The West Mojave Plan is a federal land use plan amendment adopted in 2006, that (1) presents a comprehensive strategy to conserve and protect the desert tortoise, the Mohave ground squirrel and over 100 other sensitive plants and animals and the natural communities of which they are a part, and (2) provides a streamlined program for complying with the requirements of the California and federal Endangered Species Acts (CESA and FESA, respectively).
The planning area covers 9.3 million acres in the western portion of the Mojave Desert in southern California covering parts of San Bernardino, Los Angeles, Kern, and Inyo Counties. The plan applies to the 3.2 million acres of public lands.
The Record of Decision for the West Mojave Plan /Amendment to the California Desert Conservation Area Plan was signed in March 2006. Other agencies did not adopt the habitat conservation plan proposed in the West Mojave Plan to cover their jurisdictions, and therefore the adopted plan only applies to public lands.
An amended Biological Opinion to the WEMO Plan from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was signed in December 2007.
In September of 2009, the Court issued a summary judgment remanding the route designations made in the West Mojave Plan, but keeping other parts of the plan, primarily related to the conservation of species, in place. A remedy order based on this judgment was issued in January, 2011, and identified the West Mojave route network, with few changes, would be in place until the remedy order is satisfied.
To satisfy the remedy order, new route designations must be completed, consistent with the court’s order, by March 31, 2014. This is the basis for the supplemental West Mojave EIS and specific travel management plans now under development.
The Notice of Intent to prepare an environmental document and proposed plan amendment initiates the public scoping process ending on October 17, 2011. The supplemental EIS will form the framework for route designation in the West Mojave area, consistent with the rest of the West Mojave Plan. The plan amendment will address inconsistencies in the language between the CDCA and the West Mojave Plan that was one of the subjects of the court order.
In addition, eight travel management plans are being prepared to designate specific routes in various portions of the West Mojave and implement the route network. Eight scoping meetings have been scheduled to initiate these plans. A map overview of the area covered by each of the meetings is also provided. If you would like to submit comments, you can use the posted if you wish. The scoping process for the travel management plan ends April 15, 2012. Comments provided after that time will be considered as feasible until the draft plans are published, but will not be included in the scoping document for the travel management plans.
Please submit public comments by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or send them to Bureau of land Management, California Desert District, Attn: WEMO Plan Activity Amendment, 22835 Calle San Juan de Los Lagos, Moreno Valley, CA 92553.
Collaborative Access Planning Area
The Collaborative Access Planning Area or CAPA process for routes in the Travel Management Area 7 will include public input in a similar fashion as current WEMO route designations that are proceeding to comply with current court order. The process will also include publically announced meetings/work sessions to enable affected communities and publics to provide local knowledge and concerns that will facilitate a collaborative solution to routes in this area.
For consideration in the development of travel management plans for the El Paso and Ridgecrest Travel Management Areas, written public input will be accepted through January 25, 2013
to: Ridgecrest Field Office, Craig Beck, Wilderness, & Operations Branch Chief, 300 S. Richmond Rd., Ridgecrest, CA 93555, or by email email@example.com