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)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

San Joaquin River is wet once again!

-
A Thanksgiving Message from the Friends of the River
11/26/2009


http://calrivers.blogspot.com/2009/11/giving-thanks-portion-of-san-joaquin.html

Photo by Josh Uecker

Sometimes in the frenetic rough and tumble of our river conservation campaigns we forget to give thanks. So we thought it appropriate for Thanksgiving 2009 to give thanks for a particularly important event that was more than 20 years in the making. Water creeps down the dry riverbed of the San Joaquin.

A few months ago, some switches were flipped and valves opened on the Friant Dam, releasing more water into the San Joaquin River. As a result, water slowly creeped down a portion of the river west of Fresno that in most years is completely dry. It took decades of litigation, settlement negotiations, and federal legislation, but a portion of the San Joaquin River will soon be permanently re-watered. And eventually, one of the largest salmon runs in the state, which was wiped out by the completion of the Friant Dam in 1942, may be restored. Scientists are now examining the “interim” flow releases over the past few months to determine what kind of riverbed restoration is needed for when permanent flows are reestablished. Friends of the River was one of 13 plaintiffs in the original lawsuit that successfully proved that Friant Dam’s dewatering of the San Joaquin violated the Endangered Species Act and California’s public trust policies. It took years of litigation, contentious negotiations, and hardball lobbying to make the rewatering of the formerly dry San Joaquin River a reality. It will take several more years to fully restore the riverbed, its riparian vegetation, and fisheries. And threats remain. Opponents to the restoration continue to snipe at the effort by lobbying for legislative riders that would bring it to a halt. Challenges to the Endangered Species Act are pending in court. California has passed complex water policy legislation and is proposing a budget-busting $11 billion water bond that may or may not affect the river’s restoration (most notably by building a new dam on the San Joaquin River in an attempt to capture the last two percent of the river that remains undiverted). But it is appropriate this Thanksgiving to step back, take a deep breath, and appreciate what has been achieved, and give thanks for the river.

Click here to read news reports about San Joaquin River restoration featured on FORs Blog.

http://calrivers.blogspot.com/2009/11/giving-thanks-portion-of-san-joaquin.html

http://www.friendsoftheriver.org/site/PageServer?pagename=PeripheralCanal


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

2 new lawsuits to save S.F. Bay-delta smelt

By Bob Egelko
San Francisco Chronicle, November 15, 2009

Two environmental groups sued the federal government Friday seeking greater habitat protections for two San Francisco Bay-delta fish species, one of them the delta smelt, a small but important creature in California's water wars.

One lawsuit asks a federal judge in Sacramento to require the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to respond to the groups' March 2006 request to change the delta smelt's status from "threatened" to "endangered." That action would somewhat tighten federal standards for development or water-use permits.

A second suit, filed in San Francisco, challenges the federal agency's decision in April to deny protected status to the bay-delta population of the longfin smelt. The agency said the local population is not a distinct group entitled to protection because some of the fish migrate up the coast to breed with other longfin, a conclusion the environmental groups called a reversal of the government's longtime position.

"Formerly abundant fish at the base of the food chain in the San Francisco estuary are being driven to near extinction," said Jeff Miller of the Center for Biological Diversity, which filed the suits along with the Bay Institute....

for the rest of the story:
http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/news/center/articles/2009/san-francisco-chronicle-11-15-2009.html


Monday, November 23, 2009

Astoturf Groups and water "reform"...

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Politics of Water Splits Environmental Organizations

11/3/2009

http://www.restorethedelta.org/

If you want to know more about what we should really be doing regarding water in California, you need to read Mato Ska here. here, here, or here. I want to talk about the politics. That is beginning to splinter over more than North / South, Valley / Coast or even the widening gap between Democrats and Republicans.

Let me call your attention to two things that happened today. One is the fact that the California League of Conservation Voters sent a floor alert to the members of the California Assembly giving strong support to the Steinberg proposal. In this, they join three other environmental organizations that have already taken this position: Natural Resources Defense Council, Environmental Defense and the Nature Conservancy. Each of the latter has strong ties to corporate funding and seem to be taking the corporate position. There is strong evidence that staff for Natural Resources Defense Council have been meeting behind closed doors with the water districts who have the most to gain were the the Steinberg legislation legislation enacted.

