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Desert Tortoise Preserve Committee, Inc.

 Funding this grant would be a travesty that would provide more than $200K of OHV dollars to fund an organization that not only provides no OHV opportunity, but actively opposes OHV use and spends a significant portion of its budget fencing out OHVs. Their website http://www.tortoise-tracks.org/ has few references to OHV, but the ones that they do have are negative, like this one: "Within the desert's fragile ecosystem, tortoise populations are rapidly diminishing; in some places they have disappeared. Losses are due to ... (long list) ... and off-road vehicle use.”
 
DTPC has a history of creating 'Tortoise Preserves' and clear plans to do more of the same -- their grant dollars would go to putting tall fences in the desert, blocking out OHV use. In their grant proposal, they detail a 75% reduction on road kills, but those kills are on paved roads, and there's no documentation available to connect slower-moving dirt road and trail traffic to tortoise kills. I support the efforts to encourage desert tortoise growth, but those efforts should not be funded with OHMVR grant dollars, since those efforts would not enhance OHV recreational opportunity.
 
The OHV Visitor Opportunity Summary for this grant is way out of whack -- they are claiming the OHV opportunity for the entirety of Ridgecrest Field Office's BLM-administered lands, even though the DTPC grant stands to affect only a fraction of the BLM lands, and will likely be spent on tortoise-preserve areas where OHV use is prevented. The OHV Visitor Opportunity Summary scores need assessed by percentage of land used, with a corresponding reduction in weighting (Sections Bii, Biii, Biv, and Bv and Section D) to avoid unfairly skewing this grant high in that rating category. I also think it is unfair for DTPC to claim OHMVR grant points for maps, staging areas, trail signage, variety of OHV opportunity, -- these maps, signs, and hand-outs speak specifically to OHV use but few speak to desert tortoise involvement, and DTPC is involved with none of these.
 
Please rescore this grant and consider what little benefit that funding it will provide for OHV users or their access. There are many better grants available that will help OHV usage and access -- this DTPC grant appears to be a thinly-disguised effort to divert OHV funding to non-OHV agendas. [Randy Burleson - 4/5/10]



 I am writing in support of the Desert Tortoise Preserve Committee's (DTPC) grant application for Restoration, Ground Operations, and Education and Safety projects.  The DTPC is actively working to save areas critical to the conservation of the desert tortoise, improve habitat that has been damaged by historic and ongoing off-highway vehicle use, and to educate the public about desert tortoise conservation and responsible recreation in the desert.
 
The restoration, fencing, and education projects proposed in the grant application will protect the desert tortoise from direct impacts, educate desert recreationists about the continued declines in desert tortoise populations and the importance of conserving the species, help restore habitat from off-highway vehicle damage, and prevent new negative impacts from occurring. Something has to be done to protect our land from ongoing destruction. [Doug Parker - 4/5/10]



 I am writing in support of the Desert Tortoise Preserve Committee's (DTPC) grant application for Restoration, Ground Operations, and Education and Safety projects.  The DTPC is actively working to save areas critical to the conservation of the desert tortoise, improve habitat that has been damaged by historic and ongoing off-highway vehicle use, and to educate the public about desert tortoise conservation and responsible recreation in the desert.
 
The restoration, fencing, and education projects proposed in the grant application will protect the desert tortoise from direct impacts, educate desert recreationists about the continued declines in desert tortoise populations and the importance of conserving the species, help restore habitat from off-highway vehicle damage, and prevent new negative impacts from occurring.

The DTPC is doing good things trying to save the desert tortoise and rehabilitate the desert that has been damaged by offroad vehicles.  The slow, defenseless desert tortoise has no chance when they are up against offroad vehicles and the damage they do.  Please help the DTPC continue their work in helping the desert tortoise!

Everyone loves the desert tortoise and probably had one as a pet when they were growing up. [Amy Taylor - 4/5/10]


 
 I am writing in support of the Desert Tortoise Preserve Committee's (DTPC) grant application for Restoration, Ground Operations, and Education and Safety projects.  The DTPC is actively working to save areas critical to the conservation of the desert tortoise, improve habitat that has been damaged by historic and ongoing off-highway vehicle use, and to educate the public about desert tortoise conservation and responsible recreation in the desert.
 
