The National Park Service has agreed to maintain roads in the Mojave National Preserve, ending a five-year dispute involving San Bernardino County, the federal government and three environmental groups.
Although the parties have signed the agreement, it still is subject to a judge’s approval.
Proponents of the settlement said it will keep the roads in and around the preserve open and maintained while also protecting desert tortoises, bighorn sheep and other sensitive species that live along the routes in the eastern Mojave Desert.
“The reason we protected the preserve is for things like this,” said David Lamfrom, desert district director for the National Parks Conversation Association, one of the three environmental groups involved in the settlement. “It is the best possible outcome to let the park service maintain the roads.”