Summer 2002 Endangered Habitats League Newsletter


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Summer 2002 Endangered Habitats League Newsletter

  1. 1. Dedicated to Ecosystem Protection and Sustainable Land Use Planning +++ Vol. 12 No. 3 +++ Summer 2002We publish this newsletter four If you are not yet a member of thetimes a year to inform the gener- Endangered Habitats League,ous supporters and other friends please join us in the ongoingof the Endangered Habitats effort to preserve and protectLeague about our activties ENDANGERED the Southern California eco-in the ecoregion. region’s irreplacable plants, HABITATS LEAGUE animals and places. NEWSLETTERFirst San Timoteo Canyon Subject: Beasts & Botanyacquisitions accomplished To Live in a “Hats off” to the San Timoteo Canyon- Dry Seasonlands Coalition and the Riverside LandConservancy for their hard work and great by Jess Mortonprogress toward a San Timoteo State Park. To every thing there is aLocated east of the City of Riverside, “San season, states the beautifulTim” is a beautiful, historic valley with well- and classical phrase. To this Ideveloped cottonwood riparian and coastal would add that for each thingsage scrub habitat. It will be an important there is also a season more dif-component of a future regional Multiple ficult than the others. This isSpecies Habitat Conservation Plan (MSHCP). especially true when the sea-With these first acquisitions, the dream son itself is extreme, as is themoves toward reality. case today, with our dry season The Riverside Land Conservancy and coming in an exceedingly drythe Canyonlands Coalition contracted with San Timoteo Canyon is populated by the least Bell’s vireo, a feder- year. How is it that each andDangermond Group and Resource Lands ally listed endangered species that is sensitive to changes in riparian every thing will survive, de- vegetation. Photo courtesy of the Orange County Water District.Partners to put these complex transactions spite the extreme conditions.together. Sources of funds included Natural Community Con- For many native plants, it seems the strategy is simply toservation Planning (NCCP) monies from Proposition 12 via the write the year off and try again next year. My friend Tony Baker,Wildlife Conservation Board and an innovative state program who, as Natural Landscapes, grows many natives, remarked tothat provides tax credits for habitat. EHL was pleased to write me not long ago that all of the native plants in his hillside gardenand solicit letters supporting the purchases. We hope that other had gone into summer dormancy by March. They had not evenacquisitions will soon follow, including the purchase of lands bothered to set flower this year. There was too little moisture inoptioned by San Bernardino Valley Audubon Society as a result the ground to risk the stress of doing so.of settling litigation with a huge neighboring development Although desert-living plants must be adapted to long, dry—project, called “Oak Valley.” and, as here, hot—seasons, they must have adequate moisture to survive. Many of our plants go dormant in summer. Sagebrush relies on special low-water-loss summer leaves. Metabolic activ-Forward-looking states set guidelines for ity is minimal, justgrowth and development; California still enough to keep the T plant alive. How- he Nominating Committee ofgives wide discretion to local government the Board of the Endangered ever, every strategy From New Jersey to Maryland to Florida to Oregon and has its water cost. Habitats League is acceptingWashington, forward-looking states have set guidelines for the When the year has nominations for the board electionspattern of growth and development. Motivated by the need to been too dry, some- at the annual meeting of the Leagueconserve farmland and open space, to revitalize cities and older thing has to be omit- members to be held in December, 2002.suburbs, and to make efficient use of infrastructure, these states ted from the normal Please send any nominations, inare leaders. Unfortunately, California is not part of this group, life cycle or the plant writing, to the Endangered Habitatsand still allows unfettered discretion to local government, no will die. For peren- League, Nominating Committee, POmatter how harmful their planning might be. nial plants, it is the Box 3985, Lakewood, CA 90711-3985. In the Bay Area and in Ventura County, hard working activ- reproductive part ofists have put in place many local urban service boundaries, the cycle that is leftbeyond which sprawl cannot occur unless authorized by a vote out. For annual plants, the seed does not