U.S. judge acts to help endangered species in California
By Louis Sahagun
A U.S. District Court judge Tuesday ordered three federal agencies to "take all necessary measures" to better protect 40 endangered species in four national forests in Southern California.
Judge Marilyn Hall Patel's action followed a 2009 federal court decision that management plans for the Angeles, Cleveland, Los Padres and San Bernardino national forests failed to ensure that human activities not jeopardize already-imperiled plants and animals.
Patel gave the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Marine Fisheries Service and the U.S. Forest Service six months to develop and implement long-term safeguards for the 40 species, which include the California condor and California gnatcatcher. The forest managers will have to develop a comprehensive program to reduce activities threatening the survival of the few steelhead trout left in the Los Padres and Cleveland national forests.
In addition, Patel closed the Cherry Canyon area of the Los Padres National Forest to recreational shooting.
Kim Delfino, California program director for the Defenders of Wildlife, said, "The lesson of this ruling is this: These federal agencies can no longer get by simply saying, 'Nothing is going to happen to these species — trust us.'"
Copyright © 2011, Los Angeles Times
This article originally appeared here.
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