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Desert Tortoise Preserve Committee, Inc.

  I'm all in favor of this grant request. Unauthorized OHV and other use and trespass will surely be reduced by fencing. In addition, I believe that restoration of such lands is an important positive step to help the desert tortoise. Sharon Newkirk - 4/1/15

  I fully support this request. While I support the use of OHV for recreation, it just shouldn't be on land where the desert tortoise is endangered. Fencing the land will reduce trespassing and use by OHV riders. Michael Larson - 4/1/15

  It is critical to fund this grant since all desert organisms are being negatively impacted by a number of stressors, beginning with off-road vehicles. Habitat for these and other desert creatures are dwindling rapidly. Desert lovers that include many of us are worried that we will loose the beauty and diversity that we have valued. We will have stolen this from our future generations. Pam Nelson - 4/1/15

  I support this grant. Fencing improves tortoise survivability and the Committee's trash pick up efforts in the past have been great. I am appalled by the amount of trash left by ORV visitors in this vicinity after a busy weekend. I once watched a group of 20-25 ORVs unload and proceed to burn a bunch of home trash. Piles of junk left after they departed on Sunday. This grant would support clean-up of an area that really needs it. Baine - 4/3/15

  I support the funding request of the Desert Tortoise Preserve Committee to repair damage done to habitat by illegal and irresponsible ORV activities. We need stronger fines and confiscation of vehicle to reduce habitat destruction, noise and dust caused by ORV activities. Kim F Floyd - 4/5/15

  As a member and volunteer land monitor for the DTPC, I have had the opportunity to observe the privately owned lands that are covered by this grant request. The properties are clearly signed as private property, and yet numerous OHV incursions ranging from very fresh to very old can be observed. In many instances, it can be seen that the OHV was driven around the signage multiple times before heading directly in to the property. On occasion, I have seen OHV tracks that go directly over the top of a desert tortoise burrow. I have also observed damage to numerous plants that was apparently caused by OHVs running over those plants. The most pervasive damage is the erosion caused by multiple OHV incursions along the same track. There is the immediate damage caused by the vehicles themselves, and then there is the additional damage of these tracks channeling the rare rainfall in to ruts and gullies that erode the natural topography and ground cover. Fencing these privately held properties is a necessary first step in stopping further damage to the land, and in restoring them as sustainable habitat for the desert tortoise and other species of interest. This has been proven in other sections of the DTRNA where the habitat has begun to recover in just a few years after being fenced. Craig Bansmer - 4/5/15

  New fencing and signage is vital to protect this sensitive area from ongoing ORV trespass and degradation. We support DTPC's grant request. ORV WATCH KERN COUNTY - 4/5/15

  I strongly support the application of the Desert Tortoise Preserve Committee, Inc. (DTPC) to secure grant funding for the restoration of habitat adjacent to the Desert Tortoise Research Natural Area. The requested funding would facilitate fencing of private lands in order to reduce trespass and unauthorized use by OHV recreationists on critical desert tortoise habitat. In addition to preventing future habitat damage, the new fencing will allow for more effective measures to restore land that has already been severely impacted by previous unauthorized OHV use. The DTPC has worked diligently for over 40 years to support the establishment, expansion, fencing and ongoing stewardship of the Desert Tortoise Research Natural Area (DTRNA). Continued impacts associated with unauthorized OHV activities on adjacent land present a significant threat to the long term viability of tortoise habitat within the DTRNA. The DTRNA is a critical piece of the overall recovery strategy for the desert tortoise and, as such, warrants the highest level of attention from agencies charged with protection of our State's sensitive habitat resources. The DTPC has a long, successful history of partnering with State, Federal and local agencies, and has an excellent track record of managing grant funding and implementing cooperative agreements. These partnerships have resulted in significant leveraging of public funds with private resources, and have ensured that grants/agreements have been carried out efficiently, cost effectively, and in a manner that promotes the public's best interests. Funding the DTPC's current application truly presents a win-win opportunity for the State of California. Respectfully submitted, Roger A. Dale - 4/6/15

  On behalf of AquaHelio Resources, LLC, I am writing to endorse the OHV Restoration Grant application submitted by the Desert Tortoise Preserve Committee, Inc. AquaHelio Resources, LLC owns over 4,800 acres of land immediately west and north of the Desert Tortoise Research and Natural Area. Our company has been concerned about unmitigated damage to habitat and believe that perimeter fencing and habitat restoration around the Natural Area would be beneficial to conserve the sensitive habitat and species in the area. Lawrence Lin Executive Chairman AquaHelio Resources, LLC - 4/6/15

  I am a member of the Board of Directors of Solar Environmental Conservancy, Inc., a California Nonprofit Public Benefit Corporation. Our organization was formed to promote responsible conservation in California and we fully support the Desert Tortoise Preserve Committee, Inc.'s (DTPC) Restoration Grant to install perimeter fencing and restore habitat for the desert tortoise, a state listed threatened species, and other sensitive species that occur at the Desert Tortoise Research and Natural Area (DTRNA) and the areas surrounding the DTRNA. Unauthorized trespass of private lands by Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) users and others is a serious issue that threatens the long term sustainability of the Mojave Desert. The DTPC's restoration grant would minimize OHV impacts and enhance the conservation of this State's natural resources. SHAO ZHU - 4/6/15

  I fully support the grant application submitted by Desert Tortoise Preserve Committee, Inc (DTPC). Installing fencing around the DTPC’s preserve lands will assist the committee in its continuing habitat restoration and management efforts. Fencing will also assist OHV riders as they decide where to ride and camp. I have personally observed OHV riders camping and riding in the area included within this grant while I was monitoring land on behalf of the DTPC; this is despite the private property signs already installed in the area. Fencing has also been proven to be an effective means of preserving tortoise densities and minimizing OHV riding off of designated routes. The DTPC has made effective use of OHV funds in past years and will be sure to deliver positive results with the grant funds requested by this application. Steve Ishii - 4/6/15

  8minutenergy Renewables LLC (8ME) develops utility-scale solar projects and is deeply committed to the environment. 8ME is developing a solar farm on previously disturbed agricultural land northwest of the Desert Tortoise Research and Natural Area. 8ME supports the preservation of undisturbed desert habitat in the area because the unauthorized Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) use poses a threat to sensitive habitat. OHV use would not be controlled unless the areas are secured by adequate perimeter fencing. More specifically, 8ME supports the Desert Tortoise Preserve Committee, Inc.’s Habitat Restoration Grant application inasmuch as it would help restore lands in west, southeast, and eastern areas of the DTRNA. Thomas Buttgenbach - 4/6/15