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California Desert District
Release Date: 07/31/09
Contacts: Stephen Razo , 951-697-5217 ,
News Release No. CA-CDD-09-60

BLM Announces Availability of Draft Environmental Assessment for Desert Tortoise Translocation

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Barstow Field Office, announces the availability of a draft environmental assessment (EA) and initiation of a 15-day public comment period for the translocation of Desert Tortoises to BLM managed lands and Army managed lands in the Superior-Cronese Desert Wildlife Management Area (DWMA).  The draft EA analyzes possible impacts on the environment resulting from activities associated with the implementation of this project. The 15-day public comment period on the draft EA begins July 31.

The Department of Army (DA), Fort Irwin, has requested authorization from the BLM to move desert tortoises from their expanded training facility located approximately 50 miles north of Barstow onto public lands managed by the BLM, Barstow and Ridgecrest field offices.  Desert tortoises would be moved south and west of the current Fort Irwin boundary onto various public lands in the Superior-Cronese Desert Wildlife Management Area (DWMA). 

As a result of the expansion of Fort Irwin by legislation (December, 2001), the National Training Center (NTC) is converting approximately 24,000 acres known as the Southern Expansion Area (SEA) and approximately 70,000 acres known as the Western Expansion Area into useable military training lands.  The Army is required to move (translocate) tortoises from these expansion areas before military training my take place on these lands.  The BLM is considering allowing the translocation of tortoises from the Army expansion areas to BLM managed lands to facilitate fulfillment of this requirement.   

You may obtain electronic copies of the draft EA on the BLM, Barstow Field Office website at: Paper copies are available for public inspection at the following locations: BLM Barstow Field Office, 2601 Barstow Road, Barstow, CA 92311, Phone: (760) 252-6000; BLM  Ridgecrest Field Office, 300 S. Richmond Rd., Ridgecrest, CA 93555, Phone: (760) 384-5400; and BLM  California Desert District, 22835 Calle San Juan De Los Lagos, Moreno Valley, CA 92553, Phone: (951) 697-5200.

Copies of the draft EA will be mailed to interested parties upon request. To request an electronic or paper copy please e-mail the BLM Project Manager, Chris Otahal at: or call (760) 252-6033. Written comments may be submitted by letter to the address below, or by e-mail to . All comments must be received on or before the close of business, August 14, 2009 to be fully considered. Comments submitted late will be considered to the extent feasible.  Attention: Chris Otahal, c/o Bureau of Land Management, Barstow Field Office, 2601 Barstow Road, Barstow, CA 92311, Phone: (760) 252-6033.

Before including your add¬ress, phone number, e-mail address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, please note that your entire comment - including your personal identifying information - may be made publicly available at any time. While you may ask us in your comment to have your personal identifying information withheld from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.


California Desert District   22835 Calle San Juan de Los Lagos, Moreno Valley, CA 92553  

Last updated: 07-31-2009