requested for the lectures with no pre-registration necessary. Both groups will meet at the Desert Research Center at 401 Tilting T Drive in Borrego Springs.

Hikers should bring water, lunch, sun protection, binoculars, sturdy hiking shoes (an EpiPen if you are allergic to bees), hiking poles if desired and an optional camp chair to sit on for lunch. It is a one-mile off trial hike with a slight elevation gain.

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