Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites


NRA Comments About Lanfair Valley Wells In The Mojave National Preserve

Monday, January 30, 2006

Printer Friendly version (PDF format)

January 30, 2006

Mojave National Preserve
2710 Barstow Road
Barstow, CA 92311

Dear Sir,

The NRA would appreciate having this letter included in the public comment record on the Mojave National Preserve Environmental Assessment pertaining to the conversion of 12 ranching wells into wildlife guzzlers.

The NRA is a strong advocate of building and maintaining artificial sources of water on public lands where such structures provide needed water in desert climates, like the Mojave Desert, for game, non-game, and threatened and endangered species. On behalf of our hundreds of thousands of members in California, we support the reactivation of the 12 wells in the Lanfair Valley.

It is unfortunate that the 12 wells were deactivated in the process of transferring lands to the National Park Service (NPS). That decision removed valuable water sources that had sustained local wildlife populations for decades. Reactivation is the right management decision. The "no-action" alternative, which would keep the wells closed, is unacceptable.

The NRA is also opposed to the third alternative which will have the same effect as the "no action" alternative. It is a paralysis by analysis approach to wildlife management. The NPS has had ample opportunity to gather data about natural springs and wildlife populations and the availability and need for artificial water. In fact, the NPS has had 11 years to conduct such studies, from 1994 when the Preserve was expanded until now.

A science-based management approach should have been used before decisions were made to close the 12 water developments. The NPS could have easily allowed those water sources to remain open, conducted the necessary studies, and used the resultant information to form sound science-based management decisions.

Delaying the reactivation of the wells pending the outcome of further studies will continue to deny a valuable source of water to the Preserve's wildlife. Nothing in the EA suggests that serious harm will come from reactivation. Historical use can be of some guide. Wells have been present on land now in the Preserve for decades and these wells have provided important sources of water to wildlife in a region greatly altered by man. If anything, the deactivation of the wells creates the environmental risk that the NPS is obligated to cure.

We believe there can be a middle ground between reactivating the wells with no additional research and delaying reactivation until research can be conducted. The NRA recommends modifying the alternative that is based on the California Department of Fish and Game's proposal by immediately reactivating the wells with the proviso that the NPS will conduct research on the effects of the wells on those species that use the water sources, including the level of predation that may be taking place, and address the real impacts to soils and plants.

There does not appear to be any necessity to conduct studies in designated wilderness areas, as the EA recommends, because the wells to be reactivated are not located in those areas. The EA calls for installation of infrared cameras at natural water source locations. The same kind of cameras could just as easily be installed at the reactivated wells to help state and federal biologists monitor and assess artificial and natural water source use by wildlife.

There is no risk to endangered species by this approach, especially to the Mojave Desert Tortoise, which has been the subject of a number of federal management plans. These tortoises are not found in the area of the 12 wells and, if they were, the structure of the wells would prevent them from getting into the wells and drowning.

Reactivating the wells is also in keeping with the Department of the Interior's mission to enhance communication, consultation and cooperation in the service of conservation. In this instance, the California Department of Fish and Game along with conservation organization and individual volunteers will cover the cost of construction and labor to reactivate the wells, including follow up monitoring, management and research.

If research show that the wells are a detriment to wildlife that use them (through predation or entrapment) or impose major impacts to cultural, historical or natural areas around the wells, then the wells can be once again capped. In summary, the NRA recommends that the 12 wells in Lanfair Valley be reactivated as soon as possible.


Susan Recce
Conservation, Wildlife and Natural Resources

Outback Steakhouse: No Rights, Just Rules


Friday, February 9, 2018

Outback Steakhouse: No Rights, Just Rules

The word “Outback” used to conjure images of Australia’s tenacious frontier spirit; of hunters, ranchers, and other adventurers who carved out a harsh existence from an unforgiving land.

Monday, June 23, 2014

ALERT: Governor Rick Scott Makes History Signing 5 Pro-gun Bills

On, Friday, June 20, 2014, Florida Governor Rick Scott signed 5 pro-gun bills into law.  A strong supporter of the Second Amendment, Governor Rick Scott has now signed more pro-gun bills into law -- in ...

New Hampshire: Governor Sununu Signs Constitutional/Permitless Carry Bill Into Law!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

New Hampshire: Governor Sununu Signs Constitutional/Permitless Carry Bill Into Law!

Today, in a private signing ceremony, Governor Chris Sununu signed Senate Bill 12 into law.  Similar legislation had been vetoed by former Governor Maggie Hassan for two years in a row, but thanks to your active involvement, ...

What the Media Doesn’t Want You to Know: Enactment of National Reciprocity is Closer than Ever!


Friday, February 2, 2018

What the Media Doesn’t Want You to Know: Enactment of National Reciprocity is Closer than Ever!

Anybody who is exposed to the so-called news media these days faces a barrage of bewildering and often outlandish claims. “Breaking news” cycles through the public eye with such frequency and speed that knowing what’s ...

Washington: Gun Bills to Be Heard Next Week

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Washington: Gun Bills to Be Heard Next Week

On February 9th, the Washington state Senate passed Senate Bill 6298 to expand the category of persons stripped of their Second Amendment rights and it is now scheduled for a hearing in the House Judiciary ...

A Promise Kept: Trump Signs Repeal of Obama-Era Social Security Gun Prohibition Rule


Friday, March 3, 2017

A Promise Kept: Trump Signs Repeal of Obama-Era Social Security Gun Prohibition Rule

On Tuesday, President Donald J. Trump signed the repeal of an Obama-era Social Security Administration (SSA) rule that would have resulted in some 75,000 law-abiding beneficiaries losing their Second Amendment rights each year. 

NRA Endorses Screnock for State Supreme Court

Second Amendment  

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

NRA Endorses Screnock for State Supreme Court

The National Rifle Association Political Victory Fund (NRA-PVF) is proud to endorse Judge Michael Screnock for the Wisconsin Supreme Court. 

Gun Laws  

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Citizen's Guide To Federal Firearms Laws - Summary

A Citizen`s Guide to Federal Firearms Laws A summary of federal restrictions on the purchase, sale, possession, and transportation of firearms and ammunition. Caution: Firearm laws are subject to frequent change and court interpretation.

Ten Reasons Why States Should Reject "Assault Weapon" and "Large" Magazine Bans


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Ten Reasons Why States Should Reject "Assault Weapon" and "Large" Magazine Bans

In the late 1980s, gun control groups realized that they had failed in their original goal—getting handguns banned1—and began campaigning against semi-automatic firearms they called “assault weapons,” most of which are rifles. As an anti-gun ...

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

Gun Laws  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered as legal advice or a restatement of law.


Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.