The restoration, fencing, and education projects proposed in the grant application will protect the desert tortoise from direct impacts, educate desert recreationists about the continued declines in desert tortoise populations and the importance of conserving the species, help restore habitat from off-highway vehicle damage, and prevent new negative impacts from occurring.    PLEASE....... Something has to be done to protect our land from ongoing destruction. [Linda Parker - 4/5/10]


 
 I am writing in support of the Desert Tortoise Preserve Committee's (DTPC) grant application for Restoration, Ground Operations, and Education and Safety projects.  The DTPC is actively working to save areas critical to the conservation of the desert tortoise, improve habitat that has been damaged by historic and ongoing off-highway vehicle use, and to educate the public about desert tortoise conservation and responsible recreation in the desert. 
 
The restoration, fencing, and education projects proposed in the grant application will protect the desert tortoise from direct impacts, educate desert recreationists about the continued declines in desert tortoise populations and the importance of conserving the species, help restore habitat from off-highway vehicle damage, and prevent new negative impacts from occurring.
 
Thank you for your attention to my comments!  [Glenn R. Stewart - 4/5/10]


 I am writing in support of the Desert Tortoise Preserve Committee's (DTPC) grant application for restoration, ground operations, and education and safety projects. The DPTC is actively working to save areas critical to the conservation of the desert tortoise , improve habitat that has been damaged by historic and ongoing off-highway vehicle use, and to educate the public about desert tortoise conservation and responsible recreation in the desert.

The restoration, fencing, and education projects proposed in the grant application will protect the desert tortoise from direct impacts, educate desert recreationists about the continued declines in desert tortoise populations and the importance of conserving the species, help restore habitat from off-highway vehicle damage, and prevent new negative impacts from occuring. I have personally experienced these negative impacts since I was a child, it is especially distressing to see further declines in the tortoise populations and would greatly appreciate any effort to stem the tide.  [Timothy (TK) Kirkpatrick - 4/5/10]



 I would like to comment on the Desert Tortoise Preserve Committee, Inc grants.  To begin with they are asking for $99k for ground operations to put up fences.  This organization does not offer off-road vehicle opportunity, yet wants money to fence off areas?  This grant defies reason and should be denied completely.

The restoration grant does nothing to help off-roading.  The area is fenced off and there is no need to go in there to do any ground disturbing work.  $30,000 for an organization that does zero to promote off-road recreation?  This grant is of no use and should be denied.

The Education grant wants $108k to build another place to talk about the desert tortoise?  Send people to Jawbone Station for all the information they will need.  It is a big stretch to think that funding this grant will actually have much effect on off-roaders.  Please deny all these grants so that the money can go to agencies and organizations that help off-road recreation.  I would rather see the money go back to the state’s general fund. [Ed Stovin , CORVA - 4/5/10]



 I am writing in support of the Desert Tortoise Preserve Committee's (DTPC) grant application for Restoration, Ground Operations, and Education and Safety projects.  The DTPC is actively working to save areas critical to the conservation of the desert tortoise, improve habitat that has been damaged by historic and ongoing off-highway vehicle use, and to educate the public about desert tortoise conservation and responsible recreation in the desert. 
 
The restoration, fencing, and education projects proposed in the grant application will protect the desert tortoise from direct impacts, educate desert recreationists about the continued declines in desert tortoise populations and the importance of conserving the species, help restore habitat from off-highway vehicle damage, and prevent new negative impacts from occurring.

As a retired BLM employee, I have been familiar with the activities of this group and have found the group uses funds efficiently and effectively. They often use a volunteer force to better put the money to use. The DTNA, with a Naturalist present, currently has a visitation made up of increasingly OHV users. The individuals enjoy the visitor center, talking with the naturalist and learning about the desert tortoise and its habitat. [Robert E. Parker - 4/5/10]



 I am writing in support of the Desert Tortoise Preserve Committee's (DTPC) grant application for Restoration, Ground Operations, and Education and Safety projects.  The DTPC is actively working to save areas critical to the conservation of the desert tortoise, improve habitat that has been damaged by historic and ongoing off-highway vehicle use, and to educate the public about desert tortoise conservation and responsible recreation in the desert. 
 
