NEWS RELEASE - Friday June 22, 2001
MOVES ON DESERT LAWSUIT SETTLEMENT
PROVISIONS TO LIMIT OFF-ROAD VEHICLES IN RIVERSIDE,
IMPERIAL AND SAN BERNARDINO
3.5 MONTHS LATE AND
STILL STALLS ON-THE-GROUND ACTION.
Contact Daniel Patterson,
Desert Ecologist, The Center for Biological Diversity 520.623.5252 x 306
Doug Parham, President, Western San Bernardino County Landowner's Association
Donna Charpied, Citizens for Chuckwalla Valley 760.392.4722
CALIFORNIA DESERT -- The U.S. Bureau of Land Management recently published
a notice in the federal register (included below) announcing their intention
to implement parts of the Center for Biological Diversity, Public Employees
for Environmental Responsibility and Sierra Club desert lawsuit settlement
to protect nearly 480,000 acres of wildlife habitat in the Sonoran and
Mojave deserts from off-road vehicles.
"We're elated that BLM has decided to do something to protect our
area." said Doug Parham, President of the Western San Bernardino
County Landowner's Association, which represents over 30 families in the
Edwards Bowls area north of Adelanto CA. "All we've seen so far is
a notice in the Federal Register, what we need is on-the-ground action
now to stop destructive off-roading, shooting and lawlessness at Edwards
"Closing washes to off-roading is a good conservation step, but BLM
must do more desert-wide to protect and recover native wildlife."
said Donna Charpied, an eastern Riverside County organic farmer and activist
with Citizens for Chuckwalla Valley.
While conservationists applaud the notice, it comes 3.5 months late due
to stalling by Interior Secretary Gale Norton, and BLM is unacceptably
stalling on-the-ground action until at least July 16.
"Finally BLM has moved toward upholding the court order to protect
wildlife from off-roading on critical habitat at Edwards Bowls and in
Sonoran desert washes," said Daniel Patterson, The Center's Desert
Ecologist. "Unfortunately these public lands should have been protected
starting March 1, and will continue to be at risk due to BLM's delay in
implementing this closure on-the-ground. These protective actions are
very overdue and should go in to effect immediately." The ecologist
adds, "Anti-environmental political delays of the Bush administration
are blocking these court ordered protections of our desert public lands."
visit CBD's California Desert
Conservation Area page.
Register Notice from BLM's California website
*** CBD ***