Edwards Air Force Base Environmental Management

Edwards Air Force Base Environmental Management Supporting the Edwards Air Force Base Mission Through Sound Environmental Stewardship Restoration: Manages hazardous waste cleanup efforts on Edwards AFB.

Four main areas of environmental service and support are provided through the EM offices at Edwards. They include:

Compliance: Manages air quality, water quality, hazardous substances, aboveground and underground storage tanks, and special programs (polychlorinated biphenyls, asbestos, and lead-based paint). Assists base organizations with the selection, design and installation of low emissions e

quipment, as well as applying for and maintaining permits. The goal of compliance is to meet and satisfy all applicable environmental laws, statutes and regulations. Conservation: Provides environmental assessments for test programs and construction projects. Also manages the protection and preservation of natural resources and cultural and historic sites on Edwards. Pollution Prevention: Develops processes to minimize the use of hazardous material, minimize generation of hazardous waste, reduce solid waste going to the landfill and promote reuse and recycling programs. Under the cleanup effort, hazardous waste sites are identified, investigated and cleaned up with the goal of protecting human health and the environment. Base environmental personnel from all four areas actively work with regulatory agencies and the community in a spirit of cooperation and commitment to ensure the center accomplishes its mission without harming the environment. If you have any questions, please contact 412th Test Wing Public Affairs at (661) 277-8707.


On this date, Jan. 5, 1949: Capt. Chuck Yeager performed the only conventional ground takeoff of the X-1 program. With a limited amount of fuel, he took off from the Rogers Dry Lake bed and accelerated to 23,000 feet. Yeager set an unofficial climbing speed record of more than 13,000 feet per minute in the flight.

For more aerospace and aviation milestones, visit https://www.aerotechnews.com/?s=on+this+date


The holidays may be over, but this Phainopepla is not quite ready to take down the mistletoe! 🍒

Today is National Bird Day, and we’d like to show off an iconic bird of the desert Southwest—the “phabulous” Phainopepla (Phainopepla nitens). With dark black plumage and bright red eyes, male Phainopeplas almost look like goth cardinals in comparison to lighter colored females. These birds are territorial and are known to stand guard over nesting grounds and food sources. To find one, just listen for a distinctive “wurp” call and look for…piles of mistletoe p**p?

The phainopepla has a symbiotic relationship with Desert mistletoe. Their digestive tract is specialized for getting nutrients and water from mistletoe fruit, so they can eat up to 1,000+ berries in a single day! Once the mistletoe berries “pass through” the digestive system of phainopeplas, the seeds stick to the branches of other trees, where they will sprout into new clumps of mistletoe. Then, the cycle begins all over again.

Now that’s not something you see aviary day!

Photo by: NPS/ Carmen Aurrecoechea


On this date, Dec. 8, 1967: The first African American NASA astronaut, Maj. Robert Henry Lawrence, Jr., is killed in the crash of a Lockheed F-104D Starfighter, 57-1327, of the 6515th Organizational Maintenance Squadron, while practicing zoom landings with Maj. Harvey Royer at Edwards AFB, Calif.
Lawrence was flying backseat on the mission as the instructor pilot for a flight test trainee learning the steep-descent glide technique intended for the cancelled Boeing X-20 Dyna-Soar program. The pilot of the aircraft successfully ejected and survived the accident, but with major injuries. The F-104 they were flying came in too low and hit the runway. Royer ejected, but Lawrence was killed. He left behind a wife and one son.
Born and raised in Chicago, Ill., Lawrence attended Haines Elementary School and, at age sixteen, graduated in the top 10 percent from Englewood High School in 1952. Four years later in 1956, he graduated from Bradley University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry.
At Bradley, Lawrence became a member of Omega Psi Phi fraternity and distinguished himself as Cadet Commander in the Air Force ROTC and received the commission of second lieutenant in the Air Force Reserve Program. At the age of 21, he was designated as a U.S. Air Force pilot after completing flight training at Malden Air Force Base, Mo.
By the time he was 25, he had completed an Air Force assignment as an instructor pilot in the T-33 training aircraft for the German Air Force. In 1965, Lawrence earned a Ph.D. in physical chemistry from Ohio State University. His doctoral thesis was “The Mechanism of The Tritium Beta Ray Induced Exchange Reaction Of Deuterium with Methane and Ethane in The Gas Phase.”
He was a senior U.S. Air Force pilot, accumulating well over 2,500 flight hours, 2,000 of which were in jets. Lawrence flew many tests in the Lockheed F-104 Starfighter to investigate the gliding flight of various unpowered spacecraft returning to Earth from orbit ...
For more aerospace and aviation milestones, visit https://bit.ly/otd-Dec2-8


On this date, Dec. 10, 1947: Maj. John P. Stapp, M.D., became the first human test subject on the rocket deceleration track. This 2,000 feet facility was located at North Base and was constructed to study the effects of abrupt deceleration upon the human body, and to aid in the research of restraining systems for modern aircraft.
For more aerospace and aviation milestones, visit https://bit.ly/otd-Dec9-15


No touchy, no feedy.

