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)

Saturday, June 29, 2013

State $ saves another 10,000 acres


WILDLIFE CONSERVATION BOARD Purchases
From meeting on June 4, 2013

SUMMARY:
4649 acres purchased in full
5048 acres of development rights retired
COST: $13.8 million

Royal Gorge $3,010,000, Placer and Nevada Counties
grant to Truckee Donner Land Trust to acquire two parcels totaling 2,520± acres for the purposes of protecting alpine forests and meadows, … approximately 10 miles west of the City of Truckee, in the Donner Summit area

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MORE PURCHASES:

Sardella Ranch Conservation Easement, $520,000, Tuolumne County
grant to the California Rangeland Trust to assist with the acquisition of a conservation easement over 523± acres located 7 miles southeast of the town of Sonora

San Diego County MSCP/HCPLA 2009 $578,750,  (Kemerko)
acquire 132± acres of land to protect core areas of habitat that will benefit threatened and endangered species, and secure key regional wildlife linkages located near the communities of Crest and Harbison Canyon in an unincorporated area of San Diego County.

Ten Mile River (Perry-Smith Ranch) $3,510,000, Mendocino County
grant to The Nature Conservancy to acquire a working forest conservation easement over 872± acres of native forest lands located adjacent to, and along the Ten Mile River, north of Inglenook on the Mendocino Coast.

Garden Bar Preserve $1,452,000, Nevada County
grant to the Bear Yuba Land Trust to acquire 652± acres along the Bear River, approximately 10 miles northwest of the City of Auburn

El Dorado Ranch $3,000,000, El Dorado and Amador Counties
grant to the American River Conservancy (ARC) to acquire in fee 1,059± acres fronting the Cosumnes River, located approximately 15 miles south of the City of Placerville

Wilmar Ranch, Diablo Range Oak Woodland $275,000, Conservation Easement
Monterey County
grant to California Rangeland Trust to acquire a conservation easement over 2,114± acres

Rancho Vierra Oak Woodland $660,000, Conservation Easement
Monterey County
grant to Big Sur Land Trust to assist with the acquisition of a conservation easement over 964± acres 6 miles northeast of the City of Salinas

Bufford Ranch Conservation Easement $570,000, Kern County
grant to the California Rangeland Trust to assist with the acquisition of a conservation easement over 575± acres located approximately 12 miles south of Lake Isabella

Arrastre Canyon $260,000, Los Angeles County
grant to The Nature Conservancy (TNC), acceptance of settlement funds from the U.S. Department of the Interior Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration Fund (aka ARCO funds), and a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Recovery Land Acquisition grant and the approval to subgrant the ARCO funds and grant funds to TNC to acquire 286± acres of land to protect habitat for threatened and endangered species, and maintain habitat connectivity within the upper Santa Clara River floodplain and watershed in Arrastre Canyon, a tributary to the Santa Clara River located just south of community of Acton



Friday, June 28, 2013

L.A. and Ventura park agency purchases for April to June 2013


Purchase of 56 acres in Malibu and 22 acres in Tujunga Canyon; plus lots of studies

Taken from agendas of the boards of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy and the MRCA


MALIBU AND L.A. COUNTY PORTION OF SANTA MONICA MOUNTAINS:

56 acres-acquisition of apn 4465-004-045 and 4465-004-084 in the Ramirez Canyon watershed, unincorporated Los Angeles County. [Staff Report] [Resolution] [Map] [Attachment] SMMC 4/29/2013

project planning and design for the Escondido to Ramirez Canyon habitat and trail linkage project in the coastal watersheds of Santa Monica Bay, unincorporated Los Angeles County. [Staff Report] [Resolution] [Attachment 1] [Attachment 2] [Attachment 3] [Map] SMMC 4/29/2013

project planning and design for the Little Sycamore to Encinal Canyon Coastal Slope Trail zone project, in the coastal watersheds of Santa Monica Bay, unincorporated Los Angeles County. [Staff Report] [Resolution] [Attachment 1] [Attachment 2] [Attachment 3] [Map] SMMC 4/29/2013

