Thursday, 10 December 2015
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Dec 10, 2015, San Diego, CA. The California Fish and Game Commission meeting is being held in San Diego and John Stewart, Resources Consultant for Cal4Wheel was in attendance.A hot topic with the Ocotillo Wells SVRA affecting OHV recreation is the pending review of the Flat-tailed horned lizard for potential listing as a California State Endangered Species.  The petition for the proposed listing is being considered by the California Fish and Wildlife Department.John addressed the commission with brief remarks stating that Ocotillo Wells SVRA is a component the OHMVR Program, created in 1971.  Approaching its 45th year, the OHMVR Program is chartered to provide for sustainable OHV recreation while conserving the resources for future generations.When the FTHL was proposed for listing, OW staff was obligated to halt permitted activities within the SVRA leading the cancellation or relocation of OHV events.John reminded the commission that OW staff has spent more than 8 years monitoring the lizard and other wildlife within the boundaries of the SVRA and have done an exemplary job of protecting habitat necessary for the FTHL and other wildlife while accommodating the increasing demand for OHV recreation.When the FTHL listing decision is discussed at a future commission meeting, the social-economic impacts must be considered.  And, regardless of the decision, depredation on a variety of species needs to be addressed, starting with steps to control the common raven.The next Fish and Game Commission meeting is scheduled for Feb 10-11, 2016 in Sacramento.

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