Before you comment, “If not friend, then why friend shape?” this message is for you. Well, actually, it’s for everyone.

The temptation to feed wildlife is real. Death Valley National Park has recently had reports of food-conditioned coyotes in campgrounds and picnic areas looking for human food. Food-conditioned coyotes will approach and beg visitors for food and repeat this behavior until they get a snacky- snack, especially snacks that aren’t found naturally in Death Valley.

We don’t know who’d want to share their food in a place called “Death” Valley, but if you do find yourself tempted, there are ways you can help reduce coyote habituation to humans:

❌Do not feed any wildlife.
✔️Store your food in your vehicle or secure cooler.
✔️Make sure pets are on a 6-foot leash.
✔️Keep your trash sealed & pack it out.
✔️Act BIG and LOUD or make noise with objects if threatened or approached.

If you see a “dog” without a leash approaching various campsites and/or visitors, chances are that it is a coyote looking for a free handout. We know what you’re thinking…DON’T DO IT.

📍 Death Valley National Park

📷 A coyote standing, looking at the camera on gray rocks with green bushes and trees in the background. NPS


What reptiles make Mojave National Preserve their home? The common king snake is one of them. They inhabit many different states and have different color variations. They are non-venomous and are beneficial to the ecosystem. To learn more about this and other reptiles in the preserve visit:


A trove of arboreal fossils pushes back the origin of modern forests and sophisticated tree roots


Don't call me toad!

I am a Desert Horned Lizard, although me and some of my relatives are often called "horned toads". I blend well into my environment, which helps me to escape predators (but hey, people, watch where you're walking!) I feed on ants, beetles, crickets and other small insects, and to add veggies to my diet I also snack on some plant material. Rain harvesting is another of my interesting behaviors – when the desert gets some much-needed rain, I place my mouth close to the ground in order to drink. You also may have heard that we sq**rt blood from our eyes as a defense mechanism, and although I have that ability, I don't use it often; I prefer to run and hide. Watch for me when you are out and about in my desert habitat and if you're lucky enough, you might see a lizard as adorable as I am!

What kind of lizards have you seen?

To learn more about reptiles, visit https://www.nps.gov/orpi/learn/nature/reptiles.htm

NPS photo/K Girard


You may have heard the phrase “don’t bust the crust” while visiting Arches National Park, but what is the crust we shouldn’t be busting?

Biological soil crust has a few names, including cryptobiotic soil crust or just simply living soil. Cyanobacteria, fungi, lichens, and mosses make up the living soil, creating a crust over the landscape.

This crust is extremely valuable to ecosystems and is found all over the world! Biological soil crust binds sand particles together, which allows plant roots to grow in what would otherwise be inhospitable environments. They also provide desert plants moisture and nutrients

Why is it important not to “bust the crust”?

Even a single footprint can kill the soil crust. When we step on biological soil crust it may take 50 to hundreds of years to recover. Without the soil crust, we lose vegetation and healthy ecosystems.

How can we protect it?

Staying on trail! The best way to protect living soil is staying on trail and sticking to sandy washes and rocks. Biological soil crust looks textured as it matures, but young soil areas may not be obvious, so it is best to stick to designated roads, routes, and trails.

That way you won't bust the crust, foil the soil, or hurt the dirt!

NPS Photo: C. Riddell


Lancaster let’s clean up our act! ♻️ Did you know recycling policies have changed in California? Your green waste bin a.k.a the organics bin is now for food waste too! Here is a guide on how to use your organics bin:

Organics Bin ✅
🍓🥕 Fruits and vegetables
🪵🍂 Yard trimmings
🥩🦴 Meat without bones
🧀🥚 Eggs and dairy products

Organics Bin ❌
💩🐶 Pet waste
🪥🥤 Plastic
🥛🪞 Glass
🥫🤘 Metal

Still not sure what items are okay to put in the organics bin? Visitwww.cityoflancasterca.gov/organics for more information! 💚


Who was Mary Ross? Another 'hidden figure,' a mathematician and engineer.


