This is not good (SURPRISE CANYON)
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Posted by Avalon on March 11, 2002 at 21:02:48:
THOUGH MANY OF YOU WHO READ THIS FORUM MIGHT BE FAMILAR WITH THE FOLLOWING I WAS NOT . I JUST HOPE THAT THIS IS NOT "CREEPING INCREMENTALISM" AS FAR AS THESE "ROAD CLOSURES" GO. FOR AT SOME POINT WE MIGHT FIND ALL OF DV AND OTHER ENJOYABLE PLACES "OFF LIMITS TO MOTORIZED VEHICLES".(read all then scroll down to the ****).
LEGAL SETTLEMENT PROTECTS 24 ENDANGERED SPECIES ON 11 MILLION ACRES
Case Number: CIV 00-0927 WHA (JCS)
Case Name: Center for Biological Diversity, Sierra Club and Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility versus Bureau of Land Management
Date Filed: 3-16-00
Issue: The Bureau of Land Management failed to formally consult over its effects upon, obtain a permit for its take of, ensure its actions will not jeopardize, and ensure its actions will adversely modify the critical habitat of 24 threatened and endangered species.
Affected Actions: Livestock grazing, mining, unnecessary roads, ORV damage, inappropriately placed trails and campgrounds, power lines, toxic spills, exotic species, and lack of management plans, species surveys, and habitat monitoring.
Result: In a series of settlement agreements, BLM agreed to initiate Endangered Species Act consultation, review impacts to threatened and endangered species, close roads and ORV use areas, limit livestock and mining, raptor proof power lines, limit use of toxins, educate trail users about bighorn sheep conservation, conduct species surveys and monitoring, and remove exotic species.
On March 16, 2000, the Center for Biological Diversity, Sierra Club, and Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility filed suit against the Bureau of Land Management over its failure to protect 24 endangered species within the California Desert Conservation Area. The suit challenged the agency's management of livestock grazing, mining, off-road vehicles, power lines, toxins, and exotic species.
In a series of sweeping settlements, the BLM agreed to:
protect Peninsular bighorn sheep habitat and populations
conduct public education campaigns about environmental protection
close a sand and gravel mine threatening the arroyo southwestern toad
prohibit mining on 3.4 million acres
reduce or prohibit livestock on two million acres
prohibition of ORVs on over 550,000 acres of sensitive habitat areas
immediate closure of over 4,500 miles of roads and the eventual closure of thousands more
raptor-proofing of power lines
use of wildlife safe engine coolant
increase wildlife surveying, monitoring, and conservation plans
REIGNING IN DESTRUCTIVE OFF-ROAD VEHICLES TO PROTECT HABITAT
Algodones Dunes, 49,310 Acres. On 11-2-00, the Bureau of Land Management agreed to a sweeping legal settlement with the Center requiring the prohibition of off road vehicles from 49,310 acres of the Algodones Dunes to protect the endangered Peirson's milkvetch. Combined with the 32,240 acre North Algodones Dunes Wilderness, the settlement brings the total protected area to 81,550 acres or 54% of the Algodones Dunes.
****(my own asterisk)Surprise Canyon, 4,600 Acres. A later settlement agreement in the same case resulted in an agreement to end jeep winching up waterfalls within the 4,600 acre Surprise Canyon Area of Critical Environmental Concern in the Panamint Range near Death Valley National Park,
Microphyll Woodlands, 480,500 Acres. ORVs are prohibited in microphyll woodland desert washes across 480,500 acres of the Sonoran desert of Imperial, Riverside, and San Bernardino counties.
Wilderness and ACECs, 1.1 Million Acres. The BLM also agreed to review and end trespass ORV use in of 713,600 acres of wilderness and 400,000 acres of Areas of Critical Environmental Concern.
Windy Point, 1,080 Acres. Promote recovery of the Coachella Valley fringe-toed lizard and Coachella Valley milkvetch by closing 1,080 acres of habitat to ORV use at Windy Point near Palm Springs CA.
Edwards Bowl/Helendale, 11,600 Acres. Prohibit ORVs on 11,600 acres of critical desert tortoise habitat at Edwards Bowls and Helendale CA.
Afton Canyon. The agreement requires the fencing of approximately 5 miles of perennial waters on the Mojave River at Afton Canyon to keep out damaging ORVs.
Ash Meadows. Fence populations of rare Ash Meadows plants to keep ORVs out.
Kelso Creek. The BLM agreed to fence streamsides to exclude ORVs.
Rattlesnake Canyon. The BLM agreed to fence streamsides to exclude ORVs.
- Settlement Agreement -
CLOSING HARMFUL ROADS IN CRITICAL HABITAT AREAS
On 1-29-01, the Bureau of Land Management agreed to review and delineate legally approved roads within 874,000 acres desert tortoise critical habitat in the West Mojave by summer 2001. The process will result in the closure of approximately 4,500 miles of illegal roads. The BLM also agreed to complete a desert-wide route designation process on 11 million acres by 2004 which will result in thousand of miles of additional road closures!