The restoration, fencing, and education projects proposed in the grant application will protect the desert tortoise from direct impacts, educate desert recreationists about the continued declines in desert tortoise populations and the importance of conserving the species, help restore habitat from off-highway vehicle damage, and prevent new negative impacts from occurring. [Rick Dickey - 4/5/10]


 I would like to express my support for the DTPC grant.  Particularly, I would like to emphasize the need for further restoration work at Camp C.  DTPC has dedicated considerable planning and implementation time and money to this project.  DTPC is conducting effective groundbreaking upland desert restoration techniques that may be a new model for other arid land restoration projects.  The land at Camp C needs to be pushed towards making it able to recruit annual and perennial native plants, alleviate soil compaction, deter excessive invasive plant competition, and ultimately provide habitat to native wildlife.  The project is going well, but will need further funding to ensure completed restoration.  Perimeter fencing has been established, but more funding is needed to complete vertical mulch and other restoration techniques.  DTPC is using volunteer labor, which is key to providing ownership to local residents to this project.  However, volunteer labor is not enough.  Paid work crews are needed to complete the restoration at Camp C.  This also exposes young adults to the value and beauty of the desert.  As a partner on this project, I like to express my full support for the funding of the DTPC Grant. [Casey Burns - 4/5/10]



 I am writing in support of the Desert Tortoise Preserve Committee's (DTPC) grant application for Restoration, Ground Operations, and Education and Safety projects.  The DTPC is actively working to save areas critical to the conservation of the desert tortoise, improve habitat that has been damaged by historic and ongoing off-highway vehicle use, and to educate the public about desert tortoise conservation and responsible recreation in the desert. 
 
The restoration, fencing, and education projects proposed in the grant application will protect the desert tortoise from direct impacts, educate desert recreationists about the continued declines in desert tortoise populations and the importance of conserving the species, help restore habitat from off-highway vehicle damage, and prevent new negative impacts from occurring.
 
The desert tortoise is facing more and more threats in the California Desert. This grant is most important for the health and safety of the Federally threatened species; the desert tortoise. [D'Anne Albers  - 4/5/10]



 I am writing in support of the Desert Tortoise Preserve Committee's (DTPC) grant application for Restoration, Ground Operations, and Education and Safety projects.  The DTPC is actively working to save areas critical to the conservation of the desert tortoise, improve habitat that has been damaged by historic and ongoing off-highway vehicle use, and to educate the public about desert tortoise conservation and responsible recreation in the desert. 
 
The restoration, fencing, and education projects proposed in the grant application will protect the desert tortoise from direct impacts, educate desert recreationists about the continued declines in desert tortoise populations and the importance of conserving the species, help restore habitat from off-highway vehicle damage, and prevent new negative impacts from occurring. I have personally been at the preserve and observed a tortoise and it's burrow right next to the OHV main road. Something must be done to save these animals. [Debbie Beckett  - 4/5/10]


 This email is in support of the Desert Tortoise Preserve Committee's application grant to use OHV funds to protect desert tortoise habitat. 
 
I am aware that a significant number of visitors to the Desert Tortoise Natural Area are OHV riders who share concern over the decline in Desert Tortoise numbers and habitat.  Responsible riders, like myself, know that our sport has impacts upon the natural environment and support efforts to reduce that impact, and rehabilitate it. 
 
Please seriously consider the DTPC's application and support it. [Edward B. Patrovsky - 4/5/10]



 I am writing in support of the Desert Tortoise Preserve Committee's (DTPC) grant application for Restoration, Ground Operations, and Education and Safety projects.  The DTPC is actively working to save areas critical to the conservation of the desert tortoise, improve habitat that has been damaged by historic and ongoing off-highway vehicle use, and to educate the public about desert tortoise conservation and responsible recreation in the desert. 
 
