Volume 14 - No. 1 - Winter 2004

· Back to Home

· Potrero Valley Saved

· San Diego River Park Takes Giant Step

· Honey Springs Ranch Added To Rancho Jamul Ecologoical Reserve

· Orange County Litigation Moves Forward

· Key Cities Join Western Riverside Habitat Plan

· Opinion Editorial Published January 11, 2004

· EHL in the News

· Poetry by Jess Morton: “Sunset”

The Endangered Habitats League is dedicated to the protection of the diverse ecosystems of Southern California and to sensitive and sustainable land use for the benefit of all the region’s inhabitants. The EHL Newsletter is published quarterly to chronicle our plans, activities, and successes.

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Potrero Valley Saved

A decade-long environmental goal was achieved with the purchase of Lockheed Martin Corporation's Potrero Valley property. These 9,000 acres will be a cornerstone of the recently adopted Multiple Species Habitat Conservation Plan, or MSHCP. The $25.5-million, below-market value purchase consisted of $12 million in state bond funds, $8 million in federal funds, and $5.5 million in local funds derived from developer fees.

Located south of Beaumont , Potrero Valley shelters the threatened California gnatcatcher, endangered least Bell 's vireo, and the highest recorded densities of the endangered Stephens' kangaroo rat. A rich mosaic of riparian forest, coastal sage scrub, chaparral, and grassland, as well as highly eroded “badlands,” the site forms a broad landscape linkage between the San Jacinto Mountains , the San Bernardino Mountains, and the San Jacinto Valley floor. The property will become part of the California Dept. of Fish and Game's increasingly impressive San Jacinto Wildlife Area, nearly doubling its size.

Historically used for sheep grazing, rocket testing by Lockheed Martin gave way to a proposal for thousands of units of sprawl development. Fortunately, the San Gorgonio Chapter of the Sierra Club, represented by attorney Mary Hudson, litigated and overturned the project's EIR. Subsequently, EHL played a lead role in advocating for purchase, including organizing a letter to corporate management signed by 90 conservation groups nation-wide. Eventually, Lockheed Martin asked The Conservation Fund to broker a deal, and then worked with exemplary cooperation and perseverance to overcome hurdles and finalize the arrangements.

A great step has been taken to preserving the Southern California ecoregion. As Riverside County Supervisor Bob Buster put it in the Los Angeles Times, “The kangaroo rats should be doing a victory dance.” EHL commends Lockheed Martin and the dozens of people whose dedication over many years made this possible.


Copyright 2004 · Endangered Habitats League
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