Nevada Fish & Wildlife Office
Pacific Southwest Region

Desert Tortoise 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 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:

  • Develop a science-based 5-year Recovery Action Plan (RAP) for its assigned geographical area;
  • Provide/secure the necessary resources for implementation of recovery action plans;
  • Compile results into a range-wide database and local-level decision support system;
  • Assess effectiveness of implemented recovery actions;
  • Annually report findings and status to appropriate groups; and
  • Annually review recovery action plans and revise as necessary.

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.

RIT Areas Workgroup Map

Each RIT workgroup consists of approximately 8-15 individuals. RIT members, appointed by the FWS Regional Director, are representative of the following groups:

Agency representatives
  • land management
  • wildlife management
  • local government
  • tribal resource agency
Stakeholder representatives
  • natural resources use group
  • recreation group
  • conservation organization
  • scientific community

Terms of Reference

Upper Virgin River RIT Recovery Project Concepts (9.7MB zip file)
North-East Mojave RIT Recovery Project Concepts (5MB zip file)
California RIT Recovery Project Concepts (26.6MB zip file)
Recovery Action Short Proposal: The 2-page proposal format and guidance for submitting a recovery action proposal has been revised. The title of the new format has been revised to "Recovery Action Short Proposal", which can be anywhere from 2-4 pages excluding maps & appendices. The extension to 4 pages is meant to provide more space for complex project proposals. Links to the new template and instructions are provided below.
  • Recovery Action Short Proposal Template RIT project concepts
  • Recovery Action Short Proposal Instructions and Guidiance
    RIT Projects in Need of Funding



    Upper Virgin River RIT North-East Mojave RIT California Mojave RIT
    Last updated: July 5, 2018
    July 5, 2018