Indexed News on:

--the California "Mega-Park" Project

Tracking measurable success on efforts across California to preserve and connect our Parks & Wildlife Corridors



WE POST NEWS THREE WAYS:
1. long detailed stories on blogspot (here!)
2. short messages on Twitter
3. automated news feeds from CA enviro websites in the right-hand column which change frequently and are not archived by our website (that's why we now have a twitter account to permanently capture the memorable feeds)

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Tejon condor concreting will be decided this Monday...

-
UPDATE: Kern County Supervisors Unanimously Rubber-stamp Tejon Mountain development


read the blow-by-blow from the Bakersfield Californian: http://people.bakersfield.com/home/Blog/Jburger/50267

Imagine these hills along the I-5 and Grapevine covered in 3400 homes, plus another 25,000 nearby, all in fragile endangered species habitat along the San Andreas and Garlock earthquake faults! SAVE TEJON RANCH!
-

Monday October 5th is Showdown for Sprawl Pavers v. Open Space fans, Drivers, breathers and critters


Will the sprawl of L.A. merge with the sprawl of Palmdale and the sprawl of Bakersfield?

Tell Kern County's Board of Superviser's NO!

WHEN: 9 A.M., Monday October 5th
1115 Truxtun Avenue
Bakersfield, CA 93301 - 4617

E-Mail your opposition to the Tejon Mountain Village development to:
clerkofboard@co.kern.ca.us

You can also watch the hearing here:
http://kern.granicus.com/ViewPublisher.php?view_id=2

Plus--all the staff reports are here: http://www.co.kern.ca.us/planning/pubntces.asp


Map borrowed, (and sprawl outlines added) from http://www.cuddyvalley.org/blogs/nimby/?p=392

Headwaters Forest Dealings not over yet...

-
Federal Appeals Court rejects Pacific Lumber Creditor's Bid to overturn the $500 million+ Price Paid by Mendocino Redwoods co in the Bankruptcy battle


9/29/2009

But other issues may get a re-hearing...

I'm not a lawyer (yet) so I can't say what this ruling really means, but it seems that the main issue in the Pacific Lumber bankruptcy dispute has been resolved in favor of the new management that were installed by the lower bankruptcy court.

for the whole ruling:
http://www.ca5.uscourts.gov/opinions%5Cpub%5C08/08-40746-CV0.wpd.pdf

"We conclude that the MRC/Marathon plan, insofar as it paid the
Noteholders the allowed amount of their secured claim, did not violate the
absolute priority rule, was fair and equitable, satisfies 11 U.S.C.
§ 1129(b)(2)(A)(iii), and yielded a fair value of the Noteholders’ secured claim."

and how the court ruled on all the issues:

"We hold that equitable mootness does not bar review of issues raised on appeal concerning the treatment of the Noteholders’ secured claims; nor does it bar re-evaluation of whether their administrative priority claim was correctly calculated; nor does it bar review of the plan’s release clauses insulating multiple parties from liability. Equitable mootness does foreclose our review of issues related to the treatment of impaired and unsecured classes. Finally, we reject the Noteholders’ complaints against the plan’s payout of cash in full for their allowed secured claim, but we remand the administrative priority claim. We also reverse in part the broad non-debtor releases."

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Oct. 2009 Nat-Geo Walks the Redwood Coast...

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National Geographic Explores California's Redwoods


http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2009/10/redwoods/bourne-text

The article also features info on the threat of more redwood destruction by Green Diamond in Humboldt and Del Norte Counties.

What the maps show is that 18% of the historic range of the Coast Redwoods is protected in public or privately preserved lands.

That means that 82% of the historic range of the trees is open for logging.

However, 80% of the ancient or "second growth" redwoods are preserved.

CLICK ON MAPS TO ENLARGE!!

ABOVE: SANTA CRUZ TO THE OREGON BORDER

ABOVE: THE BIG SUR COAST TO MUIR WOODS (OVERLAPS WITH THE TOP MAP)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

PArks Linkage Bill proposed in east Mojave desert...

-
Senator Feinstein is Drafting Bill to Link Joshua Tree and East Mojave Parks



excerpted from http://www.pe.com/localnews/sbcounty/stories/PE_News_Local_S_monument16.447149a.html

9/16/2009--...Earlier this year, preservationists said they sought Feinstein's support to create a 2.4 million-acre preserve to protect public land from military use and energy development. The area would be called the "Mother Road National Monument" because it would include 70 miles of historic Route 66...

One supporter said Tuesday that the senator now is working on a more modest plan than initially discussed. ..

Elden Hughes, a member of the Sierra Club California/Nevada Desert Committee and a Joshua Tree resident, said Feinstein is crafting legislation for a smaller monument than envisioned earlier by conservationists.

He said he hopes the Schwarzenegger administration doesn't stop Feinstein's effort, because a monument designation would protect corridors for wildlife to move between Joshua Tree National Park and Mojave National Preserve. Such swaths of undisturbed land will be especially important as global warming changes habitat, he said.

"Severing the desert would be a huge mistake," Hughes said. "We need the wildlife and plant corridors to remain open."

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

20,000 Acres may become public's in Orange County...

(click on map to enlarge)
-
Irvine Company May Finally Turn Land Preserve over to the Government


9/16/2009
excerpted from:
http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/editorials/la-ed-irvine16-2009sep16,0,5077469.story

...A single real estate transfer proposed by his company would expand the Orange County park system by more than half, potentially opening 20,000 rolling acres to public access.

The land includes uniquely scenic and historic sites, such as a spectacular sandstone ravine called the Sinks or "Little Grand Canyon," the red-rock cliffs of Black Star Canyon and Hangman’s Tree, a creek-side sycamore from which members of the infamous Juan Flores gang were lynched in 1857.

The Irvine Co. set aside about 9,000 acres of the land as mitigation for development; then, in 2001, Bren announced that an additional 11,000 acres would become permanent open space, overseen by a nonprofit conservancy and turned over within about 10 years to public agencies....
-------------------------
More on the deal is here:

Wind Power v. Wildlife in the Southern Sierras?...

