CENTER TAKES ACTION TO HALT OFF-ROAD VEHICLE DAMAGE IN CALIFORNIA WILDLANDS

  • BIGHORN LAMBING GROUNDS CLOSED TO OFF-ROAD VEHICLES
  • SUIT FILED TO STOP OFF-ROAD VEHICLE DAMAGE ON 786,000 ACRES OF ELDORADO NATIONAL FOREST
  • 18,000 ACRES OF DESERT CLOSED TO OFF-ROAD VEHICLES TO SAVE DESERT TORTOISE
  • STOP BUSH ROLLBACK OF DESERT PROTECTIONS- ATTEND AZ/CA PUBLIC HEARINGS IN KEEP ORV MAYHEM LIMITS IN PLACE
  • ATTEND PUBLIC HEARINGS TO KEEP ORVs OUT OF DEATH VALLEY'S RIPARIAN
    JEWEL- SURPRISE CANYON

BIGHORN LAMBING GROUNDS CLOSED TO OFF-ROAD VEHICLES

In accordance with a legal settlement with the Center for Biological Diversity, Sierra Club, and PEER, the Bureau of Land Management has closed two environmentally damaging roads within lambing grounds for the endangered Peninsular bighorn sheep through the end of June. The roads are in the Coyote Mountains, near the San Diego/Imperial County.

The Peninsular bighorn sheep was listed as endangered in 1998. In 2001, the Center won the designation of 800,000 acres of "critical habitat" areas including Carrizo Peak in the Coyote Mountains.


SUIT FILED TO STOP OFF-ROAD VEHICLE DAMAGE ON 786,000 ACRES OF ELDORADO NATIONAL FOREST

The Center for Sierra Nevada Conservation, the Center for Biological Diversity, and the California Wilderness Coalition filed suit to stop off-road vehicle damage on 786,000 acres of the Eldorado National Forest on 2-11-02. The forest's Land Management Plan, adopted in 1989, restricts ORV use to a designated route system, but failed to analyze impacts on soils, sensitive wildlife, and other recreational users. Appeals of that decision to the Washington, DC office of the Forest Service resulted in an order to the Eldorado to complete analysis of their trail plan by May, 1997. The Eldorado has refused to conduct the studies.


18,000 ACRES OF DESERT CLOSED TO SAVE DESERT TORTOISES

In accordance with the terms of a legal settlement with the Center for Biological Diversity, Sierra Club and PEER, the Bureau of Land Management has closed 18,000 acres of the fragile Mojave Desert to destructive dirt bikers. Portions of the Rand Mountains south of Ridgecrest have been designated as a protected "critical habitat area" for endangered desert tortoises since 1994. Some off-road vehicle areas were allowed to remain open in the area under strict conservation guidelines. Unsatisfied with huge swaths of land to drive over, however, off-roaders have cut fences, vandalized revegetation projects, and trespassed in sensitive wildlife areas. Consequently, tortoise number have continued to plummet toward extinction. Unable to control the trespassers, the BLM has closed 18,000 to all entry by off-road vehicles.


STOP BUSH ROLLBACK OF DESERT PROTECTIONS- ATTEND AZ/CA PUBLIC HEARINGS IN KEEP ORV MAYHEM LIMITS IN PLACE

In response to a lawsuit by the Center for Biological Diversity, Sierra Club, and PEER, the Bureau of Land Management closed 50,000 acres of the Algodones Sand Dunes in southeast California to off-road vehicles in November 2000. The closure was enacted to protect the threatened Peirson's milk-vetch and a host of other sensitive plants and animals in this fragile desert ecosystem. Before the suit, up to 200,000 off-road drivers would pound the closed area on some weekends. Endangered species were not the only losers: gun battles, drug overdoses, high speed collisions, burning cars and attacks on federal rangers threatened human lives as well.

The Bush administration, however, has issued a draft plan to re-open the area to off-road vehicles despite the impact to imperiled species, clean air, and human safety. Please attend one of the upcoming public hearings and call/email the BLM to register your support for permanent closure of the 50,000 acre refuge to off-road vehicles.

Roxie Trost 760.337.4420
Bureau of Land Mangement rtrost@ca.blm.gov

All meetings are 7-10 pm

4/9/02
El Centro, CA
City Council Chambers
1275 Main St.

4/15/02
Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix College
1202 West Thomas Rd.

4/23/02
Yuma, AZ
Civic and Conv. Center
1440 W Desert Hills Dr.

4/11/02
Long Beach, CA
The Grand
4101 East Willow St.

4/18/02
Brawley, CA
Brawley City Council
225 A St.

4/25/02
San Diego, CA
Marriott Mission Valley
8757 Rio San Diego Dr.

For more information on the amazing Algodones Dunes, click here.


ATTEND PUBLIC HEARINGS TO KEEP ORVs OUT OF DEATH VALLEY'S RIPARIAN JEWEL- SURPRISE CANYON

Surprise Canyon is an amazing perennial stream in the Panamint Range flowing from Death Valley National Park down to Bureau of Land Management holdings within the California Desert Conservation Area. It has been closed to off-road vehicles since Spring 2000 due to a lawsuit by the Center for Biological Diversity, Sierra Club, and PEER. Before the suit, ORVers used to winch their trucks up waterfalls, cut down trees, pollute water, and generally trash the stream.

The BLM and the National Park Service are preparing a new management plan for Surprise Canyon and are under heavy pressure from motor enthusiasts to re-open the canyon to off-road vehicles. Given the Bush administration's penchant for rolling back environmental protections, they may succeed if the public does not show overwhelming support to forever protect Surprise Canyon for wildlife, clean water, and quite recreation.

Please attend the public meetings at:

5-06-02 Ridgecrest, CA
6-07-02 Bakersfield, CA
5-20-02 Pasadena, CA
5-21-02 San Diego, CA

Get on the BLMs mailing list:

Jeff Aardahl 760.384.5420
Jeffrey_Aardahl@ca.blm.gov

For more information on Surprise Canyon, including photos click here.


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