Livestock Removal Success: California Desert Conservation Area

Name: California Desert Conservation Area
State(s): California
County(ies): Imperial, San Diego, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, Kern, Inyo , Mono
Watershed(s): Salton Sea, Imperial Reservoir, Mojave, Lower Mojave, Havasu-Mojave, Death Valley-Lower Amargosa, Panamint
Ecosystem Type: Mojave desert, desert riparian, upper Mojave yucca-juniper woodland.
Species Benefited: Twenty-four species including desert tortoise, Peninsular Ranges bighorn sheep, Coachella Valley fringe-toed lizard, Arroyo toad, Desert pupfish, Inyo California towhee, Ash Meadows gumplant, Cushenberry buckwheat, southwestern willow flycatcher and Least Bell's vireo
Federal Unit(s): Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Department of Defense
Acreage: Cancellation of grazing permits on 43,596 acres of desert tortoise habitat. Grazing restricted from year-long term to winter and summer seasons only on 285,381 acres of critical and 213,281 acres of essential tortoise habitat. Currently ungrazed 394,835 acres closed to future grazing permits. Round Mountain allotment (18,084 acres) closed until West Mojave Plan is completed. Exclusion of cattle from all areas within three miles of nesting southwestern willow flycatchers and least Bell's vireo. Additional riparian exclosures on Rattlesnake Canyon, Afton Canyon, Ash Meadows and Kelso Creek.
Method(s): Litigation
Law(s) Invoked: Endangered Species Act (ESA), California Desert Protection Act
Term of Removal: Permanent
Prime Mover(s): Center for Biological Diversity
Summary Explanation:

Center for Biological Diversity was joined by Sierra Club and Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility in a lawsuit against the BLM filed in March 2000 over multiple failures to protect twenty-four species listed under the ESA. In a series of settlement agreements, BLM agreed to initiate ESA consultation, review impacts to threatened and endangered species, close roads and off-road vehicle use areas, limit livestock and mining, raptor-proof powerlines, limit use of toxins, educate trail users about bighorn sheep conservation, conduct species surveys and monitoring, and remove exotic species.