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California Desert District
Release Date: 09/11/09
Contacts: David Briery , 951-697-5220  
  Steve Razo , 951-697-5217  
News Release No. CA-CDD-09-70

BLM To Revise Desert Tortoise Translocation Environmental Assessment

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will revise the Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Translocation of Desert Tortoises by the U.S. Army onto BLM-managed lands.  The revision will allow BLM to address several issues raised about the EA during the public comment period, which ended August 31, 2009.

The Army's Fort Irwin National Training Center has requested authorization from the BLM to move desert tortoises from its expanded training facility approximately 50 miles north of Barstow onto public lands managed by the BLM's 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.

As a result of the legislative expansion of Fort Irwin in 2001, the base is converting approximately 70,000 acres known as the Western Expansion Area into useable military-training lands.  The Army is required to translocate tortoises from this expansion area before military training may take place on these lands.  To facilitate fulfillment of this requirement, the BLM is evaluating the suitability of the public lands involved for translocation of the tortoises from the Army expansion areas to BLM-managed lands.  

Once the revision of the EA is complete, BLM will seek public comment and review.  No schedule has been set for the revision process.


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

Last updated: 09-11-2009