Description: Challenge to federal defendants' management of the West Mojave Planning Area of the California Desert Conservation Area.
Center for Biological Diversity v. U.S. Bureau of Land Management
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 09/16/2021 Complaint Download Complaint filed. Organizations Cited Failure to Consider Climate Impacts on Protected Species in Challenge to Approvals of Plans for California Desert Conservation Area. Center for Biological Diversity and five other organizations filed a lawsuit in the federal district court for the Northern District of California asserting that federal defendants failed to comply with NEPA, the Federal Land Policy and Management Act, and the Endangered Species Act in their management of the West Mojave Planning Area of the California Desert Conservation Area. The actions challenged by the plaintiffs included adoption of the “Route Network Project” that increased the number of miles designated for off-highway vehicle use and approval of continued livestock grazing within Desert Tortoise critical habitat. The plaintiffs’ allegations included that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service incompletely assessed cumulative effects, especially the impacts of climate change, in a 2015 biological assessment, and that a 2019 biological opinion failed to accurately assess whether the action, taken together with cumulative effects (including climate change), was likely to jeopardize the continued existence of listed species or result in the destruction or adverse modification of critical habitat. The plaintiffs said this assessment should have included a “tipping point analysis.” They also alleged a failure to utilize “the best available scientific and commercial data to assess the current status and trend of the species in the face of climate change.”