Tuesday, 28 February 2017
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MORENO VALLEY, Calif. – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) released a Record of Decision for a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement authorizing the translocation of more than 1,500 desert tortoises from military training areas near the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center at Twentynine Palms to four pre-determined sites on BLM-managed lands in San Bernardino County. This decision supports a joint effort with Department of Defense (DOD) to support the expansion of military training activities as authorized in the 2014 National Defense Authorization Act.

The DOD, along with the BLM serving as a Cooperating Agency, prepared a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to evaluate the environmental impacts of translocating desert tortoises. The draft Supplemental EIS was released to the public on September 30, 2016. The final Supplemental EIS was released to the public on January 6, 2017. On January 31, 2017, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service issued a Biological Opinion (BO) for the project that covered actions on DOD and BLM-managed lands. 

In addition, authorization is given for desert tortoise habitat improvements, including the installation of fencing and signs and rehabilitation of unauthorized routes on BLM-managed lands, an action necessary to support the expansion of military training activities at the military base.

The acceptance of desert tortoises onto BLM-managed lands is subject to a 30-day appeal period commencing on February 22, 2017, with the posting of the record of decision in the Federal Register. The Supplemental EIS along with translocation maps may be viewed at: http://seisforlaa.com/Documents.aspx.

Instructions for filing an appeal on the BLM decision record can be found at:  http://bit.ly/2kUdlfQ

5 years ago


The United States (U.S.) Department of the Navy (DoN), on behalf of the U.S. Marine Corps and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), serving as a Cooperating Agency, prepared a Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) to study alternative plans for translocating tortoises from newly-acquired training areas associated with the Final EIS for Land Acquisition/Airspace Establishment at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in Twentynine Palms.  The public release of the Final SEIS on January 6, 2017 initiated a 30-day waiting period, during which the DoN and the BLM consider public comments while preparing separate Records of Decision (RODs).   

The joint Notice of Availability for the RODs was published in the Federal Register.  In their respective RODs, each agency selected the preferred alternative, Alternative 2, as the “environmentally preferable” alternative and identified why it was chosen.

The DoN RODs and Final SEIS are posted in electronic format on the project website: www.SEISforLAA.com and on the Combat Center’s website: www.29palms.marines.mil/Staff/G5-Government-and-External-Affairs/SEISforLAA.  Printed copies are available for review at the following libraries:

  • Newton T. Bass Apple Valley Branch Library
  • Barstow Branch Library
  • Palm Springs Public Library‎
  • Stanley Mosk Library and Courts Building
  • San Bernardino County Library Administrative Offices
  • Twentynine Palms Branch Library‎
  • Victorville City Library‎
  • Yucca Valley Branch Library
  • Joshua Tree Branch Library‎
  • Lucerne Valley Janice Horst Branch Library
  • Needles Branch Library
  • Ovitt Family Community Library

This concludes the National Environmental Policy Act process for the SEIS.  The U.S. Marine Corps appreciates your interest in this project. To gather more information, please visit the project website at http://www.SEISforLAA.com or contact the Resource Management Group at (760) 830-3737.

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