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L.A. DWP Threatens to Buy Onyx Ranch in Sierras-to-Tehachapi Wildlife Corridor for Mega Wind Energy Farm Using Eminent Domain

Land Was Bought by Wind Energy company and the City of Vernon in 2008 from the longtime owners



read the full story here from the 9/15/2009 L.A. Times:

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-wind15-2009sep15,0,839175.story

to read our stories on Onyx Ranch dealings:
http://rare-earth-news.blogspot.com/search/label/Onyx%20Ranch

CLICK ON MAP TO ENLARGE
Green Line on map shows the southern portion of Onyx Ranch now owned by the City of Vernon. The northern portion of the ranch is owned by Renewable Resources Group.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Water Hogs will not be fed this time...

Steinberg's Efforts to Revamp California Water Policy Thwarted
12/12/2009--Broad Coalition Protects the Delta
http://restorethedelta.org

Restore the Delta volunteers, friends, and supporters, heard the calls last week and worked diligently to help stop the inadequate Delta policy package and bond bill developed in back door negotiations between Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, a handful of non-Delta legislators, the Metropolitan Water District, Westlands Water District, and a few corporate environmental organizations who have chosen to ignore Delta fishery representatives and Delta communities.

The policy package was withdrawn from consideration late Friday night by proponent Assembly Member Jared Huffman, while Restore the Delta supporters and friends from other environmental organizations were meeting with legislators throughout the Capitol. It is also our understanding that at the same time Senator Steinberg could simply not pull together adequate support for the bond bill.

Before we launch into our long lists of thanks and praise for all who contributed to this effort, we must remember that this is simply a brief respite in what will prove to be a long and drawn out political process. That is why in the days ahead Restore the Delta will be making a series of announcements as to what we must see included in future legislative efforts to restore the Delta.

We are thankful to the over 1000 supporters who sent letters and made calls this last week. You are what this movement is all about. We are grateful to the following supporters, friends, and colleagues for all that they have done to help during this summer's extended campaign effort. It is an honor to work with all of you.

(List is in random order. And we may miss a few people here. Mea culpa in advance.)

Jane Wagner-Tyack, Jessica Iniquez, Margot Tyack, Russ Fisher, Mike Robinson, Roger Mammon, Bob Ferguson, Rogene Reynolds, Barbara Daly, Kim Glassard, Bill Jennings, Jerry Neuberger, Gary Adams, Mike ? from California Striped Bass, Roger from Organic Sacramento, David Scatena, Dave Hurley, Assembly Member Mariko Yamada, Assembly Member Joan Buchanan, Senator Mike Machado (ret), John Herrick, John Banks, Brett Baker, Dante Nomellini Sr., Dan Nomellini Jr., Debbie Davis, Jim Metropulos, Charlotte Hodde, Steve Evans, Jennifer Clary, David Nesmith, Michael Jackson, Tom Zuckerman, Dino Cortopassi, Klein Family Farms, Jarred Foster, Bill Wells, Dave Cobb, Norma Cobb, Tim Neuharth, Bruce Connelly, Larry Collins, Lieutenant Governor Mike Hudson, Marc Franko, Izzy Martin, Assembly Member Bill Berryhill, Senator Mark DeSaulnier, Robert Johnson, Dan Bacher, Rudy Mussi, Mindy McIntyre, Jonas Minton, Susan Treabess, Kathryn Gray, Joseph Gray, all our donors, Mantelli Brothers, Speckman Family Farmers, Ridge Tract Farms, Assembly Member Alyson Huber. And a special, special thanks to the "Defender of the Delta," Senator Lois Wolk!

May you all rest, play, rejoice, and prepare for what's next.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Sept 10 is First Big Hearing on Tejon development...

-

UPDATE: The Kern County Planning Commission has approved Tejon's Mountain Village project by a 3 to 2 vote. The County Supervisors will hear the project on October 5th


----------------------------------

First Big Public Hearing on Plan to Develop 10% of Tejon Ranch

http://mountainenterprise.com/atf.php?sid=5396&current_edition=2009-07-31

A public hearing is slated for September 10 before the Kern County Planning Commission (1115 Truxtun Avenue, Board of Supervisors chambers at 7 p.m.) in Bakersfield for Tejon Mountain Village, 3450 homes surrounding Castac Lake along the 5 Freeway east of Frazier Park.

-------------------------

Wonder What 3450 Homes in an Eco-Paradise Looks Like?

According to the developer's pictures, they are invisible!!

FIGURE 4.1-7B from Tejon Mountain Village Draft EIR as seen from "viewpoint 2a";

"Viewpoints 2 and 2a would provide views to the
greatest amount of physical changes....overall there would be little change in views." DEIR page 4.1-16

(Click on image to enlarge)

---------------------------------------------------------------

TRC was only planning to develop 5% of their ranch anyway…(see page 2 of their 2005 newsletter)

So the threats to develop more (claimed by some eco groups in 2008 as why they cut the deal) are bogus

http://www.tejonranch.com/data/news/newsletter/Tejon%20Ranch%20Grapevine%20-%20Spring%202005.pdf


COMMENT LETTERS ON TEJON’S CONDOR PLANS:

http://www.mountainenterprise.net/images/TejonRanch/ScientistsCommentTUMSHCP.pdf Comments from Scientists on the TUMSHCP (52 KB PDF)

http://www.mountainenterprise.net/images/TejonRanch/CBDCommentsTejonMSHCP7.7.09.pdf
Comments from the Center for Biological Diversity (5.2 MB PDF)

-------------------

WHERE TO READ ALL OF THE EIR'S

(ALL ARE MASSIVE DOCUMENTS)

http://www.co.kern.ca.us/planning/pdfs/eirs/TejonMountainVillage.pdf

THE COUNTY/TEJON RANCH'S RESPONSES TO COMMENTS ON THE DRAFT EIR:

http://www.co.kern.ca.us/planning/pdfs/eirs/TejonMountainVillage_RTC.pdf

---------

Also, Kern County Planners are tougher on next-door project

8/28/2009

http://www.turnto23.com/south_county/20595804/detail.html

Kern co planning dept recommends only 188 homes at Frazier Park Estates, down from 662 sought by the developer

--“The county has never approved a project built on such steep slopes in its history, according to Lorelei Oviatt of the Kern County Planning department.”