The restoration, fencing, and education projects proposed in the grant application will protect the desert tortoise from direct impacts, educate desert recreationists about the continued declines in desert tortoise populations and the importance of conserving the species, help restore habitat from off-highway vehicle damage, and prevent new negative impacts from occurring. [Chino Valley Chapter, California Turtle & Tortoise Club - 4/5/10]



 Please find attached the Center for Biological Diversity’s letter of support for the Desert Tortoise Preserve Committee's (DTPC) grant application for Restoration, Ground Operations, and Education and Safety projects.  Their request is a project worthy of full funding. [Ileene Anderson - 4/5/10]



 I am writing in support of the Desert Tortoise Preserve Committee's (DTPC) grant application for Restoration, Ground Operations, and Education and Safety projects.  The DTPC is actively working to save areas critical to the conservation of the desert tortoise, improve habitat that has been damaged by historic and ongoing off-highway vehicle use, and to educate the public about desert tortoise conservation and responsible recreation in the desert. 
 
The restoration, fencing, and education projects proposed in the grant application will protect the desert tortoise from direct impacts, educate desert recreationists about the continued declines in desert tortoise populations and the importance of conserving the species, help restore habitat from off-highway vehicle damage, and prevent new negative impacts from occurring.
 
The desert tortoise is facing more and more threats in the California Desert. This grant is most important for the health and safety of the Federally threatened species; the desert tortoise. [D'Anne Albers - 4/5/10]



 I am writing in support of the application for grant funding for the Desert Tortoise Preserve. The Desert Tortoise Preserve Committee has been dedicated in protecting the Desert Tortoise and it's natural habitat.  In trying to reduce the negative impacts on the Desert Tortoise and other wildlife and the critical habitat in which they share, there are many challenges.   Funding for additional fencing is extremely important, as the fencing is critical in providing descent protection for the wildlife which lives within its boundaries.  Funding for educating the public on responsible recreation in the desert is also key. Many recreationalists are unaware of the impacts they cause on this highly senstive area.  It is important that we recognize that the threats to the Desert Tortoise and it's natural habitat are many.    The grant would aid in the success of the goals of the DTPC.  Reducing the negative impact on the Desert Tortoise, as well as help to reduce the negative impact on other wildlfife and native plants which are vital to a healthy habitat for the tortoise.  This funding will help to educate the public about Desert Tortoise conservation and it will help restore and conserve the desert in it's natural state for future generations to visit and appreciate as well. [Kim Vespa - 4/5/10]


 I am writing in support of this proposal.
 
As a member of the TreadLightly.org organization, I appreciate the goals the Desert Tortoise Preserve Committee (DTPC) is attempting to achieve with this proposal.  My wife and I enjoy being in the outdoors and would like to enjoy the same quality of experience for years to come.  By protecting the limited that exists within Southern California wilderness areas, I believe the DTPC will eventually succeed in their goal of increasing the population of the wildlife.
 
During our visits to various wilderness areas within Southern California, my wife and I have seen, plenty of damage that has been done by OHV riders.  Despite the signs posted along designated trails stating phrases such as “No Cross-Country Travel is Permitted”, there are still plenty fresh tire tracks that indicate that signs alone do not deter all riders.  We have seen examples of this type of damage in the Black Mountain Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC), Ord Mountain wildlife area, and Chuckwalla Bench ACEC.
 
By completing the fencing around the Desert Tortoise Natural Area (DTNA), I believe the DTPC will minimize the amount of damage that can be done by negligent OHV riders, protecting the wildlife that exists within the DTNA boundary.  I believe this will allow OHV riders and the wildlife to coexist, preventing the further closure of local trails.
 
I believe that restoration activities are critical to increasing the population of California wildlife.  Once completed, the restored areas must be properly protected from fresh damage.  If fencing is used to protect these areas, proper signage must be provided to ensure the safety of OHV riders.
 
With the addition of an educational kiosk, I believe that OHV riders frequenting the DTNA area will be further educated on the importance of preserving the local wildlife, reinforcing the importance of “treading lightly” while participating in their OHV activities.  Given the remote nature of the wildlife/ACEC areas, the integrity of the areas’ visitors are the most important factor in ensuring the condition of these areas, as ‘policing’ these areas is not feasible.
 
