ENDANGERED SPECIES - Desert Tortoise Awareness Program
The Tribal EPA established its desert tortoise awareness program due to the development of Reservation lands in Twentynine Palms, California. Construction of the Tribe’s economic enterprise, Tortoise Rock Casino, began in October 2013.After multiple biological studies about the presence of this threatened species and its use of the tribal lands, the Tribe developed a Tribal Habitat Conservation Plan (THCP). A desert tortoise exclusion fence was erected to protect tortoises from construction activity, and 40-acre desert tortoise conservation area was established. Construction personnel were thoroughly educated through training programs implemented by the Tribal EPA, and a Field Control Representative maintained compliance with the THCP. Upon completion of Tortoise Rock, all employees received training on desert tortoise avoidance and protection measures. The training is currently provided to all new casino employees.