---------------------------------

A COLLECTION OF THIS SUMMER’S NEWS COVERAGE:

SEPTEMBER:

9/4/2009

http://www.bakersfield.com/news/local/x616725528/Massive-Tejon-project-headed-to-first-vote

olanning commission to hear Tejon Mountain Village on Thursday sept 10

------------------------------------

AUGUST:

8/2/2009--Tejon Water Magick

http://www.cuddyvalley.org/blogs/nimby/?p=359

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8/3/2009

Tejon Ranch asks court to lift gag on negotiations

http://www.bakersfield.com/news/business/growth/x944962870/Tejon-Ranch-asks-court-to-lift-gag-on-negotiations

8/3/2009 TRC press release

http://www.businesswire.com/portal/site/home/permalink/?ndmViewId=news_view&newsId=20090803006213&newsLang=en

--------------------

8/4/2009

http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/news/center/articles/2009/los-angeles-times-08-04-2009.html

Secret Condor Documents Released by Tejon Ranch

Thanks to relentless pressure from the Center for Biological Diversity and growing public outcry, this Monday Tejon Ranch finally acceded to the release of secret documents related to its plans for a destructive megadevelopment known as Tejon Mountain Village. The development is planned for the heart of federally protected habitat for the endangered California condor. To build there, the ranch needs to gain a "take" permit to cover its butt regarding the condor's fate (and the fate of 25 other imperiled plants and animals on the ranch). But negotiations on permits for the development -- and what to do about those pesky 26 species in the way of it -- have been kept under wraps by the ranch and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service ever since the ranch sued the Service in an effort to derail the condor's recovery.

The Service kept mum on what was in the files, denying the Center's request for all documents related to Tejon Ranch's pending take-permit application, and heightening concerns about what was so "secret." We formally appealed that denial and warned the Service we'd sue. Now faced with the real threat of a lawsuit, Tejon Ranch has announced it will give up on keeping the documents confidential. But conveniently for the ranch and bad for Tejon's condors, spotted owls, and California red-legged frogs, it's too late for the public to comment on its Tejon Mountain Village plans.

Read more in the Los Angeles Times.

8/4/2009-CBD press release

http://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2009/08/04-7

8/4/2009 CBD press release

http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/news/press_releases/2009/tejon-ranch-08-04-2009.html

-------------------

8/4/2009

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/greenspace/2009/08/tejon-ranch-co-seeks-release-of-secret-california-condor-documents.html

-----------------------------------

8/4/2009

http://www.the-signal.com/news/article/16423/

-----------------------

8/4/2009

http://ecoworldly.com/2009/08/04/tejon-ranch-companys-development-plans-include-incidental-take-permit-for-california-condors/

8/5/2009

http://rssnews.renewable-energy-sources.com/2009/08/tejon-ranch-company%E2%80%99s-development-plans-include-%E2%80%98incidental-take%E2%80%99-permit-for-california-condors/

A luxury-home subdivision in the heart of designated California Condor habitat?

That’s exactly what Tejon Ranch Company (TRC) has in mind.

In fact, Tejon Ranch Company (TRC) has had it in for the California Condors since at least 1997. That’s when they sued the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to prevent the reintroduction of the species into Southern California.

Also links to the Ecoworldly story

8/5/2009—links to Ecoworldly story

http://help4wildlife.wordpress.com/2009/08/05/double-blow-for-ca-condors/

---------------------------------

8/7/2009--Big Greens Ask that Tejon's Condor Gag Order be Lifted

http://mountainenterprise.com/atf.php?sid=5399&current_edition=2009-08-07

“The June 29 letter, signed by Joel Reynolds for the Natural Resources Defense Council and Bill Corcoran for Sierra Club, continues: “...we are writing to urge you to resolve this dispute over public access to information, which is something we all should be able to agree is in the public interest and, more specifically, the best interest of our joint efforts toward conservation of Tejon Ranch.”

-----------------

8/7/2009

http://pinguinus.wordpress.com/2009/08/07/things-fall-apart/

Now that the public comment period is over, suddenly the Tejon Ranch developers are getting all disclose-y. http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/news/center/articles/2009/los-angeles-times-08-04-2009.html

------------------------

8/26/2009

http://www.the-signal.com/news/article/17244/

Lynne Plambeck: Condors and confidentiality

Environmentally Speaking

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

JULY:

7/7/2009

My overriding considerations

http://www.cuddyvalley.org/blogs/nimby/?p=348

----------------

7/7/2009

http://mountainenterprise.com/atf.php?sid=5244&current_edition=2009-07-03

Scientists Submit Opinion on Survival of California Condor Under Tejon Ranch Plan

-----------------

Condor Experts Condemn Proposed Tejon Ranch Development

7/8/2009

http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/news/press_releases/2009/tejon-ranch-07-08-2009.html

7/8/2009—CBD press release

http://www.redrockaudubon.org/other-news/condor-experts-condemn-proposed-tejon-ranch-development/

7/8/2009

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2009/07/08/state/n134715D56.DTL&type=printable

-------------------

7/10/2009, Dry Wells, Student Safety Issues Raised to Trustees,

http://mountainenterprise.com/atf.php?sid=5247&current_edition=2009-07-10

---------------------------------

7/13/2009

http://www.cuddyvalley.org/projects/tmv/tmv_deir.pdf

Tri-County Watchdogs’ comment letter on the TMV DEIR,

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7/14/2009

http://blogs.laweekly.com/ladaily/environment/no-days-of-the-condor-will-tej/

No Days of the Condor: Will Tejon Ranch Doom the Birds?

