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Showing posts with the label Lane Mountain milk-vetch

Progress for the Lane Mountain Milkvetch

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I wrote about the efforts to designate critical habitat for the Lane Mountain Milkvetch (Astragalus jaegerianus) in an earlier blog post.  In a success due largely to the efforts of the Center for Biological Diversity, the US Fish and Wildlife Service listed its final ruling last month declaring over 14,000 acres as protected land for the rare plant.
The primary opponents of the critical habitat designation were some off-highway vehicle (OHV) users who complained that the new protected status would deprive them of recreational activities.   However, thousands of miles of open routes remain available to OHV users on public land, in addition to the El Mirage, Stoddard Wells, and Johnson Valley Off-highway vehicle areas.

Endangered Lane Mountain milk-vetch: The Push for Critical Habitat

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The US Fish and Wildlife Service proposed designating critical habitat for the rare Mojave Desert plant--the Lane Mountain milk-vetch (Astragalus jaegerianus)--although off-highway vehicle enthusiasts have protested the move.   If the proposal is enacted, it would be the final stretch in a long road by conservationists to win critical habitat protection for the Lane Mountain milk-vetch.  The plant occurs in only 4 places, and it can survive for years underground thanks to a taproot that extracts whatever moisture is available deep underground.  According to the USFWS, two of the 4 known populations are in decline, and all of the remaining plants are threatened by overlapping demands for the habitat.

Fort Irwin (National Training Center) expanded southward in 2001, so two primary pockets of the plants are on land managed by the US Army.  Fort Irwin has implemented an integrated land management plan that sets aside areas of the base for conservation, keeping them safe from training mane…