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Covering recreation and environmental issues within California
John Stewart

Flat-tailed horned lizard review released

The Center for Biological Diversity submitted a petition to list the Flat‐Tailed Horned Lizard (Phrynosoma mcallii) as endangered throughout their range in California, under the California Endangered Species Act (California Fish and Game Code §§ 2050 et seq., “CESA”).

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John Stewart

Flat-tailed Horned Lizard Study Available

This has impacted our operations, for example we have stopped grading. Our staff is working with the Department of Fish and Wildlife to get what is called an Incidental Take Permit (ITP), which will allow for us to continue with our operations as normal. We may or may not be issued an ITP.  If we are, we are hoping to include Special Events as part of our operations, although there may be restrictions in staging locations, size, etc.  This process can take time and in the end we cannot be sure what we will end up with. This entire process is governed by the California Endangered Species Act and does not apply to federal lands.  It may be recommendable to contact other locations, such as BLM, to ensure that you can move forward with your event planning and ensure that you can secure a location.
 
I do want you to know that we are very sensitive to our stake holders and are working hard behind the scenes to reach a conclusion that maintains our off-road recreational opportunities while complying with the laws set forth in the California Environmental Quality Act.”

Now, for the rest of the story...

The Center for Biological Diversity did submit a petition to the California Fish and Game Commission requesting listing of the Flat-tailed Horned Lizard as a California State Endangered Species. This action was taken after the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has declined to list the FTHL as a federal threatened or endangered species numerous times over the past decade.

This listing is a one year listing giving time to complete a final study to determine if permanent listing is warranted. In discussions with OHMVR officials, they are meeting with California Department of Fish and Wildlife to obtain the Incidental Take Permit. OHMVR Deputy Director Chris Conlin felt confident that OWSVRA staff had sufficient study data showing a stable population of the FTHL within the SVRA. A final decision on the on-going study and ITP is not expected for several months.

To put the issue in perspective, all special use permits within the SVRA are on hold for a one year period. That time clock ends in April 2016, placing Cal4Wheel/Paralized Veterans of San Diego Operation Desert Fun and Tierra del Sol Desert Safari in jeopardy of not being held due to lack of a special use permit.

2003 Flat-tailed Horned Lizard Rangewide Management Strategy has been cited by U.S. Fish and Wildlife as providing sufficient management actions that preclude listing the FTLH as a federal threatened or endangered species.

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Chief

Frogs and Toad Listing Announced

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has announced that the Final Rule for listing of the Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frog and the Northern Distinct Population Segment of the mountain yellow-legged frog as Endangered Species and the Yosemite toad as a Threatened Species is pending publication in the April 29, 2014 edition of the Federal Register.

Blue Ribbon Coalition

Controversy Around the Sage Grouse

BlueRibbon Coalition (BRC) has taken a leadership role for backcountry recreationists, thank goodness, in bringing common sense to the table regarding the sage grouse.  The whole drama is being played out over possible listing under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).  Ranchers have invested thousands of dollars in modifying habitat on private lands to try and prevent listing; federal and state agencies have invested untold dollars and staff time studying this bird over the last 60 years; and scientists have issued conflicting reports, over and over, contradicting each other, or countering the claims of another group or scientist.  It’s hard to even follow.  But again, thank goodness for groups like BRC.

For those of us who use a motorized vehicle in the pursuit of what makes us happy, or helps us earn a living, BRC has taken the common sense, science-based approach that includes the belief that responsible motorized recreation can coexist with the sage grouse in its habitat by factoring into the equation four pro-active OHV management prescriptions for managing this bird on public lands.

BRC (under the Sage Grouse Task Force headed by Don Amador) is writing comments and helping recreationists provide input in all affected areas with these recommended prescriptions:

1. Maintain TMR direction for using only designated routes and trails.
2. Implement limited operating periods for critical areas (such as crack of dawn around leks) from Mar. 1 to May 15.
3. Adhere to measures to ensure invasive species prevention.
4. Ensure sound ordinances are in place.

People can coexist with the sage grouse but we, the people, must be involved in our agencies and elected officials to ensure that happens!  The THREE things you can do include:

1. Join BRC (if not a member yet) and donate to the Sage Grouse Action Fund.
2. Stay abreast and help your state association in dealing with area-specific sage grouse issues and meetings.
3. Don’t sit back and wait for someone else to do it for you or your trails will be as scarce as logging trucks in a National Park.

The BlueRibbon Coalition (BRC) is a national non-profit organization that champions responsible recreation and encourages a strong conservation ethic and individual stewardship, while providing leadership in efforts to keep outdoor recreation alive and well -- all sports; all trails.  With members in all 50 states, BRC is focused on building enthusiast involvement with organizational efforts through membership, outreach, education and collaboration among recreationists. 1-800-BLUERIB -  www.BlueRibbonCoalition.Org

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BlueRibbon Coalition

NEVADA & CALIFORNIA - BLM Issues Conservation Policies for Bi-state Sage-grouse Population

Dear BRC members and supporters,

We thought we'd send a quick update to our members regarding the massive land use planning effort related to the Greater Sage Grouse.

For those new to our Action Alert list, The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) announced the formal planning process to evaluate greater sage-grouse conservation measures in land use plans in 10 Western states. This was made necessary after the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) found that the greater sage-grouse warrants protection under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

John Stewart

Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project News

Monthly Status Report:  October 1-31, 2012

The following is a summary of Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Project (Project) activities in Arizona on the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests (ASNF) and Fort Apache Indian Reservation (FAIR) and in New Mexico on the Apache National Forest (ANF) and Gila National Forest (GNF).  Non-tribal lands involved in this Project are collectively known as the Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area (BRWRA).  Additional Project information can be obtained by calling (928) 339-4329 or toll free at (888) 459-9653, or by visiting the Arizona Game and Fish Department website at http://www.azgfd.gov/wolf or by visiting the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service website at http://www.fws.gov/southwest/es/mexicanwolf.  Past updates may be viewed on either website, or interested parties may sign up to receive this update electronically by visiting http://www.azgfd.gov/signup.  This update is a public document and information in it can be used for any purpose.  The Reintroduction Project is a multi-agency cooperative effort among the Arizona Game and Fish Department (AGFD), USDA Forest Service (USFS), USDA-Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Wildlife Services (USDA-APHIS WS), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the White Mountain Apache Tribe (WMAT).

Original author: Arizona
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