The First District Court of Appeal has upheld Calfire's Nonindustrial Timber Management Plan to permit logging of a 17-acre parcel of land in Mendocino County. The First District also rejected the Center for Biological Diversity's claim that the California Department of Fish & Wildlife can be sued under the California Environmental Quality Act over its role in the approval of the NMTP. >>read more
Sacramento County may not rank among California's great wine countries, but it does appreciate the value of aging. Eight years in the making, the land use element of the county's new general plan update is on the verge of approval by the county Board of Supervisors. In contrast with the contentiousness that has surrounded many other recently updated county general plans, this one—save some concerns about the protection of wild habitats—seems to be pleasing just about everyone.
Of all the ways that California is attempting to reduce its carbon footprint, perhaps none will have a more dramatic, or immediate, impact than that of solar power.
Up to 200 solar energy projects, are seeking, or have received, approval to be developed in California. Most notable of these are nine large-scale projects in the state's own Empty Quarter ï¿½ the Mojave and Colorado -- where state and federal officials are on the verge of inking approvals on more than 4,100 megawatts worth of solar thermal farms. Collectively, they represent nearly ten times the amount of solar capacity installed in 2009, and enough energy to power roughly 2 million homes.
Typically it's the developers who worry about cap rates and the environmentalists who worry about preserving ecologically sensitive lands. That tradition could be upset, however, if a recent proposal to restrict the investments of nonprofit land trusts is approved by the California Department of Fish and Game.
The California Endangered Species Act allows for developers and other landowners to set aside sensitive lands and receive incidental take permits in exchange. These lands are typically preserved in perpetuity, using the investment income from endowments that the landowner sets aside.
Like any visionary railroad baron, Leland Stanford hung on to some of the land at the end of the line -- in his case, the original Transcontinental Railroad. Stanford might not have imagined, however, that the ultimate fate of much of his land would depend not on the iron horse but instead on frogs, salamanders, and trout.
In the century since the Governor Stanford first deeded land to the university that bears his name, several of its native species have qualified for protection under the federal Endangered Species Act, thus restricting Stanford University's ability to develop or otherwise use the land to fulfill its academic mission. The Stanford Habitat Conservation Plan is intended to ensure the land's long-term protection even as the university grows.
Two environmental groups that sued the City of Rancho Cucamonga and developers to gain ownership of 86 acres of habitat mitigation land have failed to persuade an appellate court to reverse a devastating lower court ruling.The Fourth District Court of Appeal rejected the argument put forth by The Habitat Trust for Wildlife and Spirit of the Sage Council that the city, developers and San Bernardino County had collaborated to deny the environmental groups' right to own the property.
San Diego County has been a national leader in habitat conservation planning, setting aside areas where rare and endangered species can thrive in the midst of ongoing development. Now, 12 years after a plan for the southern, inland part of the county was adopted, a second habitat plan has been released, this time for the inland North County.
Agreements approved by Riverside County and cities in the Coachella Valley in support of a multiple species habitat conservation plan did not violate a political corruption law, according to the state attorney general's office.
The majority of California's unique plant species could lose most of their geographic ranges during the next 100 years because of climate change, according to a newly released report by biologists at several universities. The finding could have dramatic implications for land management in California, especially in areas with local or regional habitat plans.
Restoration of Alameda Creek in the East Bay reached a milestone this spring when what appeared to be hundreds of steelhead trout hatched in a tributary to the creek. If the young fish are indeed steelhead — experts should know soon — they would mark the first natural reproduction of steelhead in the creek since the 1960s.