Mining Ban Saves 1 Million Acres of Tortoise Habitat

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Mining Ban Saves 1 Million Acres of Tortoise Habitat

From Center for Biological Diversity
November 2009

In one of the largest land withdrawals the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has ever enacted, late last month the agency blocked new mining claims on nearly 1 million acres of southern Nevada land for the next 20 years. The land in question, made up of federally designated "areas of environmental concern" due to encroaching development, is home to threatened desert tortoise and endangered birds, fish, and plants. These areas also happen to be historic hotspots for gold mining.

The Center for Biological Diversity has been working to defend the desert tortoise for decades, including waging a successful campaign to close an immense cinder mine in Mojave tortoise habitat and filing a 2009 notice of intent to sue the feds over a faulty land-management plan in Nevada, which would hurt the tortoise and other species.