Dan Bacher, Ed. Fishsniffer magazine, has harsh words for the CLCV. NRDC, Environmental Defense, the Nature Conservancy and now the California League of Conservation Voters are giving "green" cover to policies that will lead to the death of the Delta and the extinction of Central Valley salmon and Delta fish populations. We must expose these corporate greenwashers for the frauds that they are!

On the other side of this issue are the Sierra Club, Planning and Conservation League, Environmental Justice,Clean Water Action, Green LA, Heal the Bay, Restore the Delta and others. Together, they have fashioned the basis of a new plan, one that is both equitable and sustainable, but it is not what the legislature is delivering....

for rest of story:
http://cagreening.blogspot.com/2009/11/politics-of-water-splits-environmental.html

--------------------------
Friends of the Delta:Astroturfing Group Launches In-Delta Media Campaign

11/23/2009
Restore the Delta staff have been busy working on many field projects presently requiring us to be away from our computers. During this time, numerous articles and opinion pieces regarding the inadequate water legislation and pork barrel water bond recently passed by the state legislature have been published by smart water thinkers including Dr. Peter Gleick (Pacific Institute), Steve Evans (Friends of the River), and Jonas Minton(Planning and Conservation League), while wonderful quotes have been attributed to Bill Jennings (California Sportfishing Protection Alliance), and Jim Metropulos (Sierra Club California) Thus, Restore the Delta has little to add and is thankful to those who have been able to speak with sensitivity and intelligence as to what is truly not happening for the Delta as a result of this poor legislative package.

But today, we had to return from the Delta fields to our computers when we saw the four-page ad placed by Families Protecting the Valley in the Stockton Record. The ad refers to The Great Delta Toilet Bowl. First, before we work our way through the content, let's make it clear who are the groups sponsoring and paying for the ad.

The ad was paid for by Friends of the Delta out of Newport Beach, California. When we called their office, the phone was answered by the Sheldon Group, a public relations firm, representing Southern California water interests and developers. In other words, Friends of the Delta is an astroturfing group, much like the Latino Water Coalition - an organization without any real members, but rather a website with a pr firm who may on occasion pay people to attend events. They do not have staff like Restore the Delta staff, who take numerous calls from supporters with ideas and concerns about the Delta, or who hold public events, rallies, etc....


for rest of story:
http://archive.constantcontact.com/fs062/1102037578231/archive/1102845473985.html

More L.A. Mountain developments to watch:

U2's Guitarist has plans for Malibu Hillside; City of Santa Clarita wants to take control of large area from the County

From the agenda of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, 11/23/2009

Consideration of resolution authorizing a comment letter to Los Angeles County on Notice of Consultation for 2745 Beacontree Lane, Stokes and Cold Creek Canyon, unincorporated Los Angeles County. [Resolution] [Map] [Attachment 1] [Attachment 2] [Comment Letter] [Map 2]

Consideration of resolution authorizing a comment letter to the City of Santa Clarita on Revised Notice of Preparation of Draft Environmental Impact Report for Vista Canyon and Ancillary Annexation Areas, Santa Clara River adjacent, unincorporated Los Angeles County. [Resolution] [Attachment 1] [Map] [Attachment 2] [Attachment 3] [Comment Letter]

Consideration of resolution authorizing a comment letter(s) to the California Coastal Commission on the following five related projects and lot line adjustment in the Sweetwater Mesa Road area in the unincorporated Malibu area: (a). Application No. 4-07-067 Lunch Properties lllp; (b) Application No. 4-07-068 Vera Properties lllp; (c) Application No. 4-07-146 Mulryan Properties lllp; (d) Application No. 4-07-147 Morleigh Properties lllp; (e) Application No. 4-07-148 Mulryan Properties lllp and Morleigh Properties lllp, and (f) Application No. 4-08-043 Ronan Properties lllp. [Map 1] [Map 2] [Map 3] [Resolution] [Comment Letter] [Map 4]

Consideration of resolution approving Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy Annual Report 2008. [Staff Report] [Resolution] [Map 1] [Map 2] [Map 3] [Map 4] [Map 5] [Map 6] [Map 7] [Annual Report]

Park Saves Views from the Ocean to Mount Lassen


Lake County finally owns Mount Konocti

$2.5 million purchases completes acquisition

http://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/20091113/ARTICLES/911139868/1349