I appreciate the work being done by the DTPC.  Seeing wildlife in wilderness areas is what makes being out in these areas so enjoyable.  The fate of the desert tortoise is an indicator of the state of the wildlife in these wilderness areas.  As the desert tortoise goes, so goes wildlife. [Steve Ishii - 4/5/10]



 I am writing in support of the Desert Tortoise Preserve Committee's (DTPC) grant application for Restoration, Ground Operations, and Education and Safety projects.  The DTPC is actively working to save areas critical to the conservation of the desert tortoise, improve habitat that has been damaged by historic and ongoing off-highway vehicle use, and to educate the public about desert tortoise conservation and responsible recreation in the desert. 
 
I wholeheartedly support the grant request submitted by the DTPC. The presence of a road definitely poses potential harm to tortoises and their habitat, and the more roads there are the greater is the proportion of the tortoise population that is under the threat of harmful off-road activity. Paved roadways and unpaved roadways both have direct and indirect effects upon tortoises and their habitat.

I have witnessed vehicle tracks which indicate that operators specifically left unpaved recreational roadways specifically to run over tortoises and crush tortoise burrows. I also know firsthand how tortoises in the wild react to humans encroaching upon them by vehicles, whereby they retreat into their shells or seek safety away from the vehicles encroaching into their territory. As a biologist this indicates to me that these animals become easily stressed, that vehicles are a stressor and that roads are fragmenting their shrinking habitat. 

When animals are stressed, the effects of illness and/or malnutrition can become acute.  For tortoises, many of which have died in the western Mojave Desert due to Upper Respiratory Tract Disease, stress is likely a contributing factor to tortoises acquiring this disease, or in exacerbating disease severity.  Further, I have witnessed on too many user-created roadways the extent of non-native grasses and mustards which blossom from created road shoulder berms, where prior to non-compliant vehicle use, there were no non-native plants. In addition to these non-native plants replacing suitable tortoise forage, they form wildfire fuel.  Fuel, together with ignition sources often accompanying non-compliant vehicle use, comes fire, which kills tortoises in and out of their burrows and results in type conversion of affected habitat where all shade-providing shrubs are replaced with non-native grasses.

The Desert Tortoise Recovery Plan (USFWS 1994) specifically highlighted the need to halt unauthorized off-road vehicle use in the Fremont-Kramer Desert Wildlife Management Area, but this has not been accomplished to date. Heaton (2007) documented the highest number of roads in the Fremont-Kramer, Superior-Cronese, and Ord-Rodman critical habitat units, in that order.  This correspondingly is where the highest declines of tortoises have also been documented.

Using grant monies for ground operations which protect a fraction of the land truly dedicated to protection of tortoises in a region where off-road activities are a primary form of recreation, is not only a sound investment; it should be considered an obligation.  It would be nice if fencing of habitats where tortoise conservation can be focused was not needed; as it would indicate that user compliance with a designated route network was high. This simply is not the case. Vehicle use non-compliance is rampant in the western Mojave Desert.  We need more programs like those proposed by the DTPC if we are to save our state reptile.
 
The restoration, fencing, and education projects proposed in the grant application will protect the desert tortoise from direct impacts, educate visitors to the desert about the continued declines in desert tortoise populations and the importance of conserving the species, help restore habitat from off-highway vehicle damage, and prevent new negative impacts from occurring. [Tom Egan - 4/5/10]


 I oppose the Desert Tortoise Preserve Committee, Inc. "Ground Operations" grant request G09-04-10-G01.

This grant request is a money grab by an organization that has no interest in promoting legal and legitimate OHV use in the State.  I support conservation efforts and the use of OHV funds where appropriate, however, this grant request is not one of them.  This grant request gives the impression that the Desert Tortoise Preserve Committee is interested and committed to preserving OHV opportunity near the DTNA.  A visit to the organizations website reveals no such motive.  In fact, the Desert Tortoise Preserve Committee newsletters cite numerous press releases of lawsuits won against federal agencies that effectively reduce OHV opportunity.  These lawsuits, advertised in the Desert Tortoise Preserve Committee's newsletters, are being brought to court by groups such as the Center for Biological Diversity, an organization that makes no qualms about the fact they are completely motivated to remove all legal OHV use within the State.

