Regional Recovery Implementation Teams
The Revised Recovery Plan for the Mojave Desert Tortoise guides future recovery efforts, including the establishment of regional, long-term Recovery Implementation Teams (RITs), which will bring together partners from management, scientific, conservation, and land-use groups to collaborate on planning, implementing, tracking, and evaluating recovery actions.
Roles & Responsibilities
The primary goal of each RIT is to partner across local and regional jurisdictional boundaries to coordinate development and implementation of a 5-year recovery action plan, review progress towards recovery, and assess the effectiveness of recovery actions for the desert tortoise within logistically practical geographic boundaries. Because of the many jurisdictions involved and stakeholders interested in or affected by desert tortoise recovery, effective implementation of recovery actions will require extensive cooperation and coordination. A cooperative/coordinated effort among land managers, wildlife agencies, stakeholders, and scientists will:
- Accomplish recovery goals that would be unattainable on a local scale;
- Reduce duplication of effort and increase the efficient use of resources and expertise; and
- Provide consistent information on the status of the tortoise and recovery implementation throughout the four-state range.
The specific tasks for each RIT are to:
RIT Organization and Composition
Organization of the RITs is configured to be logistically practical for implementation activities from an agency jurisdictional perspective. Two RITs are subdivided into separate workgroups that will enable more focused concentration to the conditions on the ground.
- California Mojave
- North-East Mojave
- Upper Virgin River
Each RIT workgroup consists of approximately 8-15 individuals. RIT members, appointed by the FWS Regional Director, are representative of the following groups:
- land management
- wildlife management
- local government
- tribal resource agency
- natural resources use group
- recreation group
- conservation organization
- scientific community
Terms of Service
Each RIT workgroup will strive to meet no more than four times each year, emphasizing meeting through conference calls or webinars as much as possible. All RIT members must have a commitment to working collaboratively for recovery of the desert tortoise and be knowledgeable about desert tortoise issues or local management. Members are appointed by the FWS Regional Director based on demonstrated interest and past participation in the recovery planning process. Others will be considered upon request. The FWS Regional Director may disband the team or replace or reappoint members of the RIT at any time if they no longer meet the requirements under which they were approved, fail or are unable to participate regularly in RIT meetings and work, or if removal is in the public interest.