11/13/2009

After a century in private hands, Mount Konocti's tallest peak and more than 1,300 acres of surrounding land became public property on Friday.
"We just bought a mountain," Lake County Public Services Director Kim Clymire said shortly after the final papers were signed."It's a dream come true," said Lake County Administrative Officer Kelly Cox. The $2.6 million purchase will preserve Clear Lake's most recognizable backdrop and open the land and its spectacular views to hikers."On a clear day, you can see Mount Lassen," Clymire said.The purchase completes a two-part deal struck between Lake County officials and the Fowler Family Trust. It includes 4,400 foot-tall Wright Peak, the tallest of four major peaks on Mount Konocti, and two lesser summits, South and Howard peaks.Last year, the county purchased the second-tallest peak — Buckingham — along with 176 acres for $1.2 million.That purchase included a cell tower facility whose operator pays the county about $100,000 a year, money that will be used to improve and maintain the property.The county's new acquisition is adjacent to 821 acres of land owned by the Bureau of Land Management.Between the county and state, all but about 1,000 acres of Mount Konocti is now in public ownership, Clymire said.An access road to the Mount Konocti property, located near Kelseyville, needs to be altered before the land can be opened to the public, Cox said.Use of the property also must be decided. Motorized vehicles and hunting will be prohibited, a condition of the purchase agreement. Public access also will be limited to day use, with some possible exceptions, Clymire said. The county has been holding public hearings to determine the best use of the property. Officials also are working out public access agreements for Wright Peak, which offers Mount Konocti's best views, including of Lake Berryessa, Mount Lassen and the Sutter Buttes. The peak's top five acres and a fire lookout belong to CalFire, Clymire said.The county also wants to extend public access from its property on Mount Konocti to Clear Lake State Park. Only a few land parcels stand in the way, Cox said. Federal and state officials are interested in helping the county link the two parks, he said."We all have the same goal," Cox said.


OTHER LINKS:

Lake County News | California - Konocti Regional Trails system takes shape

http://lakeconews.com/content/view/5174/764/

8/3/2008--great photo of Mt. Konocti


http://lakeconews.com/content/view/1861/702/

9/23/2007--Lake county north shore ridgeline trail system


http://lakeconews.com/content/view/10331/764/

9/15/2009--Mt. Konocti purchase goes into escrow—great photo

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Adopt a baby redwood tree--Lumber Companies don't need 'em now...

11/22/2009--the Santa Rosa Press Democrat

Thousands of foot-tall orphaned baby redwood trees sit in rows in a Humboldt County greenhouse, products of the ongoing economic slump and changes in forestry practices.

They were grown for replanting commercial timberland then abandoned when they were no longer needed.

"One of the problems is the markets are so bad, we can't afford to log," said Art Harwood, executive director of the nonprofit Redwood Forest Foundation, which owns 50,000 acres of timberland in Mendocino County. When existing trees aren't harvested, the need and financial resources to plant new trees declines, he said. The foundation is relocating about 70,000 orphaned trees through a fundraising adopt-a-tree program.

The last few years have been tough on the timber industry, which saw demand and prices for its products drop dramatically...

for full story:

http://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/20091122/ARTICLES/911229955?Title=Anyone-need-a-redwood-


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Land Swap over Long Beach wetland drags on...

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Toxins and Fighting over what to swap to a developer for South L.A. County's Largest coastal wetland slows 20 years of progress to save 175 acres


(NOTE: we covered this land swap more extensively here:
http://rare-earth-news.blogspot.com/2008/11/land-swap-saves-last-unprotected-large.html)

11/17/2009--L.A. Times by Louis Sahagun--Toxins found in wetlands threaten to quash land swap-- EPA requires more study of the area after tests find 2,000 times the recommended level of carcinogenic PCBs in Los Cerritos Wetlands. The deal to preserve the marsh area could founder in the meantime.

Few environmental issues in Long Beach have caused more controversy than the land swap trumpeted a year ago as a way to preserve the 175-acre core of the urban wetlands bordered by Pacific Coast Highway, Studebaker Road and Los Cerritos Channel.

Under the terms of the deal, 52 acres of city-owned land were to be traded to local developer LCW Partners, which owns the wetlands. The city then planned to sell the marsh to the Los Cerritos Wetlands Authority for $25 million.

