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The Nature Conservancy's Mojave Desert Ecoregional Assessment 2010

The Nature Conservancy's Mojave Desert Ecoregional Assessment 2010

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Published by chris-clarke-5915
TNC quietly documents the nature of the lands Sierra Club, NRDC et al have been characterizing as "degraded": Many are ecosystemically intact and thriving, while some — such as the Ivanpah and Calico Solar proposal sites — are described as "Ecologically Core… largely undisturbed and un-fragmented, and support the conservation targets (species, ecological systems, springs and seeps) selected for this analysis. Their full protection is critical for long-term conservation of biodiversity in the Mojave Desert."
TNC quietly documents the nature of the lands Sierra Club, NRDC et al have been characterizing as "degraded": Many are ecosystemically intact and thriving, while some — such as the Ivanpah and Calico Solar proposal sites — are described as "Ecologically Core… largely undisturbed and un-fragmented, and support the conservation targets (species, ecological systems, springs and seeps) selected for this analysis. Their full protection is critical for long-term conservation of biodiversity in the Mojave Desert."

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Published by: chris-clarke-5915 on Oct 07, 2010
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05/26/2012

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In addition to Federal and state lands, the Mojave Desert Ecoregion includes land held by a large
number of jurisdictions at the city and county level, resulting in a diverse set of land-use plans and
management goals. In some cases, planning is coordinated among jurisdictions to address long-
term habitat and species recovery goals and land management strategies.

A number of regional-scale planning efforts have been completed or are currently underway
(Figure 4-1). For California, pursuant to a statutory directive of the Federal Land Policy and
Management Act (FLMPA) in 1976, BLM prepared a California Desert Conservation Area
(CDCA) Plan, which was adopted in 1980. That plan has been amended by the adoption of
subsequent regional desert conservation plans, driven by litigation over the agency’s treatment of
listed species. Each of these planning efforts proposes specific actions and adopts land
management decisions to satisfy the NEPA, the mandates of the Endangered Species Act, and
other statutory obligations of the agency. The three CDCA plans are the West Mojave Plan
(WEMO), the Northern and Eastern Mojave Plan (NEMO), which covers 3.3 million acres and
was approved in 2002, and the Northern and Eastern Colorado Plan (NECO), which covers over 5
million acres and was also approved in 2002. Each plan consists of two components: a federal
component that amends the CDCA Plan, and a proposed Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) that,
once approved, enables development to occur on lands owned by private parties or state and local
governments under Section 10(a)1(B) of the Endangered Species Act.

Outside of California, planning efforts include the Lower Colorado River Multiple Species
Conservation Program (LCRMSCP), the Washington County Habitat Conservation Plan
(WCHCP), and the Clark County Multiple Species Habitat Conservation Plan (CCMSHCP). In
addition, a BLM planning effort is currently underway in Utah to create plans for the Red Cliffs
National Conservation Area (NCA) and the Beaver Dam Wash NCA, which were Congressionally-
designated in 2009 and feature high desert tortoise densities. Each plan must demonstrate on-the-
ground conservation benefits to minimize and mitigate the incidental habitat loss they are
proposing for the listed species. Each plan must also demonstrate adequate funding to accomplish
the conservation goals and adequate safeguards built into the programs to respond to unforeseen
changes.

For the regional desert tortoise planning efforts (WEMO, NEMO, NECO, WCHCP, CCMSHCP)
a two-decade-long process of defining critical habitat, recovery areas, and lead management entities
has resulted in mixed results with regard to on-the-ground conservation achievements. However,
processes are in place that would allow these planning efforts to integrate substantially with many
of the conservation goals presented in this Mojave Desert Ecoregional Assessment. For instance,
Clark County, Nevada developed a 30-year Multiple Species HCP (beginning in 2001), which
covers many of the conservation targets found in the Eastern Subregion of this assessment. This
program will provide funding for conservation actions benefiting the 79 species in addition to the
desert tortoise, covered by incidental take permits and pre-listing agreements.

The Nature Conservancy

September 2010

36

Mojave Desert Ecoregional Assessment

Existing Management and Conservation

The Nature Conservancy

September 2010

Owens
Lake

Nevada

California

Arizona

Utah

V

irg

i

n

R

iver

Mojave Riv

e

r

Meado

w

V

a

l

le

y Wash

A
m

a
r
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o
s

a

R

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C
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iv

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u
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§
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40

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15

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15

_`14

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_`395

_`190

_`160

_`127

_`62

_`95

_`95

_`93

_`93

Death
Valley

Baker

Lake Mead

Laughlin

St. George

Las
Vegas

Barstow

Victorville

Twentynine
Palms

Kingman

Pahrump

Ridgecrest

Palmdale

!

!

!

!

!

!

!

!

!

!

!

Coso
Range

Argus
Range

Panamint
Range

Owlshead
Mountains

Ord
Mountains

Cady
Mountains

Bullion
Mountains

Bristol
Mountains

Providence
Mountains

Clark
Mountain
Range

New York
Mountains

Old Woman
Mountains

Pinto
Basin

Sacramento
Mountains

Hualapai
Valley

Spring
Mountains

Eldorado
Mountains

Spotted
Range

Sheep
Range

Mormon
Mountains

Virgin
Mountains

Grapevine
Mountains

Cottonwood
Mountains

Existing Multiple Species
Habitat Conservation
Plans/Programs & RMPs

Figure 4-1

Produced by The Nature Conservancy
California South Coast & Deserts Program
Map Date: July 1, 2010
See Table A.1 for sources

Project Area

0

25

50

12.5

Miles

0

50

100

25

Kilometers

Mojave Desert

Habitat Conservation
Plans/Programs

Lower Colorado MSCP
Washington County HCP
Clark County MSHCP

Northern and Eastern Mojave
West Mojave
Northern and Eastern Colorado

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