sprout in a year that isof the people. Nevertheless, across the rest of Southern California too dry to let the mature plant set seed. and in the heritage landscapes But what of the animal side of the ecosystem? Here, too, there what’s inside? of the central coast and Sierra must be strategies for dealing foothills, it simply takes three with an unusually dry season. votes of an “old boy” network Surprisingly, the answer for Research proves em- of developer-financed politi- many insects is to adopt the ployment rises close cians to pave over what it same strategy as the annual to greenspace areas 2 took tens of thousand of plants do—sit tight until Important news from years to create. things get better. How, around our Southern Growth management at though, is this done? California Ecoregion 2 the state level can take several Most of us think of an EHL in the News 2 forms. In Oregon, urban ser- insect like a beetle or butter- vice boundaries, reassessed fly as a creature with wings, Phil Lohman joins us every 20 years, are mandated capable of skipping town as Executive Director 3 that separate agriculture from when things get too hot. Legacies will support cities and towns. In Maryland, True enough for some spe- © JEAN H. ZACH future ecoregion work 3 state infrastructure funds are cies, like painted ladies or Give a gift to honor restricted to “smart growth” cloudless sulfurs, which a friend or loved one 3 locations. In Florida, local land may migrate long distances. use plans must conform to But that is not true for most Tell a friend about us 3 To endure a very dry year, sagebrush state standards. While each species, which are often tied relies on special low-water-loss summer “Trillium” (poem) 4 of these models has strengths to very local habitats. leaves. Metabolic activity is minimal, This story continues on page 2 This story continues on page 3 just enough to keep the plant alive.
  2. 2. Environmental preservation said to be bad for growth EHL in the NewsResearch shows economic activity, California Journal, a respected, politically oriented publica- tion widely read by elected officials statewide, featured theemployment increase close to parks Inland Empire in a series of articles in its June 2002 edition.and greenspace preservation areas This excellent review—titled, “The Middle of Somewhere”— covered transportation and growth issues in detail, and dis-by Phil Lohman cussed the importance of In the early days of the civil rights movement, there was a the Riverside Countyhuge supermarket in Redlands called Sage’s and I had a friend Integrated Project to thisnamed Stan. Stan was a big guy with a gravelly voice and the region-in-transition.courtly manner of a small-college dean. Sage’s didn’t have many EHL’s Coordinator,minority employees and seemed in no hurry to hire any, which Dan Silver was inter-concerned Stan, who was an activist in the black community. So, viewed, and identified asone day, Stan dropped in on the management at Sage’s, lowered “a frequent participant inhis 275 solid pounds into a chair and suggested that Sage’s re- Inland Empire growththink its hiring practices. Why? “Well, because it’s the right thing battles.” Reflectingto do, and”—here his voice deepened slightly—“it’s good for EHL’s commitment tobusiness.” The managers thought it over and within a week, compact, transit-orientedblack and Hispanic checkers started to appear at the registers. development as well asStan loved to tell the story. “It’s good for business,” he’d chuckle, to habitat conservation,“good for business.” As it turned out, it was. Silver was quoted as de- There are many good reasons to do the right thing scribing the City of Chino’s There are lots of reasons for doing the right thing. Some of planning efforts as “thethem may seem a little counterintuitive at first, or at least con- single most progressivetrary to received opinion. Environmental preservation, for ex- land use plan I’ve seen inample, is commonly thought to be contrary to economic growth: the Inland Empire.”