Comment by Kristian Cowan

(Rare Earth News received a comment on one of our stories from a Kris that was received from Tejon Ranch Company’s internet server, so it’s possible that the comment critical of CBD on the L.A. Weekly website is from the same person. In both cases, Kris doesn’t reveal her ties to TRC). So consider the source…

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7/17/2009--

Watchdogs Bite into Tejon Village EIR,

http://mountainenterprise.com/atf.php?sid=5297

-----------------------

7/17/2009

Tejon Ranch’s project in L.A. County: Centennial and Gorman School District Sign $233M Deal to Build Schools

http://mountainenterprise.com/atf.php?sid=5328&current_edition=2009-07-17

“About Centennial
Centennial is planned to be a self-contained, self-reliant community that generates its own economic vitality. The new town will be set in harmony with its environment and fully integrated with housing, jobs, shopping, medical facilities, cultural and recreational amenities and educational institutions. It will not spring up overnight – but will grow organically over 20 years.

Centennial will have approximately 30,000 jobs along with 23,000 homes (12,800 single-family detached homes; 6,200 attached condominiums and townhomes; and 4,000 rental apartments). The homes are designed to be affordable to 74% of those working in the community.”

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7/31/2009

http://mountainenterprise.com/atf.php?sid=5396&current_edition=2009-07-31

Sierra Club and NRDC push TRC to release secret docs…

A public hearing is slated for September 10 before the Kern County Planning Commission (1115 Truxtun Avenue, Board of Supervisors chambers at 7 p.m. in Bakersfield

------------------------

JUNE:

6/2009

LA Magazine story on Tejon

http://www.lamag.com/featuredarticle.aspx?id=16048

------------------

6/5/2009-

http://swiftspeech.blogspot.com/2009/06/tejon-ranch-and-subdivision-of.html

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6/19/2009

Tejon seeks permit for small building

http://mountainenterprise.com/atf.php?sid=5161&current_edition=2009-06-19#thumb

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6/19/2009-

http://mountainenterprise.com/atf.php?sid=5125&current_edition=2009-06-19

Gag Order on Secret Condor Documents Targeted by Lawsuit

-----------------------------

6/26/2009

On old plans for development around Castac Lake

http://www.cuddyvalley.org/blogs/nimby/?p=338

------------------

6/26/2009

Kern County Planner unclear on Condor facts

http://www.mountainenterprise.com/atf.php?sid=5176

-----------------------------

6/26/2009

They Tried Before (and Failed)

http://www.cuddyvalley.org/blogs/nimby/?p=338

Plans to build houses around Castac Lake have been around for a long time. Samuel Bishop talked about in 1860, the Holabird appraisal in 1891 talked about it, and Harry Chandler thought about it around 1930. But the first serious plans were proposed in 1972. This resulted in the Tejon Ranch Lake DEIR and Specific Plan.

The project area was 8,100 acres, which includes Castac Lake. Of this 2,800 acres were to be developed, with about 6,000 dwellings. …

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

OLDER STORIES, ASSORTED STUFF

6/29/2007

Showdown at Tejon Ranch

http://mountainenterprise.com/atf.php?sid=1106

---------------

http://images.tribe.net/tribe/upload/photo/909/8aa/9098aa23-d318-46fa-a32c-7d4eec26cd60

wildflowers photo

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Tejon Ranch, Ritter Ranch: More Goodbyes to California

Same old same old

http://leblog.exuberance.com/2007/03/tejon_ranch_rit.html

---------------

Photos and biology of Tejon

http://www.environmentnow.org/urban.html

photos from the company

http://www.tejonfilm.com/lakes/lakes.htm

------------------------

More pretty pics

http://www.change.org/actions/view/preserve_tejon_ranch_as_a_new_natural_park

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Map of the old Ridge Route

http://www.ridgeroute.com/map.html

Thursday, September 3, 2009

A National Park at Pinnacles in Monterey?

Pinnacles National Monument to Become a National Park?
9/3/2009--A few weeks ago, Rep. Sam Farr (D-17) introduced a bill, H.R. 3444, which would make Pinnacles National Monument a national park.
When originally designated in 1908 by Pres. Teddy Roosevelt, the Monument was only 2,000 in size. Since then, it had grown to nearly 26,500 acres, of which 16,000 is designated wilderness. Rep. Farr's bill would add another 2,900 acres of wilderness and rename the entire wilderness area after the Hain brothers, early homesteaders in the area, and whose efforts led to the Monument's designation.

Muir Heritage Land Trust celebrates 20th anniversary...

-
Nice Story on 20 years of work to save East SF Bay Hillside Parks


http://www.contracostatimes.com/therecord/ci_13246713?source=rss

9/1/2009--MARTINEZ'S OWN Muir Heritage Land Trust is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year.

Originally named the Martinez Regional Land Trust, it was established on July 26, 1989, by a group of local environmentalists. Since then it has grown into a dynamic organization with broad citizen, governmental and business support...

The group has preserved more than 2,000 acres of open space in its first 20 years. This will infuse environmental consciousness into future generations and provide them open space to enjoy — all for free...

http://muirheritagelandtrust.org

Suit filed over Riverside Co. Habitat relocation...

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Center Disputes Development in Kangaroo Rat Haven


9/3/2009--To save a wildlife refuge from becoming another concrete jungle, last week the Center for Biological Diversity went to court to oppose development on California's March Stephen's Kangaroo Rat Preserve. Government documents show that the preserve is critical to the survival of the endangered Stephen's kangaroo rat, but in 2006 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service decided to allow commercial and industrial development on the site in exchange for granting partial protection to other local lands. It's an unequal trade and will cause more harm than good, destroying essential habitat and wildlife linkages and ultimately threatening the integrity of a network of preserves in Riverside County.

"You can't trade wildlife preserves like stocks or flip them like Miami condos; the animals can't just pick up and move," said the Center's Jonathan Evans. "We owe it to future generations to uphold past promises to protect this land and stop paving over wildlife preserves."

Read more in the Press-Enterprise.

http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/news/center/articles/2009/press-enterprise-08-28-2009.html

Ambrosia gets federal protection in So-Cal...