But it didn't turn out that way. After a year of battles with low-income residents who complained the proposal would benefit the city's wealthier eastern half and intense scrutiny from elected officials and nearby homeowners, it was whittled down to nearly 38 acres of wetlands in return for a 12 acre downtown service yard....

for rest of story:
http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-wetlands17-2009nov17,0,2947994.story


----------------------------------
To read more details:

swap deal with the City of Long Beach for approximately 12.1 acres of the public service
yard for approximately 34.77 acres within the Los Cerritos Wetlands Complex south of
Second Street.

http://lcwetlands.org/board/2009-08-12/LCWA_BoardReport_0809%201.pdf

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Mega lawsuit against Mega-Tejon paving project...


New Groups Join Fight to Save Tejon Ranch
--Suit Filed to Stop Luxury Sprawl Megadevelopment

http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/news/press_releases/2009/tejon-ranch-11-12-2009.html

11/12/2009--BAKERSFIELD, Calif.— A coalition of endangered species advocates, Native Americans, environmental justice advocates, and local residents filed suit today to overturn Kern County’s approval of the controversial Tejon Mountain Village resort development on Tejon Ranch, California. The growing opposition is drawn together by concern for the California condor, the sacred sites of the Chumash people, air quality degredation, and decreased quality of life for current residents if the sprawl complex is built.

The development of luxury homes, golf courses, and hotels would destroy critical habitat of the iconic and severely endangered California condor and would potentially derail the most expensive species-recovery effort ever attempted. The project would add significant air pollutants and greenhouse gases to an area that already suffers from the worst air pollution in the country. It would rely entirely on water unsustainably imported from the State Water Project, and is sited on top of two of the largest earthquake faults in the country – as well as in an area known for catastrophic and deadly wildfires.

The suit was filed under the California Environmental Quality Act in Kern County Superior Court in Bakersfield by the Center for Biological Diversity, Wishtoyo Foundation, TriCounty Watchdogs, and the Center on Race, Poverty, & the Environment. Final environmental-review documents were approved by the Kern County Board of Supervisors on October 5, 2009.

“All of California will suffer if this project gets built – more water will be stolen, the bird that graces our quarter will be doomed, our air will get dirtier, and thousands of people will be placed in harm’s way because of earthquakes and wildfires that will inevitably follow – all so Wall Street can make another quick buck,” said Adam Keats, director of the Urban Wildlands Program at the Center for Biological Diversity.

Tejon Ranch Company is heavily invested in by Third Avenue Real Estate Investments (TAREX), a firm that specializes in speculative real estate in environmentally sensitive areas (TAREX is a primary owner of St. Joe in Florida, another hotly contested and destructive development project).

Tejon Ranch, including the area Tejon Mountain Village is planned for, was historically occupied by three different Native American tribes whose land was stolen by the original owner of Tejon Ranch. The condor is one of the most important spiritual symbols to the region’s Native Americans.

“Tejon Mountain Village threatens Chumash village sites and sacred places, which is devastating to Chumash people,” said Mati Waiya, Chumash ceremonial elder and executive director of the Wishtoyo Foundation and its Ventura Coastkeeper Program. “It also threatens our sacred and cultural relationship with the California condor that is depicted in our ancient cave paintings and told in our stories, which have been passed down from generation to generation for more than 10,000 years. It is important that we as Chumash people protect our sacred grounds and our ancestors’ burial sites, and continue our elders’ work from the early ’80s to help bring back the California condor population, from 22 left in the wild to a still-scarce population of more than 140. The cultural impact of this proposed development and the accompanying proposed desecration of Chumash cultural resources and our sacred California condor is, once again, a demonstration of greed and disregard for Native American people and cultures.”

The project, located in the rugged Tehachapi Mountains along the “Grapevine” pass of Interstate 5, would add tremendously to the already overburdened highway – the only road off the mountain in either direction.

“This highway is already maxed out with thousands of cars and trucks – it can’t handle a project of this scale, which would more than double the population of the area,” said Jan de Leeuw of the TriCounty Watchdogs, a local citizen group based in nearby Frazier Park. “If this project goes forward, we’re looking at a traffic nightmare getting even worse, with sprawl development filling in everything from Los Angeles to Bakersfield.”

“Tejon Mountain Village straddles the two worst-performing air districts in the country,” said Brent Newell of the Center on Race, Poverty & the Environment. “Thousands of car trips going in and out of this resort – which we all know will include daily commuters, given its proximity to Los Angeles – will further dirty the air and increase pollution-related health problems of the people who live here.”

