The U.S. Air Force has issued a draft Legislative Environmental Impact Statement (LEIS) that proposes to expand its use of Desert National Wildlife Refuge by 280,000 acres, and to give them “ready access” to refuge lands over which they already have secondary jurisdiction. This move, if approved by Congress, would allow the Air Force to use over 1 million acres of the Desert Refuge for military training purposes, with no oversight from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The Desert Refuge is home to approximately 320 bird species, 53 mammal species, 35 reptile species, and four amphibian species have been identified in the different communities on the refuge, as well as over 500 plant species. Species such as bighorn sheep, mountain lions, and desert tortoises call the refuge home and are dependent on the health and vitality of the refuge for their survival.
The Desert Refuge has been a cooperative partner with the U.S. Air Force at all times – this move to gain control of some of the most sensitive habitats in the nation is unnecessary and is a solution in search of a problem.
Shared management has been working for the Desert Refuge and U.S. Air Force for decades. Join us in calling for the U.S. Air Force to continue to work with the Refuge in a collaborative process and abandon these efforts to remove over 1 million acres of sensitive wildlife habitat from FWS oversight and management.