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Feds agree to Protect 802 acres for So-Cal rare plant



9/3/2009--Thanks to a lawsuit by the Center for Biological Diversity, last week the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service finally proposed protected habitat for California's rare San Diego ambrosia. The tenacious blue-gray herb, threatened by urban sprawl, agricultural expansion, off-road vehicle use, and other activities, was first protected under the Endangered Species Act in 2002 after a petition by the Center and allies. But due to political interference with endangered species decisions that ran rampant under the Bush administration, the plant was never granted federally protected habitat. Now, the Service has proposed to set aside 802 acres for the plant. Unfortunately, that acreage covers only places where the ambrosia is currently found -- and its populations have declined dramatically from more than 50 to just 18, so it needs much more protected land. "This proposal is a step in the right direction," said Center biologist Ileene Anderson, "but designating only existing areas where the plant is found provides no chance for recovery, confining the species to a potential deathbed of extinction."

http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/news/center/articles/2009/kpbs-08-26-2009.html

Suit over San Diego butterfly habitat...

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Second Suit Filed to Protect 2,600 Acres in Southern California


9/3/2009--Last Thursday the Center for Biological Diversity, Preserve Wild Santee, and the Endangered Habitats League renewed a legal challenge to a sprawling development proposed for Fanita Ranch, located on the northern edge of Santee, California. A San Diego court scrapped plans for the 2,600-acre, 1,400-home project after our first lawsuit in 2008, finding that the city of Santee hadn't adequately considered the development's fire-safety risk when it approved the project. Now the city has approved the developer's "revised" plan, though it's hardly different from the first one. Luckily for human, plant, and wildlife communities near the Fanita Ranch site -- including populations of the federally protected Quino checkerspot butterfly and California gnatcatcher -- the development is also facing fiscal glitches and may not be feasible anyway. Still, we don't take chances when it comes to preventing catastrophic wildfire and habitat destruction.

Check out our press release http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/news/press_releases/2009/fanita-ranch-08-27-2009.html and learn more about the Quino checkerspot and California gnatcatcher.

772 Acres of Farmland saved in Marin...

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Another Farm in Marin county is saved

http://www.malt.org/news/easements.php

8/12/2009--Marin Agricultural Land Trust (MALT), with financial assistance from the Department of Conservation's California Farmland Conservancy Program and the United States Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Conservation Service (NRCS) has purchased an agricultural conservation easement on the Spaletta family's 772-acre Cypress Lane Ranch.

Prominently located on Point Reyes-Petaluma Road at its intersection with Novato Boulevard, the property becomes part of a greenbelt of protected historic farmland on the road leading to Petaluma. Seventy-five percent of the Spaletta property is grasslands, providing extensive pastures while silage is grown for feed on the southwestern part of the ranch....

Marin Agricultural Land Trust is a member-supported, nonprofit organization created in 1980 by a coalition of ranchers and environmentalists to permanently preserve Marin County farmland. Some of the Bay Area's most highly acclaimed dairy products and organic crops are produced on farmland protected by MALT conservation easements, which total more than 41,500 acres on 64 family farms and ranches. To learn more about Marin's family farms and the food they produce, visit http://malt.org.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Statewide Trails Progress Report is out...

-
How is our State's
Connected Trails System Doing?

read this short report:

http://www.parks.ca.gov/default.asp?page_id=25677

http://www.parks.ca.gov/pages/1324/files/2009%20progress%20report_04_20_09.pdf
for report

-------------------------

HIGHLIGHTS:

Statewide Trail descriptions and current status
(CLICK ON MAPS TO ENLARGE)


1--California Coastal Trail. Managed by the California Coastal Conservancy. Half of this 1,150-mile trail along the California coastline is now open to the public. Many regional trails and river greenways connect to this jewel of the California Coast.

2--California Desert Trail. Managed by the Desert Trail Association. The California Desert Trail is a 650-mile route through the California desert from Mexico to Nevada, and utilizes trails, existing roads and cross-country travel to traverse public lands. It is less formalized and managed than other regional trails.

3--Condor Trail. Managed by the Los Padres National Forest. Eighty percent of this trail’s 130 miles is on existing dirt roads. It travels through lower elevation areas in Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties.

4--Cross California Ecological Corridor. No current manager. The route for this trail is only roughly planned at present. This trail is envisioned as a heritage corridor generally following Highway 20.

5--Juan Bautista De Anza National Historic Trail. Managed by the National Park Service. This 900-mile Heritage Corridor traces the route of Spanish explorer Juan Bautista De Anza in California and Arizona. The 220 miles of non-motorized, multi-use unpaved trail and 800 miles of the auto-route component are open to the public. This trail links the significant historic routes of the expedition. Portions of the corridor are shared with other regional trails.

6--Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail. Managed by the US Forest Service. This trail is one of only three national border-to-border trails in the United States. The 1,692 miles of non-motorized hiking and equestrian trail extend along the Sierra Nevada and Cascade Mountains from Mexico to Canada and are entirely open to the public. Improvements and realignments continue to improve the user experience.

7--Questa to Sespe Trail. Managed by the Los Padres National Forest. This 250-mile trail runs on existing dirt trails and roads from the Cerro Alto campground west of Atascadero in San Luis Obispo County to the Sespe Condor Sanctuary near Fillmore in Ventura County.

8--Redwood Coast to Crest Trail. No current manager. No major progress on this trail plan has been made since 2002. This trail is planned to be approximately 120 miles long from Crescent City on the coast to the Pacific Crest Trail in the Cascade Mountains.

9--San Joaquin River Trail. Managed by the San Joaquin River Parkway and Conservation Trust, CSP, BLM, USFS, and the Bureau of Reclamation. Fifty of the 77 miles planned of multi-use trail between Friant Dam and the Pacific Crest Trail in the Sierra have been constructed, partially thanks to dedicated volunteers. West of Friant Dam, within the San Joaquin River Parkway, seven of the 22 miles of planned trail have been completed.

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SF AND CENTRAL CALIFORNIA TRAILS:




1--American Discovery Trail. Managed by the American Discovery Trail Society. This 6,800-mile coast-to-coast trail incorporates existing trails and roads across America, through small towns, big cities, National Parks, Forests and State Parks. California trail segments include the western terminus at Point Reyes National Seashore as well as routes near the San Francisco Bay, the Delta, and the American River Parkway.

