Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN Hunting

NRA Comments About Lanfair Valley Wells In The Mojave National Preserve

Monday, January 30, 2006

Printer Friendly version (PDF format)

January 30, 2006

Superintendent
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.

Sincerely,

Susan Recce
Director
Conservation, Wildlife and Natural Resources

TRENDING NOW
Kentucky: Committee to Consider Firearm Seizures Without Due Process

Friday, November 15, 2019

Kentucky: Committee to Consider Firearm Seizures Without Due Process

On Friday, November 22nd, the Kentucky state Interim Joint Committee on Judiciary will consider so called “red-flag laws.” Though no legislation has been introduced, such laws usually allow for Second Amendment rights to be suspended ...

Joe Biden and His Gift for Gaffes

News  

Monday, November 18, 2019

Joe Biden and His Gift for Gaffes

When the Democrats who are seeking their party’s nomination to run against Donald Trump in 2020 start talking about guns, anyone who supports our right to keep and bear arms knows to be concerned. Of ...

No Protection for the Law that Protects the Firearm Industry: Supreme Court Passes on PLCAA Case

News  

Monday, November 18, 2019

No Protection for the Law that Protects the Firearm Industry: Supreme Court Passes on PLCAA Case

A law designed to protect the firearm industry from frivolous litigation is now in jeopardy thanks to inaction by the U.S. Supreme Court, which earlier this month passed on a petition to review a case ...

Sanders Burns the 2020 Democratic Primary Gun Control Agenda

News  

Monday, November 18, 2019

Sanders Burns the 2020 Democratic Primary Gun Control Agenda

As anti-gun as the 2020 Democratic presidential contenders have exposed themselves to be, much of the field still gives lip-service to the Second Amendment and the Constitution. Take for instance Joe Biden. The leading candidate’s campaign has said that ...

Trading Freedom for Safety

News  

Monday, November 18, 2019

Trading Freedom for Safety

“[N]othing is more important than ensuring that our fellow students feel safe,” explained the editors of The Daily Northwestern, the campus newspaper at Northwestern University. The statement was part of a lengthy apology published by the editors, ...

California: City of Carson Pushing Another Unconstitutional Resolution Targeting Lawful Gun Owners

Monday, November 18, 2019

California: City of Carson Pushing Another Unconstitutional Resolution Targeting Lawful Gun Owners

Tomorrow, November 19 at 5pm PST, the Carson City Council will be considering Resolution 19-186, which mirrors the failed attempt from September.  

A New Candidate for Confiscator-in-Chief

News  

Monday, November 11, 2019

A New Candidate for Confiscator-in-Chief

Former Texas Congressman Robert Francis O’Rourke abandoned his run for President last week, once again leaving a void for the most strident anti-gun candidate seeking the Democrat nomination. Even before declaring his candidacy for President, ...

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.

Strong Firearms Preemption Laws are More Important Than Ever

News  

Gun Laws  

Monday, November 11, 2019

Strong Firearms Preemption Laws are More Important Than Ever

Photo Courtesy of Jeremy Tremp In recent weeks, gun owners have been given two prime examples of just how important strong firearms preemption laws are to the vibrant exercise of Second Amendment rights. On October ...

Nevada: Gov. Sisolak Signs Anti-Gun Bill

Friday, June 14, 2019

Nevada: Gov. Sisolak Signs Anti-Gun Bill

Ignoring the constitutional rights of law-abiding Nevadans, on June 14th, Governor Steve Sisolak signed omnibus anti-gun Assembly Bill 291 into law.  Your NRA would like to thank the many lawmakers who stood with our members and ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

NRA ILA

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.