Celebrating Earth Day

From Holden:

The Despoiler in Chief took a bike ride the day after Earth Day. He talks about it here.

Congresswoman Mary Bono is with us today. Mary, thank you for being here. I just spent some quality time in her district, and I forgot to tell you that I had the privilege of riding my mountain bike in the desert, as well. The national monument that she helped put together to preserve open spaces — she’s got a lot of humility, she didn’t name the national monument after herself. If I were to name it I would say, Really Hard Bike Ride Monument.

Ha-yuck ha-yuck!

The Palm Springs Desert Sun gives us the rest of the story.

President Bush woke up early and rode his mountain bike along the Clara Burgess Trail to the top of Murray Hill, which affords a spectacular view of the Coachella Valley and Little San Bernardino Mountains.

The trail is considered strenuous for riding, with a 500-foot elevation gain. The total round-trip was a little more than 7 miles.

“He said it was a pretty tough terrain, but he enjoyed it,” Press Secretary Scott McClellan said.

Jim Foote, acting manager of the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument, said the Clara Burgess trail is also among those monument managers ask people to avoid part of the year to prevent disrupting endangered Peninsular bighorn sheep.

The trail is one of about 10 in the monument under a “voluntary avoidance” program. People are asked to stay off the Clara Burgess trail from Jan. 1 to June 30 during the sheep lambing season, he said.

It was uncertain Sunday night if White House organizers accompanying President Bush knew about the “voluntary avoidance” program.

Hat tip to Drew of The Wilderness Society.

Bush image from DemocraticUnderground.

Peninsular bighorn sheep image from Conservation International.