- May 1, 2014
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A senior official of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) this week said the Obama administration opposes a House bill to permanently set aside 1.1 million acres used by Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake. Karen Mouritsen, a BLM deputy assistant director, said DOD’s needs could change in future decades, reported Stars and Stripes. In addition to placing the Navy in charge of the land, the bill, sponsored by Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), would add 25,000 acres to China Lake, including about 7,500 acres that were part of a bombing range and 19,000 acres along the base’s southwest boundary. McCarthy said he is trying to get the boundaries of the base, located in the Western Mojave Desert, to match its restricted air space. BLM does not support adding the 19,000-acre tract, Mouritsen said, because it’s a popular recreation area and an important wildlife corridor.