project planning and design for the upper Malibu Canyon tributaries project in the coastal watersheds of Santa Monica Bay, unincorporated Los Angeles County and cities of Calabasas and Agoura Hills. [Staff Report] [Resolution] [Attachment 1] [Attachment 2] [Attachment 3] [Map] SMMC 4/29/2013

project planning and design for the upper Topanga watershed project in the coastal watersheds of Santa Monica Bay, unincorporated Los Angeles County. [Staff Report] [Resolution] [Attachment 1] [Attachment 2] [Attachment 3] [Map] SMMC 4/29/2013

comment letter to Los Angeles regarding proposed modification to recorded Tract Map No. 38931, Dark Canyon watershed, unincorporated Los Angeles County. [Attachment] [Staff Report] [Attachment 2] [Attachment 3] SMMC 4/29/2013

acquire approximately 6.28-acre parcel APN 4448-018-018 (1809 Tuna Canyon Road), adjacent to Rocky Ledge; [Staff Report] [Resolution] MRCA 7/3/2013 [Staff Report] [Resolution] MRCA 7/3/2013
[Staff Report] [Resolution] MRCA 7/3/2013 [Staff Report] [Resolution] [Attachment] [Map 1] [Map 2] [Map 3] SMMC 6/3/2013

Carbon Canyon riparian habitat mitigation project in the Carbon Canyon watershed, unincorporated Los Angeles County. [Staff Report] [Resolution] [Attachment] [Map] SMMC 6/3/2013

mitigation project in the Malibu Creek watershed. [Staff Report] [Resolution] [Attachment] SMMC 6/3/2013

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L.A. CITY PORTION OF SANTA MONICA MOUNTAINS:

project planning and design for the Mulholland Drive Scenic Corridor in the upper Los Angeles River watershed and coastal watersheds of Santa Monica Bay, Santa Monica Mountains, City of Los Angeles. [Staff Report] [Resolution] [Attachment 1] [Attachment 2] [Attachment 3] [Map] SMMC 4/29/2013

comment letter to the City of Los Angeles regarding a development proposal for 8145 Willow Glen Road, Case No. za 2013-0664(zaa), Laurel Canyon. [Resolution] [Attachment 1] [Attachment 2] [Attachment 3] [Attachment 4] [Attachment 5] [Comment Letter] [Map 1] [Map 2] SMMC 6/3/2013

regarding apn 5565-026-900, Willow Glen Road, and assigning rights to said acquisition to the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority, Laurel Canyon. [Staff Report] [Resolution] [Attachment 1] [Attachment 2] [Attachment 3] [Attachment 4] [Attachment 5] [Map 1] [Map 2] SMMC 6/3/2013

trail improvements and construction at Fryman Canyon. [Staff Report] [Resolution] [Map] [Attachment] SMMC 6/3/2013 [Staff Report] [Resolution] [Map] MRCA 5/29/2013

acquisition of APN 2274-018-014, approximately 1.6 acres, Sherman Oaks. [Staff Report] [Resolution] [Map] MRCA 6/5/2013

price and terms on APN 2292-010-032, Encino. [Staff Report] [Resolution] [Attachment 1] [Attachment 2] [Map] [Map 2] MRCA 6/5/2013

East of the 405-Santa Monica Mountains Open Space Preservation Assessment District No. 1, Los Angeles. [Staff Report] [Resolution] [Attachment] MRCA 6/5/2013
[Staff Report] [Resolution] [Attachment] MRCA 6/5/2013

West of the 405-Santa Monica Mountains Open Space Preservation Assessment District No. 2, Los Angeles. [Staff Report] [Resolution] [Attachment] MRCA 6/5/2013
[Staff Report] [Resolution] [Attachment] MRCA 6/5/2013

project planning and design of the Griffith Park to El Pueblo de Los Angeles State Historic Park Recreational Trail Corridor, City of Los Angeles. [Staff Report] [Resolution] [Attachment] [Map] SMMC 6/3/2013. [Staff Report] [Resolution] [Map] MRCA 5/1/2013

acceptance of a conservation easement over an approximately 0.13-acre portion of APN 5577-017-016 (6696 Lakeridge Road), Cahuenga Pass, City of Los Angeles. [Staff Report] [Resolution] [Attachment] [Attachment 2] MRCA 5/1/2013