We’ll allow counter arguments. But still, we will die on this hill.

Distinguished jury members, let us make our case for the Joshua tree.

👴🏽 These bad boys can live over 300 years.

☘️ An Irish band once named an album after them.

👯‍♂️ They can clone themselves.

🏠 They provide habitat for birds, mammals, and lizards.

🌅 You ever seen them at sunset?

We rest our case.

NPS photo/Anna Cirimele


Not every lizard needs to rock flashy colors to accentuate their beauty during Reptile Fashion Week. For some, more muted tones are the way to go!

This desert iguana knows it's gorgeous - just look at it! These charming desert dwellers are usually shades of muted brown with tan-white spots along their back and tails, but they do dress up a bit during breeding season in pink along their sides.

These dapper dudes are mainly herbivorous, enjoying a delicious salad of creosote flowers and leaves, though they will indulge in a delicious insect or carrion from time to time as well. It's important to pamper oneself sometimes, after all!

To learn more about desert reptiles, visit https://www.nps.gov/orpi/learn/nature/reptiles.htm

NPS Photo


Accent colors can really accentuate an outfit during Reptile Fashion Week!

Side-blotched lizards know how a splash of one color can really make a difference! Males of this species have one of three colors they don to help woo a partner: orange, yellow, or blue. Each color has a particular strategy for wooing potential partners; one color can make a huge distinction to a look (and outlook) in life!

To learn more about reptiles, visit https://www.nps.gov/orpi/learn/nature/reptiles.htm

NPS Photo


Zebra stripes are back in style during Reptile Fashion Week at Organ Pipe Cactus!

Zebra-tailed lizards sport stylish stripes along their tails, making them easy to recognize as they strut on by. The gentle-lizards of this species are outfitted with a black-to-blue blotch on their side, whereas the lady-lizards choose more modest wear, going without. If these posh reptiles are in a hurry, you may see them scuttle by on their hind legs to their next appointment, away from whatever was chasing it!

To learn more about reptiles, visit https://www.nps.gov/orpi/learn/nature/reptiles.htm

NPS Photo


As desert tortoise populations face extinction, the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance uses the headstarting conservation tool to help the threatened species.


Come back after I’ve had my coffee. Tomorrow.

Soon the Desert Tortoises will disappear down those burrows until Spring!

Photo: Andrew Walde


Winter is coming!

As the temperatures drop and the days get shorter, our shelled friends are making a cozy retreat into their burrows! Like many other reptiles in Saguaro National Park, the desert tortoise seeks refuge in underground dens or rocky shelters to escape the frigid temperatures of winter. There, they go into a hibernation-like state, known as brumation, to conserve energy. This period of dormancy helps them reduce their metabolic activity and protect themselves from the harsh weather and limited food sources. What do you do during your period of dormancy?

During the winter season, Saguaro National Park attracts many visitors for recreational activities. To ensure the well-being of tortoises and other wildlife, please stick to designated trails, keep your pets on a leash, don’t talk too loudly, and responsibly dispose of waste while enjoying your time on the trails.
(BS; 📸, NPS)


Gambel's quail are desert dwelling birds that are often seen in Mojave National Preserve. They can best be viewed near washes and other water sources. Populations can vary from year to year depending on drought or drier than normal years. Females can lay 10-12 eggs in a nest. Incubation is 21-24 days. They are gregarious birds that run-in flocks called coveys. The species is named after William Gambel who was an explorer and ornithologist of the southwest in the 1800's


These lizards have serious style, perfect for Reptile Fashion Week!

While we humans love putting on a fashionable sweater come the fall season, western banded geckos sport gorgeous colors on their scales all year long. These geckos have intricate patterns and colors across their scales that even the most fashionable would envy! Their light brown bodies have dark crossbands that are often splashed with purple, pink, and yellow hues. Their heads contain dark bands between the eyes that are often splashed with green, yellow and purple hues, making them look like they're wearing the latest designer sunglasses. These brilliant lizards could be fashion models of the lizard world!

When have you spotted a beautiful lizard?

NPS Photo


120 N Rosamond Boulevard
Edwards Air Force Base, CA

Opening Hours

Monday 7:30am - 4:30pm
Tuesday 7:30am - 4:30pm
Wednesday 7:30am - 4:30pm
Thursday 7:30am - 4:30pm
Friday 7:30am - 4:30pm




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