Preserving Tejon Ranch as a new national or state park would protect a bounty of native plant and animal communities, cultural and historic features, and scenic vistas. See http://www.savetejonranch.org.

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


Latest Tejon news stories

http://www.bakersfield.com/news/columnist/henry/x2067559308/LOIS-HENRY-Stop-building-homes-based-on-dream-water

10/3/2009

“That brings reliability down to more like 50 percent, according to some local water district folks I've spoken with.

That's not good enough to base a housing development on, not matter how water-wise it is.”


http://ecoworldly.com/2009/11/13/lawsuit-filed-to-stop-condor-killing-development-save-tejon-ranch/

11/13/2009

http://www.care2.com/news/member/100041282/1302830

http://la.curbed.com/archives/2009/11/tejon_got_servednew_lawsuit_for_mega_project.php

11/12/2009

http://www.bakersfield.com/news/local/x1816604894/Groups-sue-over-Tejon-development

11/12/2009

http://topics.treehugger.com/article/07CYcEQa5mbky?q=%22urban+planning%22+OR+%22city+planning%22+OR+%22urban+design%22+OR+%22city+design%22+OR+%22town+planning%22+OR+sprawl++

http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/news/press_releases/2009/tejon-ranch-11-12-2009.html

11/12/2009

http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/campaigns/save_tejon_ranch/index.html

http://www.bakersfield.com/opinion/letters/x1260873660/Board-is-for-sale

the Kern Board of Supervisors is for sale

10/21/2009

http://www.bakersfield.com/news/local/x1722027440/Lawsuit-likely-after-supervisors-approve-Tejon-project

10/6/2009

http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/news/center/articles/2009/bakersfield-californian-10-06-2009.html

10/6/2009

http://people.bakersfield.com/home/Blog/Jburger/50235

10/3/2009

http://www.bakersfield.com/news/local/x2067559225/Form-letter-e-mails-flood-county-supervisors-boxes

10/2/2009

http://mountainenterprise.com/atf.php?sid=5733&current_edition=2009-10-02

“Master Builders and Development Poker”

10/5/2009

http://www.care2.com/news/member/100041282/1264913

photos of condors

http://leblog.exuberance.com/2009/10/save-tejon-ranch.html

pretty wildflower picture

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http://www.wind-watch.org/alerts/2009/10/02/wall-street-will-be-killing-many-condors/

text and maps of wind power’s impacts on condors

http://www.wind-watch.org/news/2009/10/02/condor-killing-development-company-receives-governor%E2%80%99s-conservation-award/

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http://people.bakersfield.com/home/Blog/noholdsbarred/51595

11/7/2009—is there an Indian tribe working with Tejon Ranch company to open a casino?

http://mountainenterprise.com/atf.php?sid=5969&current_edition=2009-11-06

more on one Tejon tribe seeking a casino

http://www.kget.com/news/local/story/17-News-Special-Report-Betting-on-Bakersfield/JxUUIICIHUOxOIl7SW58eQ.cspx

http://math-lesson-plans-online.blogspot.com/2009/10/tribe-challenges-tejon-ranch.html

tribe challenges Tejon Ranch’s ownership of the Ranch

http://people.bakersfield.com/home/Blog/Jburger/50156

10/1/2009

http://snooperazzi.com/index.php?/SnoopMobile/ca-tribe-challenges-tejon-ranch-development.html

http://www.bakersfield.com/news/local/x746311556/Tribe-elder-challenges-Tejon-project

9/30/2009

http://mountainenterprise.com/atf.php?sid=5715&current_edition=2009-09-25

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=htBTd-O9Gu0

for a video on this

http://video.aol.co.uk/video-detail/ca-tribe-challenges-tejon-ranch-development/4170099565

http://www.ireport.com/docs/DOC-335812

http://mountainenterprise.com/atf.php?sid=5635&current_edition=2009-09-18

9/18/2009

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

http://ecoworldly.com/2009/10/02/condor-killing-development-company-receives-governors-conservation-award/

