"Judge Rejects U.S. Management Plan for California Desert"

"A federal judge has rejected key provisions of a plan for managing millions of acres in the California desert, saying the U.S. Bureau of Land Management designated roughly 5,000 miles of off-road vehicle routes without properly taking into account their impact on public lands, archaeological sites and wildlife.

U.S. District Judge Susan Illston on Monday ruled that the West Mojave plan, which the bureau approved in 2006 after a decade of development, is 'flawed because it does not contain a reasonable range of alternatives' to limit the number of miles of off-road routes.

She also determined that the bureau's analysis of the routes' impacts on air quality, soils, plant communities and sensitive species such as the Mojave fringe-toed lizard was inadequate, pointing out that the desert and its resources are 'extremely fragile, easily scarred, and slowly healed.'"

Louis Sahagun reports for the Los Angeles Times September 30, 2009.


Source: LA Times, 09/30/2009