"It's a big desert," says Ft. Irwin's Col. Tim Reischl ("Army's Plans for Bigger Base Pit Tank vs. Turtle," April 19). "It's a finite desert" would have been a truer statement.
The biggest menace not only to the desert tortoise but also to humans who might like to enjoy an outdoor panorama are the legions of off-highway vehicle drivers who can turn a desert ecosystem into a dust bowl in a few seasons. Remarkably, this is permitted by the Bureau of Land Management, a federal agency charged with administering public lands.