Schwarzenegger pats Tejon Ranch corp. on the back

10/2/2009

Good aerial photo

http://www.reuters.com/article/pressRelease/idUS158285+01-Oct-2009+BW20091001

more on the goobernator

http://articles.latimes.com/2009/sep/27/opinion/oe-rosenberg27

America needs more 'crown jewels'--Tejon should be a national park

9/27/2009

http://.newnationalparks.org

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

http://people.bakersfield.com/home/Blog/deleeuw/50526

on the original ranchwide agreement

10/11/2009

http://www.cuddyvalley.org/blogs/nimby/?p=395

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

http://mountainenterprise.com/atf.php?sid=5805&current_edition=2009-10-02

Kern Planning commission limits size of Frazier Park Estates to 188 homes; they had sought 662 homes

10/8/2009

http://people.bakersfield.com/home/Blog/Jburger/50440

blow-by-blow coverage of the hearing

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

Balderdash!, Jack.

3500 lots means nothing to speculators without the water and roads and geology studies and endangered species act exemptions etc that they'd need to get away with anything on the land. Those speculators would go broke against the lawsuits that would be thrown against them.

You underestimate the anger of the grassroots environmental community in California. We are going to rain hellfire on this project in the courts. The sellout groups mean absolutely zip. As a veteran of taking on battles termed a lost cause by the corporate eco groups and bankrupting our opponents (at the Ballona Wetlands in L.A.), I know how much difference the real environmentalists can make.

This battle is only just beginning....

http://www.cuddyvalley.org/blogs/nimby/?p=395&cpage=1#comment-3292

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


Thursday, November 5, 2009

L.A. County Rim of the Valley parks update:

-

Threats and gifts for Sept. to November 2009

HIGHLIGHTS:

THREATS TO THE HILLS ABOVE MALIBU AND EAST SIDE OF CITY OF SANTA CLARITA

PURCHASE AND DONATION OF OVER 150 ACRES IN THE SANTA MONICA MOUNTAINS AND SANTA CLARITA/AGUA DULCE/ACTON AREAS

--CRUZAN MESA--Development and preservation of habitat

--80 acre gift in Stokes Canyon, upper Malibu Creek near Calabasas

--150 acre—5 home housing tract proposed in hills above Malibu


SANTA CLARITA VALLEY:

DEVELOPMENT ON CRUZAN MESA VERNAL POOLS HABOITAT--SMMC 10/5/2009--Consideration of resolution authorizing a comment letter to Los Angeles County on the Draft Environmental Impact Report for the Skyline Ranch Project, Cruzan Mesa, unincorporated Los Angeles County, sch No. 2004101090. [Staff Report] [Resolution] [Attachment] [Comment Letter]

DEVELOPMENT—GENERAL PLAN--SMMC 10/5/2009--Consideration of resolution authorizing a comment letter to Los Angeles County on the Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Report for the Santa Clarita Valley Area Plan Update - One Valley One Vision, sch No. 2008071119. [Comment Letter] [Resolution] [Attachment] [Attachment 1] [Attachment 1A] [Attachment 2A]

1.6 acre CONSERVATION EASEMENT--MRCA 11/4/2009--Consideration of resolution authorizing acceptance of an approximately 1.6-acre mitigation project conservation easement along Hasley Canyon Creek on APNs 3247-032-035 and 3247-032-051 and acceptance of processing fee, Hasley Canyon, unincorporated Santa Clarita area. [Staff Report] [Resolution] [Map 1] [Map 2] [Map 3] [Attachment]

74 acres--MRCA 10/7/2009--Consideration of resolution authorizing the expenditure of SMM-0742 funds to purchase parcels in Los Angeles County Chapter 8 Agreements 2535 and 2592, unincorporated los Angeles County. [Map 1] [Map 2] [Map 3] [Staff Report] [Resolution]


SANTA MONICA MOUNTAINS:

MRCA 9/2/2009--Consideration of resolution amending Resolution No. 09-98 to authorize the use of Proposition A funds for the acquisition of APN 2260-014-006, for the Coastal Slope Trail, City of Malibu. [Staff Report] [Resolution] [Attachment] [Map]

