ACTION ALERT: HELP SAVE THE DESERT TORTOISE — October 23,1999
Since April of this year, the Army and Congressman Jerry Lewis have been proposing a massive southwesterly expansion of Fort Irwin into an area that has been designated as “Critical Habitat” for the desert tortoise.
Last week, in a Conference Committee deal, Congressman Lewis and Senator Feinstein linked this proposed Fort Irwin expansion to an unrelated offer developed by the Wildlands Conservancy that would allow the Federal Government to purchase the Catellus railroad lands in the Joshua Tree National Park and the Mojave National Preserve at bargain basement prices. Under the Lewis/Feinstein deal, only $10 million is made available for buying Catellus lands. The other $20 million is contingent on “progress” being made on the Fort Irwin expansion.
PLEASE CONTACT THE WHITE HOUSE ASAP
Urge President Clinton to veto the Interior Appropriations bill unless it has full funding ($30 million) for the purchase of the railroad (Catellus) lands in the California Desert.
You can e-mail him at: President@whitehouse.gov
Or better call him at: (202) 456-1111 or (202) 456-1414.
Push #1 when they ask you if you have a touch tone phone. Push zero to get a comments operator. Tell the operator that you want President Clinton to veto the Interior Appropriations bill unless it has full funding ($30 million) for the purchase of the railroad (Catellus) lands in the California Desert. (Note: The White House comments operators are available from 9:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time.)***************
* Holding the Catellus lands purchase hostage to a successful takeover of the Superior Valley by the Army is unacceptable, particularly since federal money is available in the Land Conservation fund.
* It is unacceptable for Fort Irwin to be mitigating outside the tortoise recovery unit in which the impact would occur. Acquiring non-tortoise lands (or even actual tortoise habitat) in the middle of a National Park, outside the West Mojave is irrelevant to the tortoise situation in the Superior Valley.
* For more information visit: http://www.tortoise.org/wmp/ftirwin.html
Please help!! This is extremely urgent. The Department of Interior appropriations bill will be submitted for signing in the next few days. There are indications that President Clinton may veto this bill so your call may have an impact on his decision.
Michael J. Connor email@example.com