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Find out more from the Center for Biological Diversity:
San Bernardino kangaroo rat
San Bernardino Sun, August 28, 2011

Species Aren't to Blame
Ileene Anderson

Re: "Endangered species stalling Rialto development, Baca says," Aug. 9.

Rep. Joe Baca is out of line with his demand that the San Bernardino kangaroo rat and Southwestern willow flycatcher be removed from the list of endangered species in order to save the El Rancho Verde Golf Course.

The golf course is an economic

failure due to lack of golfers, not endangered species, and Baca cannot produce evidence that shows otherwise.

Ron Pharris laments that he cannot support the golf course while fighting legal battlers over the species. But the simple solution: finding more people to pay to play golf, seems beyond both Pharris and Baca.

In fact, the kangaroo rat and willow flycatcher both have an essential role in Southern California ecosystems.

The kangaroo rat is highly adapted to the Inland Empire's alluvial fans and its natural flood cycles, requiring only the moisture in their food to survive and helping to revegetate the channels after flood events. Willow flycatchers depend on streamside forests and the willow trees found there, and are sensitive indicators of healthy forests and streams.

Without these two species, Southern California's water supplies would become even more compromised, not only for birds and rodents, but humans as well.

Rather than attacking two incredible desert-dependent species so he can play golf, Joe Baca should take a look at a more sustainable model for water management in Southern California.

Copyright ©2011 Los Angeles Newspaper Group

Photo © Paul S. Hamilton