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

DEVELOPMENT PROPOSAL OF 150 ACRES ABOVE SWEETWATER MESACENTRAL MALIBU, BY “THE EDGE”, GUITARIST IN THE BAND U2--SMMC 10/5/2009--Consideration of resolution authorizing a comment letter(s) to the California Coastal Commission on the following five related projects and lot line adjustment in the Sweetwater Mesa Road area in the unincorporated Malibu area: (a). Application No. 4-07-067 Lunch Properties lllp; (b) Application No. 4-07-068 Vera Properties lllp; (c) Application No. 4-07-146 Mulryan Properties lllp; (d) Application No. 4-07-147 Morleigh Properties lllp; (e) Application No. 4-07-148 Mulryan Properties lllp and Morleigh Properties lllp, and (f) Application No. 4-08-043 Ronan Properties lllp. [Staff Report] [Resolution] [Map] [Attachment 1] [Attachment 2] [Comment Letter]


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

½ ACRE--MRCA 10/7/2009--Consideration of resolution authorizing the acceptance of APN 2290-025-021, approximately 0.5 acres as a donation, Encino area of Los Angeles. [Map 1] [Map 2] [Staff Report] [Resolution]

MRCA 10/7/2009--Consideration of resolution amending Resolution No. 07-155 to refine the list of potential City-owned surplus properties authorized to be acquired in Beverly Glen and authorizing entering into an agreement with the City of Los Angeles assuring that a portion of the City's proceeds shall be used for the acquisition of all or portions of APNs 5565-003-036, 037, 038, 039, 040 and 041 in Laurel Canyon. [Staff Report] [Resolution] [Map] [Map 2] [Attachment 1] [Attachment 2] [Attachment 3] [Attachment 4]

1.73 ACRES--MRCA 10/7/2009--Consideration of resolution authorizing the use of Santa Monica Mountains Open Space Preservation Assessment District No. 2 (Area G) funds to acquire APN 2290-025-020 comprised of 1.73 acres in Encino, City of Los Angeles. Negotiators: David Zanath, Bank of Arizona and Joseph T. Edmiston. Under consideration: price and terms. (This subsection of the item may be heard in closed session pursuant to the Government Code § 54956.8). [Staff Report] [Resolution]

MRCA 11/4/2009--Consideration of resolution authorizing acceptance of the offers to dedicate scenic easements associated with Coastal Development Permit No. 5-84-137 and 5-84-732 (J.D. Stout Co.), in and around Escondido Canyon, Malibu. [Staff Report] [Resolution] [Map 1] [Map 2]

½ ACRE--MRCA 11/4/2009--Consideration resolution authorizing acceptance of an approximately 0.5-acre conservation easement for cross-Mulholland Drive wildlife movement purposes on APN 4385-021-010, Benedict Canyon, City of Los Angeles. [Staff Report] [Resolution] [Map]

DEVELOPMENT AND LAND GIFT--MRCA 11/4/2009--Consideration of resolution authorizing co-application to the California Coastal Commission (application number 4-08-075) for a Coastal Development Permit for redivision of three parcels pursuant to early donation of APN 4438-034-905 as an approximately 10-acre fee-simple mitigation parcel, and acceptance of processing fee, Las Flores Canyon and Topanga Canyon watersheds. [Staff Report] [Resolution] [Map 1] [Map 2] [Attachment]

80 ACRE DONATION--MRCA 11/4/2009--Consideration of resolution authorizing the acceptance of an 80-acre donation in Stokes Canyon, APNs 4455-014-005 and 4455-027-001, Calabasas. [Staff Report] [Resolution] [Map 1] [Map 2]

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

L.A. to buy Hill north of Downtown...

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L.A. City to Buy 20 acres at Elephant Hill northeast of City Hall--first part of 110 acre proposed purchase sought by Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy



On Tuesday, November 3, 2009, the Los Angeles City Council voted to settle a lawsuit filed by developer Monterey Hills Investors (MHI) in 2007 after being required to undertake additional environmental review of a controversial development of 24 luxury homes on Elephant Hill in El Sereno. As part of the settlement, the City agreed to pay MHI $9 million to acquire approximately 20 acres of hillside open space....Additional thanks are in order – first to the hundreds of residents and allies who took action to demand equal environmental protections for our community. To Doug Carstens of Chatten-Brown & Carstens and Tim Grabiel and David Pettit of NRDC for their exceptional, pro-bono legal services.

for full story:

http://saveelephanthills.blogspot.com/2009/11/city-buys-elephant-hills.html

And more from our site:
http://rare-earth-news.blogspot.com/search?q=elephant+hill

Also, an older staff report on it from the SMMC:
http://smmc.ca.gov/pdf/attachment803_Staff%20Report.pdf

and from the L.A. Times:
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2009/11/la-council-votes-to-buy-land-in-el-sereno-for-9-million-to-settle-lawsuit.html


the map above shows the 110 acre Elephant Hill which the City and State are interested in buying to save as parkland. The area within the red border is the 20 acres that was threatened with development and was purchased this week by L.A. City.