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SAN GABRIEL AND VERDUGO MOUNTAINS AND SAN RAFAEL HILLS:

license agreement for the operation of a nursery on a portion of La Tuna Canyon Park, Verdugo Hills. [Staff Report] [Resolution] SMMC 4/29/2013

San Gabriel Mountains-Rim of the Valley Trail implementation and Angeles National Forest trail and habitat connections project in the upper Los Angeles River watershed. [Staff Report] [Resolution] [Attachment 1] [Attachment 2] [Attachment 3] [Map 1] [Map 2] [Map 3] SMMC 4/29/2013

project planning and design from the confluence of Tujunga Wash along the Pacoima Wash Recreational Greenway to the Angeles National Forest. [Staff Report] [Resolution] [Attachment] [Map] SMMC 6/3/2013

project planning and design grant for the upstream of Pacoima Wash Recreational Greenway to Angeles National Forest. [Staff Report] [Resolution] [Map] MRCA 5/1/2013

trail improvements and construction at Millard Canyon. [Staff Report] [Resolution] [Map] MRCA 5/29/2013

acquisition of APN 2552-001-008, approximately 22 acres, Big Tujunga Canyon, unincorporated Los Angeles County. Negotiators: Joseph T. Edmiston and David Thomas. Under consideration: price and terms. (This item may be heard in closed session pursuant to Section 54956.8 of the Government Code.) [Staff Report] [Resolution] [Map] MRCA 6/5/2013

trail improvements and construction at Millard Canyon. [Staff Report] SMMC 6/3/2013

project planning and design in the San Rafael Hills, Verdugo Mountains, and Northeast Los Angeles Open Space, including Arroyo Seco and Verdugo Wash. [Staff Report] [Resolution] [Attachment] [Map] SMMC 6/3/2013 [Staff Report] [Resolution] [Map] MRCA 5/1/2013

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SANTA SUSANA MOUNTAINS AND SIMI HILLS:

project planning and design for the Browns Canyon watershed project in the upper Los Angeles River watershed, Santa Susana Mountains, Chatsworth area. [Staff Report] [Resolution] [Attachment 1] [Attachment 2] [Attachment 3] [Map] SMMC 4/29/2013

project planning and design for the Alamos Canyon habitat and trail linkage project in the coastal watersheds of Santa Monica Bay, Calleguas Creek watershed, Santa Susana Mountains, Ventura County. [Staff Report] [Resolution] [Attachment 1] [Attachment 2] [Attachment 3] [Map] SMMC 4/29/2013

project planning and design for the Sage Ranch to Santa Susana Pass State Historic Park habitat linkage project in the upper Los Angeles River watershed and coastal watersheds of Santa Monica Bay, Simi Hills, unincorporated Ventura and Los Angeles counties. [Staff Report] [Resolution] [Attachment 1] [Attachment 2] [Attachment 3] [Map] SMMC 4/29/2013

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SANTA CLARITA VALLEY:

mitigation project in the Soledad Canyon watershed, unincorporated Los Angeles County. [Staff Report] [Resolution] [Attachment] SMMC 6/3/2013

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L.A. RIVER:

project planning and design in Los Angeles River Master Plan Reaches Five and Six. [Staff Report] [Resolution] [Attachment] SMMC 6/3/2013 [Staff Report] [Resolution] [Attachment] MRCA 5/1/2013

Consideration of resolution authorizing a grant of Proposition 50 funds to Community Conservation Solutions for the Los Angeles River Greenway project, Los Angeles. [Staff Report] [Resolution] [Attachment] SMMC 6/3/2013

Consideration of resolution authorizing entering into a lease agreement with an adjacent property owner for an unused portion of Marsh Park. [Staff Report] [Resolution] [Map] MRCA 5/1/2013