“All that good land lying around idle, all locked up.” Nearbycommunities will suffer for it, they are warned by building andreal estate interests; any slowing of the development juggernautwill result in falling property values. This thinking, readily em-braced by city councils, planning commissions and chambers of California Development Limitations Lagging (continued from page 1)commerce, has left Southern California buried under a wrack ofcancerous sprawl. It’s wrong. Research has consistently shown that population,economic activity and employment tend to increase, rather than and weaknesses, and efficacy in achieving objectives has varied,shrink, close to wilderness areas, federal and state parks and it nevertheless took dedicated gubernatorial leadership to makeother areas set aside for greenspace preservation. Between 1960 any progress whatsoever.and 1990, for example, economic growth in rural areas close to Legislature now has a Smart Growth Caucusnational parks and wilderness areas was two to six times that for In California, the last major effort to tackle state growth man-other rural areas and two to three times that for metropolitan agement expired in the early years of the Wilson administration.areas. Another recent study by the University of Maine of north- After years of quiescence, however, the Legislature now has aern counties in Maine, New Hampshire, New York, Michigan, Smart Growth Caucus and several bills relating to growth haveWisconsin and Minnesota showed that employment increased been offered. Legislation, authored by Sen. Sheila Kuehl, recentlyin counties in proportion to the amount of public land in thecounty managed for conservation purposes. passed that requires assurance of water availability before large development projects are approved. Assemblyman Darrell Stein- When they can, people buy where there’s open space berg’s bill to create a pilot project for revenue sharing among On reflection, this doesn’t seem so odd. People tend to follow Sacramento-area jurisdictions—tackling the perverse fiscalamenities—open space, quiet, clean air—and employment in- incentives that drive local governments to approve “big box”creasingly tends to follow them. We’re rapidly moving from an Walmarts instead of revitalizing downtowns—is stalled due toindustrial economy, where huge populations are tied to concen- opposition from some cities. Governor Davis has advanced atrations of capital, to a services economy, where growing num- modest proposal to create model planning ordinances.bers of knowledge workers carry the capital in their heads andcan shop around for good places to live. And when they can, EHL is an affiliate of the California Futures Networkthey buy where there’s open space. In addition, there is an organization focused solely on state- Protecting greenspace doesn’t hurt local economies, it helps level growth management, the California Futures Network, orthem. It’s the right thing to do—and it’s good for business. CFN, of which EHL is an affiliate. For five years, CFN has been building a coalition of urban, social justice, business, agricultural, N ews from Around Our Southern California Ecoregion and environmental interests with a stake in improved land use planning, and it now drafting a comprehensive policy frame- work that could be the basis for legislation. The pace of population increase in California is staggering. Certainly a pattern of growth that is compact and oriented to transit, that spares scenic and productive open space, and thatSan Diego County invests in older communities, is in the interest of the State. This EHL and other stakeholders on the “Interest Group” advi- agenda can easily be co-opted, however, by development inter-sory committee to the County of San Diego’s “2020” General ests who want incentives for infill and redevelopment yet arePlan Update have completed a set of Goals and Policies. The unwilling to curb sprawl and “leapfrog” development into theenvironmental representatives were successful in obtaining countryside. The systemic fiscal problems facing local govern-strong policies for biodiversity, open space, and floodplains. ments, and community opposition to higher densities, complicateThese policies will be advanced to the Board of Supervisors an already difficult set of policy options.for their consideration. EHL is part of ongoing effort to find common ground The heart of the new General Plan will be the land use map, Recently, EHL participated in an effort coordinated by theshowing where development will occur and what will remain Urban Land Institute, a relatively progressive developmentrural. EHL organized a detailed study of draft maps for each industry body, to identify common ground among, and after long hours, we and our environmental We continue to actively participate in the California Futurespartners on the Interest Group identified many areas where Network. Thus, as it continues to work locally on land use,changes were indicated. These formed the basis for recommen- transportation, and habitat, EHL will also seek reform at thedations to the group as a whole. state level that synchronizes land use planning and environ- This story continues on page 4 mental protection.
