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Tortoises

In response to “Partners in Survival--Tortoise, Waste Site,” Part I, March 7:

In the above mentioned article, BLM associate manager Hugh Riecken states that the Bureau of Land Management is doing everything it can “to protect as much of the habitat as (it) can.” The public should be aware that every acre of “desert tortoise critical habitat” in the East Mojave National Scenic Area is being grazed!

The bottom line is that native plant communities are the basis for all terrestrial native animal populations, so it is folly trying to preserve an animal species and not preserve its habitat. BLM maintains that multiple use requires grazing, but on BLM land with sensitive canyons with creeks or natural pools, grazing animals are fenced off. Why won’t BLM offer this same kind of protection to the desert tortoise?

STEVEN HARTMAN

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California Native Plant Society

Sherman Oaks


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