facebook
twitter
search
search

Vehicles banned on SoCal tortoise habitat

Jan. 5, 2005 at 12:22 PM

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 5 (UPI) -- A federal judge has ordered off-road vehicles to stay out of a sprawling area of California desert that is home to a rare tortoise.

The Los Angeles Times said Wednesday the injunction was seen by environmentalists as a victory against the Bush administration's efforts to relax land-use restrictions in the West.

U.S. District Judge Susan Illston said the government's management plans for the area violated the Endangered Species Act.

The injunction applies to nearly a half-million acres of desert along the California-Arizona state line that is home to the desert tortoise, a creature that is protected by the act.

The area is also a favorite of off-road enthusiasts, whom the Times said have blamed drought and marauding ravens for the tortoise's decline.

Off-roader groups were miffed at the ruling, although the Bureau of Land Management said 1.7 million acres in the area remain open to vehicles.

Like Us on Facebook for more stories from UPI.com  
Latest Headlines
Top Stories
Kurds plan to carve state out of Iraq after fighting stops, leaders say
Kentucky clerk sued for refusing to issue same-sex marriage licenses
Van hauling fireworks catches fire on I-15 near California-Nevada border
Sean 'Diddy' Combs avoids felony rap for attacking UCLA coach
Police arrest N.C. soldier with assault rifle headed to mall photo shoot