California Desert:

Planned Wildlife Protection and Enhancement Objectives Not Achieved

RCED-89-171: Published: Jun 23, 1989. Publicly Released: Aug 1, 1989.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO assessed whether the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) appropriately considered wildlife interests in its management of the California Desert Conservation Area (CDCA).

GAO found that: (1) BLM is statutorily required to manage CDCA in accordance with the principles of multiple use, sustained yield, and resource protection; (2) BLM has worked to develop environmental area plans and habitat management plans to implement its overall wildlife protection goals; (3) BLM has only completed half of its wildlife-related implementation plans; (4) BLM has not effectively implemented those plans it has developed; (5) for fiscal years 1982 through 1988, BLM wildlife funding was less than half that planned; (6) BLM has allowed such events as off-road vehicle races and recreation areas in critical wildlife habitats; (7) BLM has also allowed grazing and mining in threatened habitats; and (8) BLM opposed California's efforts to give certain threatened species greater protection.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Plans for Areas of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC) are being completed. Habitat management plans are ongoing and BLM is working to complete all plans by 1996. The recommendation should be closed as it is over 3 years old and it will take at least 4 more years to be completed.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Interior should direct the Director, BLM, to take those steps necessary to complete required wildlife areas of critical environmental concern plans and habitat management plans and then implement the action items included in them.

    Agency Affected: Department of the Interior


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