No Highway through Red Cliffs NCA – Sample Letter
A threat to one national conservation area is a threat to all national conservation areas!
Learn more about the impact of roads on land health HERE.
Please be sure to personalize the sample letter.
- Have you visited the Red Cliffs NCA? Share your experience.
- What if roads were allowed to be constructed through any National Conservation Area?
I am writing to urge the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to select an alternative that prevents the construction of the Northern Corridor Highway through Red Cliffs National Conservation Area (NCA).
The Red Cliffs NCA is a bad location for a four-lane highway, and it would seriously compromise the very conservation values that led to the establishment of Red Cliffs NCA in the first place. As the BLM formulates the Supplementary Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) for the proposed Northern Corridor Highway project, I respectfully request that the agency consider the following issues:
Impacts to the Mojave desert tortoise
The proposed highway would cut across and further fragment critical habitat for the threatened Mojave desert tortoise. I ask that BLM and FWS consult with leading desert tortoise experts and conduct additional studies to fully understand the impact to the Mojave desert tortoise and other threatened and endangered species, and make habitat integrity a priority under each of the alternatives.
A four-lane highway brings with it an increased risk of wildfire to a region that is already feeling the impacts of climate change. In 2020, there were four wildfires within the NCA that burned more than 15,000 acres. These fires were all human caused—and at least one was caused by a tire blowout on a road adjacent to Red Cliffs NCA. It is imperative that the BLM and FWS thoroughly examine and disclose the effects of wildfire on the many at-risk species (including the Mojave Desert tortoise) in the SEIS.
The Northern Corridor Highway would impact—and potentially alter or destroy—culturally significant and historic resources. I respectfully request that BLM and USFWS closely engage with the Tribal groups that have cultural ties to this landscape, and conduct a thorough survey of these resources to consider the potentially-destructive cultural impact of this highway project.
The Northern Corridor Highway—as even noted in the preceding Final Environmental Impact Study—isn’t the best option available for a highway. Both the Red Hills Expressway and Couplet alternatives are not only more cost-effective but also surpass the transportation objectives of the Northern Corridor Highway. The BLM and FWS need to reconsider these better alternatives—neither of which require bulldozing threatened habitats within the Red Cliffs NCA.
Thank you for your consideration.