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BLM Lifts Restriction Order Prohibiting OHV Travel in Desert Washes

Moreno Valley, CA (April 1, 2005) - Effective immediately, the Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) California Desert District has terminated the restriction order prohibiting off-highway vehicle (OHV) use in wash zones associated with the designated Desert Wildlife Management Areas within the Northern and Eastern Colorado desert bio-region in parts of Imperial, Riverside and San Bernardino counties.

A Federal Court in San Francisco issued an injunction on Dec. 30, 2004, prohibiting OHV use in wash zones within 571,000 acres of public lands in the Northern and Eastern Colorado Desert region of the California Desert to protect the threatened desert tortoise. The Court ruled the injunction would remain in place until the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) prepared and issued a new biological opinion.

The BLM received a new biological opinion (1.45mb) from the FWS on March 31, 2005, and pursuant to the restriction order of January 4, 2005, and the Court's order, the restrictions are terminated. The FWS biological opinion is available online at www.ca.blm.gov.

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