WEMO Lawsuit still in courts


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Funny, Didnt I just bring this up?


Off-roading plan still unresolved
Lawsuit to decide off-highway route designation stalled for two months

November 15, 2007 - 6:22PM
The fate of the Bureau of Land Management’s West Mojave Plan has been in question for over a year now, ever since a coalition of environmental groups filed suit against the BLM, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Secretary of the Interior in August 2006.

The lawsuit seeks to stop the West Mojave Plan and what plaintiffs consider excessive off-roading routes.

It was supposed to start moving forward in mid-November and the plaintiffs were scheduled to submit their opening brief todayFriday, but now the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is re-writing a component of the plan, said Lisa Belenky, an attorney for the Center for Biological Diversity that is one of the plaintiffs.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife’s re-write of the biological opinion for the West Mojave Plan is due on Nov. 30.

In a biological opinion, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife analyzes whether proposals from the BLM or other agencies will harm animals protected under the Endangered Species Act, said Tom Egan, who was the lead wildlife biologist at the BLM’s Barstow field office from 1990 to 2000.

The federally threatened desert tortoise is one of the species that plaintiffs in the lawsuit are most concerned about, Egan said, although many “special status species” fall within the plan’s boundaries. He is also a member of the Desert Tortoise Council.

Ray Bransfield, a biologist in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Ventura office who wrote biological opinions for the West Mojave Plan, said the service is not re-writing them.

Bransfield said he could not comment further and calls to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife spokesperson were not returned by deadline Thursday.

Plaintiffs in the lawsuit are the Center for Biological Diversity, the Sierra Club, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, Desert Survivors, the Alliance for Responsible Recreation, The Wilderness Society, Friends of Juniper Flats, Western San Bernardino County Landowners Association, the California Wilderness Coalition and the California Native Plant Society.

In a complaint filed in August 2006, the plaintiffs alleged that the Department of the Interior failed to comply with several federal environmental laws.

The plaintiffs wrote, “BLM used a flawed “Decision Tree” to make route designations that weighted the process in favor of leaving routes open regardless of the consequences to other resouces and does not disclose the basis, if any basis exists, for routes being designated as open.”
This is no surprise. CBD, Sierra Club, et al...said they were going to stop the plan by a law suit when we were still in the process of gathering data to make the plan. They never had any intention of supporting any plan unless it curtailed ALL OHV use from all land in the plan with the exception of the open OHV areas. Their plan now is to have the entire plan that some of us spent literally months worth of time working on nullified by having Fish and Wildlife write a new set of rules to produce the plan by. This is not about saving tortoises, it is about stopping recreation, period! Every plan that included anything that would benefit tortoises but also included even limited OHV use was blasted by the CBD/Sierra Club and Bransfield's only goal through out the entire process was to make sure there would be continued work for himself and his Chrony Biologist partners so they could continue to slurp off the public trough. It will be interesting to see how the USFW rewrite will now affect the OHV areas since none of the promoters were involved in the WEMO process. Care to see if competitive events are banned? Dad of Dusty


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Dusty, You nailed it. It has nothing to do with Tortoises, They can be
easily brought back to surpass population levels before people started to
even pay attention to them.

Its all about job security of the people who claim to be experts on them.
They purposely suppress the tortoise population to play them like Johnny Cockren
played the race card.


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Also, Yes the racing routes we use today I believe were part
of the West Mojave Plan as part of the route designation process,
Thats why they only let us use the same beat up crappy courses
over and over again in California.

We will see what comes out of the law suit, chances are Racing
courses will not be effected in the open areas.....but who knows,
They are after everything.

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I got a question. Would the environmentalists be upset if these off-road routes became paved roads? Give me a break. I hate these tree huggers, we have the same problem up here. Let them drill ANWR and I'll be able to afford a TT.