2--Bay Area Ridge Trail. Managed by the Bay Area Ridge Trail Council. Currently, 310 of the 550 planned miles are open to the public. This trail creates a contiguous system for long distance hiking over a variety of terrain in the Bay Area by utilizing existing trails within Open Space and Park Districts on ridges in nine San Francisco Bay Area counties.

3--California Coastal Trail. See above.

4--Cross California Ecological Corridor. See above.

5--Juan Bautista De Anza National Historic Trail. See above.

6--Lake Tahoe Bikeway 2000. Managed by various local communities. This planned system of bike trails and bike routes will utilize existing roads and trails within Lake Tahoe Basin communities. Approximately 80% of the bike system is completed and open for use.

7--Merced River Trail. Partially managed by BLM. No formal plan or management strategy currently exist for this trail. This potential 28-mile trail would follow a historic railroad bed which goes through Sierra National Forest and Merced Irrigation District properties. It is heavily used by the public due to its spring wildflower displays and easy accessibility.

8--Mokelumne Coast to Crest Trail. Managed by the East Bay Municipal Utilities District and USFS, BLM and PG&E. About 112 of 330 planned miles of this non-motorized, multi-user trail are open to the public. The trail runs through a diverse landscape as it travels from the East Bay hills through the delta, across the valley, up the foothills and to the peaks of the Sierra.

9--Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail. See page 6.

10--Pony Express National Historic Trail. Managed by the National Park Service. This Heritage Corridor and Auto Tour Route extends 140 miles in California, tracing the historic route of the Pony Express from 1860-1861. NPS has no land management authority for the trail; it depends heavily on its partners—federal, state, and local governments and private citizens—to preserve existing remnants.

11--San Francisco Bay Trail. Managed by the Association of Bay Area Governments. The trail encompasses nine Bay Area counties, 47 cities, and local government and private properties. Of the 500 miles planned, 290 miles are open to the public. It connects to 60 other local and regional connector trails and provides unique connectivity around the Bay, including through San Francisco and across the
Golden Gate Bridge.

12--Tahoe Rim Trail. Managed by the Tahoe Rim Trail Association. This completed 165-mile multi-use trail follows the ridge-tops surrounding Lake Tahoe and links to connector trails from many of the Basin’s communities. Modifications to the alignment continue to improve user experience and trail sustainability. Through the Desolation Wilderness, the trail shares alignment with the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail.

13--Tuolumne Complex. No current manager. The Tuolumne Complex of trails has high potential but is not yet completed as a regional system. Some segments are listed as proposed trails in the 2002 Tuolumne County Recreation Master Plan. Most of these trails are former railroad beds that go through properties of the Stanislaus National Forest, BLM, CSP, Tuolumne County and private individuals. They exist in various levels of management and disrepair and are not publicly promoted, but are regarded as “unofficial” trails in the various jurisdictions and communities they traverse.

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Southern California Trail Progress



1--Backbone Trail. Managed by NPS’s Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. This 63-mile trail is a patchwork of fire roads and existing and new trails. It provides unique opportunities for long-distance trail use for citizens within the metropolitan Los Angeles area.

2--California Coastal Trail. See above.

3—Condor Trail. See above.

4—Juan Bautista De Anza National Historic Trail. See above.

5--Los Angeles River Trail. Managed by the Los Angeles County Departments of Public Works and Parks and Recreation. This planned 33-mile multi-use trail will begin at the Whittier Narrows Dam and continue along the Rio Hondo River to the confluence of the Los Angeles River and end at the Pacific Ocean.

6--Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail. See above.

7--Rim of the Valley Trail. Managed by NPS’s Santa Monica Mountains Recreation Area. About 93 of 200 planned miles are completed and open to the public; 5.7 miles are currently signed as belonging to the Rim of the Valley trail system, with the remainder associated with other trail systems. Federally funded planning for open space associated with the trail will begin soon.

8--San Dieguito River Park Coast to Crest Trail. Managed by the San Dieguito River Valley Regional Open Space Park Joint Powers Authority. Partners include San Diego County, cities of Del Mar, Escondido, Poway, San Diego and Solana Beach. The planned length of this trail is 55 miles. Approximately 20 miles of completed trail were damaged in the 2007 fires in San Diego County.

9--San Gabriel River Trail. Managed by the Los Angeles County Departments of Public Works and Parks and Recreation. This 38-mile multi-use trail along the San Gabriel River extends from Azusa to Seal Beach along the channel’s levee road and the adjacent frontage road.

10--Santa Ana River Trail. Managed by the Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority. This trail connects with 22 other regional trails. The total planned length of the trail is 100 miles. Of this, 73 miles are completed, including 30 in the San Bernardino National Forest, and 27 miles are in the design and/or construction phases.

11--Santa Clara River Trail (Parkway). Managed by the California Coastal Conservancy. Planning for the trail within the Parkway is in the preliminary stage. The trail has potential to encompass the entire 65-mile length of the Santa Clara River from the headwaters near Acton to the mouth at the McGrath State Beach. A major completed portion of the trail is a rail trail in the city of Santa Clarita, California. The State Coastal Conservancy is very active in funding the acquisition of parkway lands for this trail.

12--Trans-County Trail. Managed by the San Diego County Department of Parks and Recreation. The Trans-County Trail is a planned 110-mile east-west route in San Diego County that connects many cities and unincorporated communities. Nearly 70% of this route consists of existing trails that are currently used by the public. Acquisition and construction is still required for the remainder of the trail.

13--Whittier-Ortega Trail. No current manager. Also known as the Coal Canyon Trail or the Main Divide Trail, this multi-jurisdictional trail has no lead agency at this time. It begins in the Whittier Narrows Recreation Area, near the communities of South El Monte and Montebello in Los Angeles County. The connectivity after this point to Chino Hills State Park is poorly documented, going through regional parks, open space and private property. From Chino Hills State Park the trail passes through the Department of Fish and Game’s Coal Canyon Ecological Preserve and into the Cleveland National Forest.

14--Questa to Sespe Trail. See above.

