We are pleased to announce a decision by the US Department of Interior to grant the Northern Corridor Right-of-Way and a Mojave Desert Tortoise incidental take permit that protects private property rights in Washington County.
We thank all those who have worked hard for many years to get us to this point. We thank those at all levels of government who have worked to make this decision balanced and effective. We also thank the public for their input.
We would like to highlight a few of the notable advantages as a result of these decisions. For example, the new transportation route will enable more efficient travel and reduce congestion along I-15, St. George Blvd, Red Hills Parkway and Skyline Drive. Also, the Red Cliffs Desert Reserve will be enlarged by 7,000 acres which increases protected habitat for the Mojave Desert tortoise. The Northern Corridor will also accommodate a more rapid response in the event of damaging wildland fires within the sensitive habitat and by preventing traffic congestion it will prevent air pollution.
We appreciate the negotiations that have resulted in meeting multiple goals including preserving a healthy Desert Tortoise population.