To update my previous report, Botta’s Pocket Gophers now seem less easy to find at the Lebec Rest Area (I-5 in Gorman) but if you are in Southern California, two places provide alternatives. Neither is guaranteed of course.
(1) This one is less than 30 minutes from LAX, the Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area. Enter from La Cienega and go past the lower lake to the upper parking area. Look in the open fields.
(2) An hour and a half from LAX (if there is no traffic), the Antelope Valley College campus is possible too but is best on Sunday mornings (when you can find parking and probably won’t be checked for a parking permit). Campus is at corner of 30th West and Ave K; go north on 30th West to the side of campus with the branch campus of CSU Bakersfield / AV, more towards Ave J-8. Check around their bungalows and at the nearby child development center and the two-story APL building (“applied arts”). On 07 March 2018 there was a gopher out of its burrow at 1600 hours at the CSUB site, happily ignoring all the foot traffic, and a staff person told me she sees them there often. Who knows, next time it could be you.
Charles Hood, Palmdale, CA