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BALLONA CREEK AND BALDWIN HILLS:

project planning and design in the Ballona Creek and Ballona Wetlands area from Culver City to the Pacific Ocean, Santa Monica Bay Watershed. [Staff Report] [Resolution] [Attachment] [Map] SMMC 6/3/2013. [Staff Report] [Resolution] [Map] MRCA 5/1/2013

Park to Playa – Stocker Corridor project. [Staff Report] [Resolution] [Attachment] MRCA 5/1/2013

Presentation on the on-going Park to Playa Regional Trail project connecting the Baldwin Hills to the Pacific Ocean in the Santa Monica Bay Watershed. [Staff Report] [Presentation] MRCA 5/1/2013





Sunday, June 9, 2013

Finally, the L.A. Sierra Club creates a blog....

Success Means Less Newsletters

When I got first got active to save open spaces back in 1985, we had no email, internet or blogs to distribute action alerts. It was all paper. So over the years I built up many piles and boxes and file cabinets full of research on saving the last natural areas in the L.A., Orange and Ventura County areas. I eventually joined the Sierra Club and served on its board for 5 years, collecting piles of the monthly Southern Sierran newspaper. Now they have gone totally electronic, not just to save paper but because they're low on funds. So the Southern Sierran is no longer sent out to all Club members anymore, except by special request.  Back in the day the Club spent around $200,000 a year on conservation campaigns and I mapped out all the natural areas left in these 3 counties and there were 12 large mostly natural areas that were threatened with development. Fast forward to today when 10 of those 12 natural areas are mostly preserved due to our work. So success has meant less work to do for environmental activists. And so even though fundraising is harder, this area is no longer being overrun with bulldozers except in a few spots.

Anyway, here are L.A./OC and Ventura stories from the last 2 years of the Southern Sierran which you might have missed:

SAN ONOFRE NUKE PLANT TO BE PERMANENTLY MOTH-BALLED




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JOSHUA TREE—EAGLE MOUNTAIN LANDFILL PROPOSAL ENDED

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SAN GABRIEL NATIONAL RECREATION AREA PROPOSAL REFINED BY FEDS



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NORTH L.A. COUNTY: SANTA CLARITA'S WATER COMPANY BUYS NEWHALL'S LAND'S WATER COMPANY, AND OTHER DEVELOPMENT PLANS




SANTA CLARITA VALLEY—CREST TO COAST TRAIL

CEMEX MINE PROPOSAL EAST OF SANTA CLARITA

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SOUTH BAY TOXIC SITES TO BE CLEANED FINALLY

STRAWBERRY PEAK TRAILS TO BE FIXED AFTER STATION FIRE

61% OF FULLERTON VOTERS REJECT COYOTE HILLS/CHEVRON'S HOUSING TRACT

L.A COUNTY PLANNING—SIGNIFICANT ENVIRONMENTAL AREAS

MONTEBELLO HILLS

CADIZ VALLEY—DESERT WATER GRAB

GRIFFITH PARK

FED APPEALS COURT TRASHES NATIONAL FOREST ADVENTURE PASSES

PALOS VERDES LANDFILL

L.A.'S RIM OF THE VALLEY PARKS SYSTEM MAY BE EXPANDED


L.A. RIVER'S NEWEST PARK

CHATSWORTH NATURE PRESERVE

CHANDLER'S SAND AND GRAVEL—PALOS VERDES-HOUSING TRACT

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Politicians Consider changes to Calif's Main Environmental Law

CEQA Roundup - The Good, Bad & Potentially Bad: What business thinks of reform bills


6/7/2013, swiped from:
http://www.caeconomy.org/reporting/entry/ceqa-roundup-the-good-bad-potentially-bad-what-business-thinks-of-reform-bi 


Bills addressing legal uncertainty around the Ballona Wetlands decision received some resistance. (Photo Credit: stonebird/Flickr)