  3. 3. ✄ Lohman Named Executive Director Gifts That Honor or Thank a Friend or Loved One Hi! I’m Philip Lohman and I’m Endangered Habitats League the Endangered Habitats League’s is pleased to receive gifts that: new executive director. My job will ⇒ Honor someone on a special occasion such be to help the EHL board and staff as a birthday, anniversary or graduation build on the League’s successes. I’ll ⇒ Memorialize someone who died be doing fundraising, organizational ⇒ Just say “Thank you!” to a friend or loved one. development, member recruiting and services, outreach and adminis- Following your instructions, EHL will send a tration. EHL has grown to the point beautiful acknowledgement card to the person where Dan, Michael, Jane, Pete, Jess, honored or to the family of the deceased. Jack and the staff are so buried in program and project work that some- Please fill out the form below and one has to focus on the organization mail it with your donation. Please print. Phil Lohman itself. That’s me. I/we are enclosing a special gift in the amount of In some ways I’m an oddball. I’ve done a lot of things: Marine, steelworker, philosophy professor, freelance writer and, for the $______________________________ last twenty years, project manager and corporate executive with In Honor of a multinational technology consulting firm. But along the way, I’ve had a parallel life as an environmental activist (“the suites __________________________________________________________ on Friday, the streets on Saturday,” as a friend put it). Beginning In Memory of with the Mineral King battle in the late 60s, I’ve been involved in environmental causes and campaigns with the Sierra Club, ____________________________________________________________ Audubon, local activist groups and political campaigns. Right To celebrate her/his/their now, in addition to working with EHL, I’m vice president of the Los Cerritos Wetlands Land Trust and an active board member _________________________________________________ of the Friends of the Seal Beach National Wildlife Refuge. My To Thank heart, as Yogi Berra might have said, is in the environment right up to my nose. _________________________________________________ I hope to meet every one of you at some point. In the mean- Send the acknowledgement card to time, if you have questions, ideas or want to offer help to EHL, please write to me at Endangered Habitats League, PO Box 3985, _________________________________________________ Lakewood, CA 90711-3985. Address 1 We in EHL—members, supporters, board and staff—have won some important battles but we’re going to win more and Address 2 we’re going to win them together! Best wishes, Phil City/State/Zip Dry Season Strategies (from page 1) Indicate on the acknowledgement card that this gift is being made by: Many of our endangered blue butterflies are examples Your Name (s) of this habitat specificity. They do not go far, often not more than a few tens of Address 1 meters from where they Address 2 emerge. So how do they sur-© RICHARD ARNOLD vive a year with no flowers City/State/Zip for nectar and no fresh leaves or seed for caterpillars? Home phone Fax The trick is not to emerge Office phone Fax at all! In truth, most of our blue butterflies’ lives are E-mail Most of our blue butterflies spend spent as pupae in the ground, their lives in the ground as pupae. where they wait for condi- Endangered Habitats League They don’t emerge until local 8424-A Santa Monica Blvd., #592 tions to be right for emer- climate conditions are favorable. Los Angeles, CA 90069-4267 gence. If that is not this year, so be it. As another classical line has it, “Wait till next year!” ✄ You can leave a legacy to our Southern California Tell a Friend about EHL Ecoregion through the Endangered Habitats League Endangered Habitat League’s regional environmental per- Writing a will and including a bequest to the Endangered spective allows us to focus on those battles that are critically Habitats League allows you to chose where your estate will go important to the ecosystem we all cherish! and, in many cases, can help you to reduce taxes on your estate. We truly need your assistance to continue this work. Please EHL extends its appreciation to all of our donors for their dedica- help us spread the word about EHL’s activities by telling a friend tion and support. about our work or by sharing this newsletter with a co-worker or If you wish, EHL will mail you some information on planned acquaintance.Your ideas and efforts to help EHL expand its support giving opportunities. base are always welcome. The Endangered Habitats League Dan Silver Coordinator and Newsletter Editor Jane Block Director, Riverside County is a non-profit organization. All Jack Bath Director, San Bernardino County Pete DeSimone Director, Orange County and EHL Secretary Jess Morton Director, Los Angeles contributions are tax-deductible Michael Beck Director, San Diego County County and EHL Treasurer to the full extent allowed by law. Phil Lohman Executive Director
