The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Southern Nevada and Ely districts plan to return desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) to the wild.
The BLM has announced the draft environmental assessment (EA) is ready that addresses the relocating the desert icons from the Desert Tortoise Conservation Center to 17 wilderness areas, five wilderness study areas and other non-wilderness lands within the districts. The comment period opened Tuesday, Aug. 14, and closes Sept. 14.
This environmental assessment evaluates the impacts of relocating desert tortoise to areas within Clark, southern Nye and southern Lincoln counties. Potential areas will allow for more flexibility and options in addition to the ongoing use of the Large Scale Translocation Site located near Jean.
Relocation includes moving the tortoises from the Desert Tortoise Conservation Center (located at the southern edge of the Las Vegas Valley) back into the wild. Relocated tortoises have the potential to play an important role in recovery of the species through population augmentation, monitoring, research and other recovery actions.
You can view the draft EA by accessing the BLM Southern Nevada District website at http://www.blm.gov/nv/st/en/fo/lvfo.html where it will be listed “In the Spotlight.” Select “Desert Tortoise Translocation Draft Environmental Assessment.”
A final decision on the EA is expected by October 2012.
Written comments must be addressed by mail or delivered to Jessie Stegmeier, Las Vegas Field Office, Bureau of Land Management, 4701 N. Torrey Pines Dr., Las Vegas, NV 89130 or by e-mail to SNDOtortoise@blm.gov or by fax to (702) 515-5023. If you have questions about this project, call (702) 515-5102.
“Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment – including your personal identifying information – may be made publicly available at any time,” said Kirsten Cannon, Public Affairs Specialist with the BLM Southern Nevada District Office. “While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.”