The CEQA reform debate was put largely aside this week as lawmakers work to finalize the state budget before next week's deadline. The short breather provided an opportunity for a post-mortem on the legislative process so far—with one analysis by a group of land use attorneys offering an early glimpse of where business interests, in particular, are likely to seek changes in the months ahead. (More on that below.)
What CEQA proposals are still moving
Of the more than two dozen CEQA bills introduced this winter, only five made it out of their house of origin last week, meaning they could still become law this year.
Perhaps the biggest surprises were the stumbles of the most comprehensive CEQA changes backed by environmentalists, Asm. Ammiano's AB 953 and Sen. Evans's SB 617. Both bills contained the same proposal to address lingering legal uncertainty surrounding the recent Ballona decision, a legal change that is popular with some Dems—but particularly unpopular with the state Chamber of Commerce, which tagged both bills as "job killers." It will be worth watching to see if the bill's legal language makes its way into one of the five CEQA bills still moving.
The Land Use & Development Law Report offers a helpful roundup of the CEQA changes that are still on the table. Their summary:
Active CEQA bills:
  • SB 731, the "CEQA Modernization Act of 2013.″ (See CAeconomy's summary of what the bill does—and doesn't do.)
  • AB 37, which would require lead agencies to prepare their records of proceedings at the same time they prepare environmental documents for certain projects
  • AB 543, which would require translation of certain CEQA notices and CEQA document summaries if 25% of nearby residents are non-English-speaking
  • AB 436 and AB 380, which would impose additional CEQA notice and filing requirements
CEQA bills that did not make the cut:
  • SB 787, the same far-reaching and controversial CEQA reform proposal that first surfaced in August 2012
  • Proposals for specialized divisions within superior courts to handle CEQA case
  • Efforts to overturn recent appellate court decisions [including Ballona] holding that CEQA concerns the effects of projects on the environment—not effects of the environment on projects
  • Three bills, or portions of those bills, that would have extended the 2011 Environmental Leadership Act's CEQA streamlining provisions to additional categories of projects
Where business may push back
Sen. Steinberg's SB 731, with its focus in streamlining the CEQA process for infill developments, remains the most comprehensive piece of reform legislation. As we pointed out last week, in spite of the unanimous support for the bill in the Senate, disagreements still exist over many of the bill's details.
While environmentalists haven't detailed their quibbles in the last few weeks, a group of land-use attorneys at the law firm Manatt, Phelps, & Phillips recently posted a critical analysis of the bill's provisions—offering a window into where business interests may seek changes in the months ahead.
The Manatt analysis divides the bill's proposals into four categories: Good, Bad, Potentially Bad, and Status Quo. The attorneys consider only one of the bill's provisions "good:" Steinberg's removal of "aesthetic" impacts from the CEQA process. As Manatt puts it, this "removes a subjective matter from environmental review, resulting in possible time/cost savings for qualifying projects.
Many of the other changes the bill would make—including Steinberg's proposals to set new thresholds for common urban environmental impacts like noise, traffic, and parking—are viewed by Manatt with a fair bit of skepticism.
These proposals seem likely to be the focus of debate—and amendments to tighten up language—now that the bill has moved to the Assembly:
  • Setting new "thresholds" for common urban environmental impacts – Manatt's take: "Potentially Bad: Noise, traffic and parking are quintessential local issues. Statewide standards may result in local battles over the need for more specific local thresholds of significance, and the nature/scope of local thresholds."

  • New requirements that draft CEQA findings be made public sooner – Manatt's take: "Bad: Additional noticing will result in increased processing costs for project proponents and could result in significant delay if revisions to findings and additional public review are necessary."

  • Allowing administrative record to be prepared concurrently with the project (instead of at the end): Manatt's take: "Potentially Bad: Currently written such that only the applicant may make this request. May encourage CEQA litigation since administrative record will already be prepared (and paid for) at time of project approval."

  • New annual report requirements to demonstrate mitigation of environmental impacts: Manatt's take: "Potentially Bad: Heightened local agency oversight of project implementation and ongoing CEQA compliance. Additional opportunities for CEQA lawsuits where report identifies deficiencies with implementation of mitigation measures. Additional annual costs to project proponents until satisfaction of all MMRP conditions."

  • Prohibiting project opponents from performing last-minute "document dumps" to slow down CEQA review process: Manatt's take: "Status quo: While the legislation states that it intends to make changes to Section 21091, no changes to Section 21091 are actually proposed in SB 731 as currently drafted."