  4. 4. News of the Southern California Ecoregion (continued from page 2) Trillium The precision of white brings to these green tangles a point of calm, a way of living within the selfRiverside County amid the wind and flurries of rain, dreaming The Riverside County Integrated Project’s new General Plan three petals and leaves; love, like green spadesbegan hearings at the Planning Commission. The Commission was with which the forest turns over the heart’s hour,not friendly to the higher density community centers that EHL sup- and under the dream, the knot-backed salamanderports as an alternative to sprawl. However, the “Certainty System,” slides, hiding the orange flame of his belly.originating with EHL, that disallows amendments to the plan thatwould convert rural lands to development for 5 years, was better The passage of the flower is no ordinary thing,received. EHL also distributed a letter to the Commission showing not the shatter of petals on a windy pavement,the excess of land designated for development compared with the but a withdrawal of substance into the will;actual need for such land and with the ability to pay for traffic an anthem of change that is without withering;improvements. an aging translucence that hums of a love The draft Multiple Species Habitat Conservation Plan has just that is not above being beautiful, the commabeen released for public review. While clearly deficient in some areas, which gives itself to the coming summer and seed.the benefits of 153, 000 acres of new land protection are immense. Aneffort by one Supervisor to delay the MSHCP pending identification Visible through the petal now, my fingersof new highway route to Orange County was held off, but attempts to have become strangers to their usual selves;insert this controversial and potentially damaging route into the plan a ghostly hand journeys the dank passagesin some form are ongoing. EHL will closely monitor the situation. which are a forest’s transmutation of time and rain; EHL was prepared to litigate the “Murrieta Springs” project due my touch senses that there has been a great travailto impacts to the endangered quino checkerspot butterfly and other to accomplish this simplicity, and through the petals‚species. However, it appears that an acceptable agreement to pur- still evident veins, the last lavender threads its most of the property has been reached. Similarly, we are en-couraged by negotiations underway regarding properties in the Jess Mortonhills east of Lake Elsinore that support California gnatcatchers.EHL filed extensive comments on all these projects.San Bernardino County excellent background information provided the group and EHL’s litigation against Lytle Creek North project remains active. the constructive nature of the discussions to date. On JulyThis project would impact rare floodplain habitat and preclude a 22, 2002, SCORE received input from state and federalviable multiple species plan for the area. There are rumors that a agencies about those areas needed to protect upland andconservation plan for the Delhi Sands flower loving fly and its dune aquatic natural resources through the Natural Communityhabitat is underway, but the track record of these jurisdictions does Conservation Plan and Special Area Management Plan, ornot encourage optimism. NCCP/SAMP, programs. At this time, it is unclear if this Regarding another threatened biologic community, EHL was sketchy information will be sufficient to allow SCORE topleased to endorse a plan prepared by an independent consultant that begin to site developed uses in limited areas that do notwould guide Dept. of Fish and Game purchases of vanishing alluvial compromise ecosystem, which are broad floodplains at the base of the mountains con- The Heart and Soul Coalition, dedicated to preservingtaining rare sage scrub plants and animals. Orange Countyıs quality of life through a “win-win” We have also been working with the City of Ontario to identify a solution on the Rancho Mission Viejo, ran a stunningland trust to manage the habitat mitigation fees resulting from the full-page newspaper ad in the July 9, 2002 Orange Countysettlement of our litigation, and expect a decision soon. Register. Reaching nearly one million people and showing broad community support, the ad called for “Keeping aOrange County Promise to Our Children” to preserve OC’s natural trea- sures. Radio spots aired the next week. The predictably On July 2, 2002, the Orange County Planning Commission re- anti-environmental Register followed up the ad with aceived a progress report on the SCORE South County Outreach and blatantly inaccurate “hit piece” attacking The Heart andReview Effort process instituted by Supervisor Tom Wilson to pro- Soul Coalition. EHL is a supporter of the Coalition, andvide public input into planning for the 23,000 acres that remain of the EHL members are urged to join as individuals, which ishistoric Rancho Mission Viejo. EHL, a SCORE participant, noted the free of cost ( Habitats League 8424-A Santa Monica Blvd., #592 Los Angeles, CA 90069-4267