It is suggested that by protecting the tortoise, legal OHV opportunities will in turn be protected.  However, there is no evidence of the amount of accidental tortoise deaths, if any, by OHV use.

This grant requests suggests that a high amount of public input was sought.  However, it is unclear is any input from OHV stakeholders was sought.  In addition, this grant request marks a high score for partnerships but there is not a single partnership listed that maintains an OHV interest.

This grant request gives the impression that it has OHV interests in mind, but the motive is clear, OHV is only viewed as the cash cow to fund this pet project, with no real legitimate benefit to OHV.  This is a $90,000 waste of taxpayer money. [Kevin Liles - 4/3/10]



 I oppose the Desert Tortoise Preserve Committee, Inc. "Education and Safety" grant G09-04-10-S01.

This grant request is a money grab by an organization that has no interest in promoting legal and legitimate OHV use in the State.  The kiosk cited in the grant request has not been vandalized, yet it is suggested that it needs to be replaced at the sum of $108,000.  What is even more egregious is the fact that the Desert Tortoise Preserve Committee, Inc. suggests that the OHV public should fund the entire project with not one single penny being spent by their own membership.

This grant request is an outrageous request of OHV tax dollars and provides no benefit to the OHV community, instead it funds another pet-project by an organization with ties to the Center for Biological Diversity - the most infamous anti-OHV organization of recent memory. [Kevin Liles - 4/3/10]



 I oppose the Desert Tortoise Preserve Committee, Inc. "Restoration" grant G09-04-10-R01.

This grant request is a money grab by an organization that has no interest in promoting legal and legitimate OHV use in the State.  The area cited for restoration was a legitimate area open to OHV and provided legal OHV opportunity in the past.  The area was then acquired by the Desert Tortoise Preserve Committee and is off-limits to OHV, now they want OHV to foot the bill to provide improvements on their own property. 

This grant request provides no benefit to the OHV community and is a waste of OHV user taxes, instead it funds another pet-project by an organization with ties to the Center for Biological Diversity - the most infamous anti-OHV organization of recent memory.  [Kevin Liles - 4/3/10]



 Upon reviewing this application, it is not completely clear how the ground ops grant request relates to OHV.  Desert tortoise mortality due to tortoise being run over is a rare event according to the FWS desert tortoise recovery plan. Mortality from other causes is well known to be far more significant. The request would install fencing, but how much of this would actually protect tortoise from OHV activity as opposed to ordinary travel by passenger cars and trucks? The application does not describe this in sufficient detail.
 
It's good to have a desert tortoise educational program for visitors, but what is the actual proportion of OHV users who would be educated? Granted, there are a lot of OHV users in the area, but there are  lots of other visitors too.
 
The C Camp area is degraded and the request for restoration is for a very small area.  Is this enough to make a difference?
 
No doubt some level of funding for this request is appropriate, but I hope grant staff will take a hard look at the application to make sure this is an appropriate use of OHV funds for OHV related activity. [Bruce W - 4/4/10]


 My name is Brendan Hughes and I would like to write in support of the DTPC's grant application for Restoration, Ground Operations, and Education and Safety.  DTPC is doing important work to help save areas critical to the conservation of the desert tortoise.  The restoration, education, and fencing proposed in the grant application will help educate desert users about the importance of the desert tortoise, and will help protect and restore habitat from OHV damage. [Brendan Hughes - 3/30/10]



 This grant has to take the award, $207,000 for an organization that does not provide any OHV opportunity. To the contrary, they are actively purchasing property and the first thing they do is close it with a fence to all uses, I mean all uses, not even hikers can get in there unless they jump over a 6 foot fence. 
 
