St. George passes resolution supporting controversial desert tortoise habitat expansion bill

In this file photo, a live Mohave desert tortoise is displayed at an open house for a proposed Habitat Conservation Plan expansion bill that would add nearly 7,000 acres of land west of St. George to protected tortoise habitat in exchange for a right-of-way through the Red Cliffs Desert Reserve for a northern corridor route. St. George, Utah, March 28, 2018 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

ST. GEORGE, Utah — Community members showed up in large numbers at St. George City Hall Thursday to express frustration about a controversial tortoise habitat expansion bill making its way to U.S. Congress that no one in the general public has been allowed to see, St. George News reports.

Despite the public outcry, the St. George City Council approved a resolution in support of the Desert Tortoise Habitat Conservation Plan Expansion Act, which would expand the Red Cliff Desert Reserve by about 6,900 acres west of Bloomington and south of Santa Clara in exchange for a right-of-way for a new east-west northern corridor through a portion of the reserve’s existing boundaries.

Of chief concern to most of the people who commented was the fact that no one besides government officials have yet been allowed to see the bill, which was proposed by the Washington County Commission with support from U.S. Rep. Chris Stewart.

Click here to read the full story from St. George News.