Getting Their Just Deserts
The U.S. Bureau of Land Management and enviros reached an agreement this week to reduce road access and add protections for species in 11.5 million acres of desert in Southern California. The deal, which settles a lawsuit filed last year by the Center for Biological Diversity and Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, bans grazing on 1.3 million acres of desert tortoise habitat and generally requires the BLM to boost protections for more than 20 other species in the California Desert Conservation Area. In other species news, the center said the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service did an adequate job yesterday in designating critical habitat for Mexican spotted owls in Utah, but threatened to sue over inadequate designations in New Mexico and Arizona.