State Board to save 12,762 acres for critters in November...

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State is on end-of-the-year land buying spree

After a year of budget crisis, the State's Wildlife habitat purchase board has finally received the cash to do some deals.

SUMMARY:
154 acres-Riverside County
50 acres---Orange county
3268 acres in Humboldt County
2323 acres in Nevada County-near Lake Tahoe
5630 acres in Sonoma County
1337 acres in Monterey County

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WILDLIFE CONSERVATION BOARD
http://wcb.ca.gov

NOTICE OF MEETING
November 17, 2009

MAPS OF ALL PURCHASES: https://goo.gl/photos/tAk92NFgwAGNgUJ5A

AGENDA ITEMS


Willow Hole Conservation Area—154 acres-- $10,000.00--Riverside County
To consider the acceptance of a U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service grant and the approval to subgrant the federal funds to the Coachella Valley Conservation Commission to acquire two properties totaling 154± acres to protect and enhance existing regional wildlife linkages and aeolian and fluvial sand transport areas within one of four priority areas of the Coachella Valley Multiple Species Habitat Conservation Preserve areas, east of Desert Hot Springs and north of Highway 10, in Riverside County.
Funding source: Proposition 84

Trabuco Canyon, Expansion I—50 acres $0.00 --Orange County
To consider the acquisition of 50± acres to protect critical low elevation wildlife corridors, California gnatcatcher habitat, provide connectivity to other protected lands in the area and prevent habitat fragmentation located in the foothills of the Santa Ana Mountains, in the community of Trabuco Canyon, in Orange County. All costs associated with this acquisition are being paid by the Santa Margarita Water District to settle additional mitigation obligations as a result of building an expanded water reservoir.

Cosumnes River Wildlife Area –transfer of 617 acre easement to the feds--Oneto/Denier Property, $0.00 --Sacramento County
To consider the consent to the sale of a floodplain easement by The Nature Conservancy over the 617± acre Oneto/Denier property to The Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Six Rivers (Chalk Mountain Ranch)—3268 acre conservation easement-- $35,000--
Humboldt County
a cooperative project with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) and the North Coast Regional Land Trust wherein the State proposes to accept federal Forest Legacy Program funds, through an interagency agreement with CAL FIRE, and the approval to apply the federal funds to acquire a conservation easement over 3,268± acres in favor of CAL FIRE to protect forest land, important scenic, fish, wildlife, riparian areas and other ecological values, located near the City of Fortuna and community of Bridgeville, in Humboldt County. Funding source: Proposition 12

Truckee Basin (Independence Lake)—2323 acres--$5,510,000--Nevada County
a grant to The Nature Conservancy… for a cooperative project with the Department of Fish and Game, Federal Desert Terminal Lake Fund, California Resources Agency, Morgan Family Foundation and the Sierra Nevada Conservancy to acquire 2,323± acres of riparian forest and meadow stream habitats and to protect habitat for the federally listed Lahontan cutthroat trout, located approximately 10 miles north of the Town of Truckee, in Nevada County. Funding source: Proposition 84

Jenner Headlands—5630 acres-- $8,010,000.00--Sonoma County
To consider the allocation for a grant to the Sonoma Land Trust…to acquire fee title to the 5,630± acre Jenner Headlands property thirty miles northwest of Santa Rosa, immediately north and east of the community of Jenner, in Sonoma County. Funding source: Proposition 84

Los Vaqueros Ranch Conservation Easement—1337 acres--$8,000.00--Monterey County
to protect critical steelhead trout habitat as well as habitat for sensitive wildlife species including the red-legged frog, yellow-legged frog, western pond turtle and intact populations of native fish, oak woodlands and grasslands in Monterey County. Funding source: Proposition 1

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NOTE TO READERS: a board meeting of the Wildlife Conservation Board was also held on September 8, 2009. No properties were purchased.
Minutes of meeting: https://nrm.dfg.ca.gov/FileHandler.ashx?DocumentID=16402&inline=1