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Cal4wheel Opposes Endangered Species Listing for Western Pond Turtles

| Rose Winn, Cal4wheel Natural Resources Consultant | Access Issues

Cal4Wheel submitted comments to oppose the listing of two populations of Western Pond Turtles (WPT) as "Threatened" under the Endangered Species Act. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed listing the Northern Pond Turtle (a species from Washington, Oregon, Nevada, and northern and central California) and the Southern Pond Turtle (a species from central and southern California, and Baja, Mexico). If approved, the listing would impact all forms of human activity, including OHV recreation, throughout the WPT’s range of territory across the western United States.

After reviewing the proposal for listing, Cal4Wheel cited evidence of:

· Missing data related to historical and current population volume and range of habitat

· Flawed data within the analysis to justify distinction between the two population segments (northern and southern) versus a single species of pond turtle

· Increased risk of catastrophic wildfire resulting from restrictions imposed on timber and fuel management

· Pervasive speculation in place of evidence regarding alleged threats to WPT ability to thrive and propagate as a species

· Missing data regarding the alleged correlation between human activity generally, and motorized recreation specifically, as sources of detrimental impact on WPTs

· Negative impacts to other species, OHV recreation, local economies, and balanced public land management that will be created through regulations imposed by listing the WPT as threatened

Review the full comment letter via this link: Western Pond Turtle Proposed Rule Docket

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