$54 Billion Water Deal for Developers proposed by "frugal" Gov. Schwarzenneger

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Stop the Governor's Big Ditch

9/2/2009--The state legislature is currently considering legislation that serves as a road map to constructing the controversial "peripheral canal" and includes funding for new dams. California already diverts more than 6 million acre-feet of freshwater from the Delta annually and has more than 1,400 major dams blocking our rivers. The state has issued water-rights permits for more than five times the average annual water flow in all of California's rivers and streams. And an economic report released to the legislature last week reveals that the governor's proposed canal could cost a staggering $54 billion....
read the rest:

http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/2167/t/5243/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=1383

The Long Arm of Newhall Land reaches north...

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North Bay Cities and So-Cal Sprawl agency invest in Sierra dam study


AmCan, Napa help pay for report on potential Sierra site

By Kerana Todoros

August 23, 2009

http://www.napavalleyregister.com/articles/2009/08/23/news/local/doc4a90c84c413d6432096149.txt

[Forwarded by Friends of the River]

The cities of American Canyon and Napa are teaming up to help fund a study on a potential source of water — a new man-made lake in the Sierra Nevada foothills.

Napa County's two biggest cities, along with four others elsewhere in the state, want to explore whether to build a reservoir and dam along the Bear River, in an area that straddles Yuba and Sutter counties.

The so-called Garden Bar Water and Power Project has been considered on and off since the 1970s. The project would include a hydroelectric power plant and would cost an estimated $500 million to construct, providing an estimated 55,000 acre-feet of water annually. That is about 15 times the annual need in American Canyon of 3,600 acre-feet.

An acre-foot is enough water to cover an acre of land one foot deep.

In addition to American Canyon and Napa, the other agencies investing in the study are the South Sutter Water District, the Castaic Lake Water Agency, the Palmdale Water District and the San Bernardino Water Municipal Water District.

The two local cities will pay a total of $167,000 for their share of the study, with Napa paying about $125,000 and American Canyon about $42,000, according to resolutions the city councils of Napa and American Canyon approved Tuesday.

Officials for both cities and a consultant on the Garden Bar project stressed the reservoir and dam will not be built for decades, if at all. "It's just an idea at this point," said Steve Brown, a consultant with Sacramento-based RMC Water and Environment Inc.

The study would evaluate the reservoir's financial viability and whether there would be enough water to make it worthwhile, among other factors. The study will take about a year to complete, Brown said.

Obstacles include delivering the water to far-flung cities such as American Canyon and Riverside, as well as the fact that the state's water delivery system is subject to complex litigation over water quality and impacts on endangered species.

Unlike the other cities in the county, American Canyon relies almost entirely on the North Bay Aqueduct to supply its residents and the Napa County Airport area with water. The city also buys a limited amount of water from the city of Vallejo and rural districts to meet demand. City officials want to avoid having to buy water from the city of Vallejo because that water is costly, they said.

The city of Napa uses state water from the North Bay Aqueduct, as well as supplies from Lake Hennessey and Milliken Reservoir. Like American Canyon, the city buys water from other regions when necessary.

Feds May Help Out East L.A.County Wildlife Corridors...

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Feds Ask Public about Connecting L.A. Parks



http://www.nps.gov/pwro/sangabriel/


http://www.nps.gov/pwro/sangabriel/studyprocess.htm


The "San Gabriel Watershed and Mountains Special Resource Study" is a once in a generation opportunity to bring in more resources to the Angeles National Forest to improve healthy, non-motorized recreation and to better protect the forest's natural and cultural resources.

The study team will release its draft proposals in early August and will be seeking public comment in a series of five meetings that include the El Monte Senior Center on the evening of August 31st and the Glendora Public Library on Monday, September 14th. Click here for details and to see other meeting locations.

1. El Monte----- Monday, August 31st (7pm - 9pm)
City of El Monte Senior Center
3120 N. Tyler Avenue

2. Diamond Bar------- Wednesday, September 2nd (7pm - 9pm)
Diamond Bar Center Ballroom
1600 S. Grand Avenue

3. Santa Clarita------ Thursday, September 3rd (7pm - 9pm)
George A. Caravalho Activities Center, Santa Clarita Room A
20880 Centre Point Parkway
4. Glendora------- Monday, September 14th (7pm - 9pm)
Glendora Public Library
140 South Glendora Avenue

5. Palmdale------ Tuesday, September 15th (7pm - 9pm)
Larry Chimbole Cultural Center,
Lilac Room
38350 Sierra Highway

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Angeles National Recreation Area?

http://www.modernhiker.com/2009/08/05/angeles-national-recreation-area/

The National Park Service has posted a detailed plan on the feasibility of incorporating the Angeles National Forest and the Puente-Chino Hills into its stewardship (PDF), and the news is pretty good. When looking at recommending acquiring new land, the Park Service asks several questions: 1. Does it possess nationally significant natural or cultural resources? 2.

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San Gabriel Mountains Interpretive Association
San Gabriel Mountains Interpretive Association, SGMIA
http://www.sgmia.org/

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http://www.puentehillsnature.blogspot.com/

puente hills blog--old site

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Luxury Homes Proposed for Hill west of San Gabriel River


http://saveourcommunity.us/?q=node/1008
Montebello hills EIR released

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http://www.montebellohillsreserve.com/habitat.html
map of development proposal’s open space (the slopes)

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http://www.hosec.com/webnews.htm
their news page—like a blog


Friends of the Whittier Narrows Natural Area - Home
http://naturalareafriends.net/

OVERLAY MAP: Partial view of Whittier Narrows Natural Area. The current Nature Center facilities are in yellow. The planned Discovery Center is in red with the main building (the length of a football field), a 150-space parking lot, a demonstration "we

Developers still eager for bite out of Sierra Valley...

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For Sierra Valley ranchers, help to resist developers tougher to find


Excerpted from:
http://www.sacbee.com/capitolandcalifornia/story/2148100.html

9/1/2009--
…One group – the California Rangeland Trust – says it has eight projects and 10,000 acres waiting for the funding needed to become protected easements. Other land trusts say they, too, are hunting around for money. Meanwhile, the California Department of Conservation estimates that Sierra Valley loses an average of 1,400 acres of grazing land every year.