Ground Operation :  $99,216   First of all in their narrative they describe kills on Highway and that a reduction of 75% of kills has been accomplished since those tortoise fences have been installed.  OK, will give them that, but now they claim that tortoise are being killed  on dirt roads and trails. However they can not document this, it is strictly desk top talk.   I personally have been around the DTNA fence many times and almost once or twice a month around the subject sections they wish to fence.   As to now saying  "the committee must alter our management methods in our effort to protect the threatened desert "etc etc.  This is just crazy.  They want to put up an fence and create "Fragmentation of Habitat" .   The OHV recreation has been around for a long long time since the 60"S. I personally raced in the area in the early 70' when we had 1400 miles of trails to race on in the Rand's..    The DTNA fence has worked, and it is still up , it is old, but it is up.  In those years we had triple the visitors we have today, so to say there are more riders, shows you that the institutional memory is just not there.   In the 90's we got the Rand's management plan in which we went from 1400 miles to 128 miles of trails. In 2002  CBD, Sierra Club  and I believe DTNA forced BLM to close 25,000 ac of the West Rand's because off route travel ,  6 years later with grant we fenced both sided of R 5 and R 50 so there is no off route travel as before accused. There has been a few sabotages cuts, but those have been repaired one or 2 days after they occurred. I know, I did the repairs.  I also patrolled the fence every Monday morning and all is well now.   West Rand's is still closed with 10 miles of trails in there.  
 
There are no trail kills.  Period. I have never seen a kills. Last year I rode 3600 miles on my motorcycle in the desert area.   I have seen many tortoises in this time, one day 5 along , incredible, we started giving them names, but they where not in the DTNA.  They where in the desert.  As they should be.
 
In the end of  70'  I was shocked at finding about 50 to 70 Fed X boxes all stacked up neatly by the DTNA, When I asked the care takers what was  in the boxes, he said tortoise from DTNA. I was shocked, and still am after all these years. The most beautiful species of tortoise you have ever seen, Big ones.  I asked were  they are going . He said they would be sent to the  university for test to see what is wrong with them. Well folks, those tortoises never came back. Thus DTNA lost the most important resource they had, tortoises.  Now there are more tortoise outside of the DTNA than inside and they want to fence it.  This is totally wrong and  this  Grant should be denied.
 
There is no statement on what DTNA did with the $21,412 for signs and $67,824 for signs from 2008 /2009 grant.  
 
Restoration:  $108.000   Now this grant goes over the top. Any sane person who goes and checks the property that they want to restore will find that it is totally fenced in. This property never was used as described by the applicant. It was called Camp C, but is not really the Camp C used by the public, that is further east of subject property.  Because the fence has been put in there, everything is grown back as it does when no one goes in there and for them to disturbed the land now after all its growth because of no use, and the animals making their way in this area, would be criminal.   This grant has to be denied 100%  . The land is healing itself., Go look at it. Again a grant from desk top.
 
Education and Safety:  $108,360    This grant has to take the prize for insanity.  By their own statement 28 years  it has not been vandalized.  Do you know how many OHV folks have  visited this building tons and Ton have done so. It is nice it is in the right place. But now they want to disturb Tortoise Habitat to build a building, you have to be plumb crazy.  Now who is the environmentalist here?   There is absolutely no reason for this monstrosity.  You have enough places in museums in East Kern that talk about the Tortoise to the point of over kill.  Folks like to see a tortoise and "Bob" at Jawbone station fits the job perfectly. When Jawbone Station is expanded, it will have all the necessary display for the tortoise one would ever want, and that has the visitors  numbers to warrant something for education.  This remote location of the DTNA is not a big attractions.   Friends of Jawbone just filled the SST with water , (Sweet Smelling Toilet)  and you can tell if there is thousands of folks or not, It does not have that numbers. The SST tells the story.
 
So this grant also has to be denied, it is totally incompatible with the DTNA mission, and habitat.
 
So in summary, this entire Desert Tortoise Preserve Committee grant should be denied.  They have not provided any report or explanation for last year money, they never participate in any meeting that Friend of Jawbone which is held  every month and the public particpates in that  30 to 40 folks show up from all walks of life, government, law enforcement, private property owners, but not DTNA, they are in their own little world.   [Ed Waldheim "OHV activist for access to public lands for all" - 3/28/10]



 The following is my comment for the OHV Grant funding request:

This request should be in the Development category, not the Ground Operations.

4970.10.2 Development
(c) Examples of Deliverables
(5) Conservation practices with regard to environmental protection,
 
Thank you for considering my comment. [Bruce Brazil - 3/7/10]