Crummy Court Ruling for California Condors
It appears that Tejon ranch has won the first big court battle over their plans to build 30,000 homes along the San Andreas fault at the extremely fragile wildlife migration pinchpoint between southern and Central California.
This shows the weakness of our state's main environmental law which requires revelation of impacts but then lets the government choose to ignore them (see story of our battle to save more of the Ballona wetlands where this law failed us: http://ballona-news.blogspot.com/2012/04/some-sad-news-yet-we-count-our.html )
Anyway, this battle for Tejon is far from over. This is because the federal government (headed by that pesky liberal Barack Obama) has yet to approve Tejon's permits to locate 3400 homes right in the middle of endangered species habitat, that of the huge and prehistoric-looking California Condor. The issuance of this permit, called a "take permit", because it would allow Tejon to kill wildlife by bulldozing their homes, has been sitting in limbo despite the issuance of massive reports by the developer three years ago.
In 2011, federal officials reported that the condor is all over and expanding its use of Tejon's dreamed-of mountain resort. So unless Obama caves in to the developers, the victory in state court is just one in a long war.
2/10/2012: FWS’ Root said no change has been made to the development footprint of Tejon Mountain Village. Radio telemetry and GPS mapping by the U.S. Geologic Survey confirmed last year that wild California condor are recolonizing the areas on which TRC and partner DMB Associates plan to build over 3,400 Tejon Mountain Village resort homes, condominiums, 700 hotel rooms, two golf courses and a commercial zone.
Tejon ranch—changes to alternatives in HCP
The public will be able to comment on the Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement and the Draft Tehachapi Uplands Multi-Species Habitat Conservation Plan until May 3, 2012
The documents address critical habitat concerns for the endangered California condor, which has been shown with radio telemetry to be repopulating sections of Tejon Ranch which had previously been intended by the developers to be included in the Tejon Mountain Village resort community, hotels and commercial sectors. A draft environmental impact report (DEIR) for the 23,000 home Centennial project is also expected to be issued this year. http://www.fws.gov/ventura/newsroom/release.cfm?id=77
FEDS DECLINE TO PROTECT A TEJON LIZARD:
10/7/11 Tehachapi slender salamander denied endangered species protection http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/greenspace/2011/10/tehachapi-slender-salamander-denied-endangered-species-protection.html On Friday, the service rendered its final conclusion: Batrachoseps stebbinsi does not warrant a spot on the endangered species list. An analysis determined that cattle grazing, road construction, flood control projects, disease, severe wildfires, prolonged drought and construction of Tejon Ranch’s proposed 7,860-acre residential and commercial development, the Tejon Mountain Village project, would not impact the species in the foreseeable future. The salamander resides in two canyons about 13 miles apart and separated by a freeway 60 miles north of Los Angeles.
The species consists of two populations, the Tehachapi Mountains population and the Caliente Canyon population, which are separated from each other by dry, rugged, mountainous terrain. The range of the Tehachapi Mountains population is about 13 miles southwest of the Caliente Canyon population on property owned by Tejon Ranch and the California Department of Parks and Recreation at Fort Tejon State Historic Park. The Caliente Canyon population is located at the northeastern end of the Tehachapi Mountains, near the small community of Loraine. …Construction of the Tejon Ranch's proposed 7,860-acre residential and commercial development, the Tejon Mountain Village project, is not expected to be a substantial threat to the Tehachapi Mountains population of the salamander. The project does not overlap with areas where the species has been found or the areas that the Service considers to be occupied by the salamander. …An advance copy of the 12-month finding can be viewed online today at the Federal Register Public Inspection Page: http://go.usa.gov/924 . When the finding publishes in the Federal Register on October 11, it will be available at http://www.fws.gov/ventura or at http://www.regulations.gov. ----------------------------------