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Experimental Approaches to Conservation Biology$
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Malcolm Gordon

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780520240247

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520240247.001.0001

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The Army and the Desert Tortoise: Can Science Inform Policy Decisions?

The Army and the Desert Tortoise: Can Science Inform Policy Decisions?

(p.244) 15 The Army and the Desert Tortoise: Can Science Inform Policy Decisions?
Experimental Approaches to Conservation Biology

James R. Spotila

Harold W Avery

University of California Press

This chapter focuses on the controversy over the U.S. Army's proposed expansion of the National Training Center (NTC) at Fort Irwin in the Mojave Desert of California and the protection of the desert tortoise, Gosephus agassizii. It addresses whether the expansion of Fort Irwin should be viewed as a problem for the desert tortoise or as an opportunity for its recovery. It first examines the history of the expansion of Fort Irwin, the basis for the Army's need for expansion, the claim that the desert tortoise is declining, and the history of the recent government actions towards expansion. It then discusses the roles of science, politics, and environmental action in the formation of policy in this matter.

Keywords:   National Training Center, NTC, Fort Irwin, desert tortoise, Gosephus agassizii, science, politics

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