"A lot of projects are ready to go once the money starts to flow," said Holly George, a livestock and natural resources adviser in Plumas and Sierra counties for the University of California Cooperative Extension. "A lot of ranchers are contacting the land trusts, but my sense is that the land trusts aren't seeing the funding."

According to the university, more than 150 land trusts in California have acquired nearly a million acres of land in recent years.

The California Rangeland Trust, founded about 10 years ago by the California Cattlemen's Association, focuses on protecting ranches, farms and grazing land through conservation easements. Landowners agree to keep their land in agriculture and protect wildlife habitat and in return are paid an amount between the fair market value of the property if developed and its lower agricultural value.

Rangeland Trust spokeswoman Erin Davis said her group has acquired three Sierra Valley ranches covering more than 20,000 acres since 1998…

Sierra Clearcutter backs off after being sued...

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Timber Giant Drops Logging Plans After Suit


(area planned for wipe-out was very small compared to Sierra Pacific's eventual plans to clearcut 1 million of its 1.5 million acres in California: http://www.sierraforestlegacy.org/FC_FireForestEcology/FFE_IndustrialForestlands.php)

http://www.stopclearcuttingcalifornia.org/--another useful SPI watch site

http://thptracker.blogspot.com/2009/08/greenhouse-gas-lawsuits-force-timber.html

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http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/news/center/articles/2009/daily-journal-08-26-2009.html

8/26/2009--The state's largest timber company has withdrawn plans to log certain forests in the Sierra Nevada mountains, a week after the Center for Biological Diversity challenged the plans' climate change impacts in court.

The environmental group contested three separate plans by Sierra Pacific Industries to clear-cut more than 1,600 acres of Sierra Nevada forest. The suits allege state regulators violated the California Environmental Quality Act by failing to adequately look at the greenhouse gas emissions that result from clear-cutting, a logging practice that involves cutting down every tree in a designated area….

…The Tuscon, Ariz.-based environmental group filed three lawsuits in superior courts in Lassen, Tuolumne, and Tehama Counties in the past two weeks. Sierra Pacific officially withdrew the three challenged plans on Friday, according to Upton.

Utilities Pull Plug on Shasta to SF mega power line

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Nor-Cal Power Line proposal upset both ranchers and open space fans


http://www.tanc.us/content/view/101/81/
The Transmission Agency of Northern California (TANC) announced on July 15, 2009 that its Commission has voted to terminate the environmental review process for TANC’s Transmission Project (TTP).

Without the financial support of key TANC utility members to proceed with this process, TANC cannot undertake a detailed environmental analysis of the proposed alternative routes. As such, the TTP and the proposed alternative routes are no longer being considered…

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"Updated: With TANC line terminated, WAPA is 'taking stock"' (Redding Record Searchlight, 7/15/09)

"TANC commissioners this morning unanimously approved unplugging planning for a proposed 600-mile long power line. The decision cheered local property owners who have been fighting the power line since they learned ... the Transmission Agency of Northern California was going to consider running the transmission corridor through or near their land ... The decisions by Sacramento Municipal Utility District, Modesto Irrigation District and Turlock Irrigation District to pull out of planning has made it financially impossible for that planning to continue ... However, TANC was not the only agency planning the power line."
http://www.redding.com/news/2009/jul/15/meeting-fate-tanc-power-line-about-get-underway/
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tanc route-cover-3.jpg
http://www.newsreview.com/binary/1b10/cover-3.jpg

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http://www.sacbee.com/ourregion/story/1850173.html

TANC route opposition—5/11/2009 Sacto Bee
Prominent power lines dim green enthusiasm for some

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http://www.redding.com/news/2009/may/02/new-recreation-area-is-no-home-for-power-lines/
power lines a threat to Sacramento River Bend National Recreation Area

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http://tomnelson.blogspot.com/2009/04/local-news-wash.html
fighting the TANC project in northern california

756 acres given by gold miners to feds in Lassen...

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Lassen County Lands Donated to Public Ownership;
BLM Will Manage for Habitat

July 22, 2009

Lassen Gold Mining, a subsidiary of Kinross Gold, has transferred into public ownership 756 acres near Hayden Hill in northwest Lassen County. The area will be managed by the Bureau of Land Management’s Alturas Field Office as wildlife habitat.

The land is associated with the Hayden Hill Gold Mine south of Adin. It was set aside by Lassen Gold in 1991 to preserve and improve wildlife habitat adjacent to the mine.

“The donated sagebrush grasslands are home to sage-grouse and mule deer and include over 18 acres of constructed wetlands that mitigate the impacts of mining,” said BLM Alturas Field Manager Tim Burke. “Transfer of the land to the BLM will ensure long term management and protection of the wetland preserve.”

Kinross Gold U.S.A. President John Galassini said, "Working with the BLM to ensure long-term preservation of this land exemplifies our commitment to reclamation, responsible mining, and corporate citizenship."

Lassen Gold completed gold mining at Hayden Hill in 2001, and the land transfer moves reclamation efforts closer to completion. The transfer has been in planning for several years and was approved by the Lassen County Board of Supervisors.

Lots of Wind energy proposals in Lassen County...

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Wind surveys continue on federal land in Lassen County


excerpted from:
http://www.lassennews.com/News_Story.edi?sid=5652

July 14, 2009

[Forwarded by High Sierra Rural Alliance]

A number of meteorological towers, designed to collect wind and weather conditions, dot Lassen County and Northeastern California, but the United States Bureau of Land Management has not yet moved any proposed wind turbine projects forward.

Jeff Fontana, a public information officer for the BLM, said a plan of development from Invenergy was returned to the developer after the federal agency requested modifications.

And the BLM has not yet determined the adequacy of a plan of development for a project proposed by the Sacramento Municipal Utility District... (keep reading for full list)

New Digital maps of Calif. wildlands are online...

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Check this out:


Very interesting zoomable digital conservation maps of USA

http://www.landscope.org/map/

They show conservation priorities, existing public lands etc on a USA map