For more places to hike, climb and explore, and Trails within 15 minutes of every California home and workplace. OUR GOAL: Connecting California with 1000 Miles of Parks, not 500 miles of Continuous Concrete Sprawl, with permanently preserved farmland greenbelts around every major city, with connected open space rings that link the entire state together. Think it'll never happen? It already is. Read the success stories on our website!
Indexed News on:
--the California "Mega-Park" Project
Tracking measurable success on preserving and connecting California's Parks & Wildlife Corridors
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
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
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
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
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
grant to California Rangeland Trust to acquire a
conservation easement over 2,114± acres
Rancho Vierra Oak Woodland
$660,000, Conservation Easement
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
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
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.
2] MRCA 5/1/2013
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]
project planning and design from the confluence of Tujunga Wash along the
Pacoima Wash Recreational Greenway to the Angeles National Forest.
[Map] SMMC 6/3/2013
project planning and design grant for the upstream of
Pacoima Wash Recreational Greenway to Angeles National Forest.
[Map] MRCA 5/1/2013
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]
[Map] MRCA 6/5/2013
trail improvements and construction at Millard Canyon.
Report] SMMC 6/3/2013
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]
3] [Map] SMMC
Consideration of resolution authorizing a grant of
Proposition 50 funds to Community Conservation Solutions for the Los Angeles
River Greenway project, Los Angeles.
Consideration of resolution authorizing entering into a
lease agreement with an adjacent property owner for an unused portion of Marsh Park.
[Map] MRCA 5/1/2013
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
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.)
which would require lead agencies to prepare their records of
proceedings at the same time they prepare environmental documents for
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
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
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