The Southwest is growing faster than any other part of the United States. Center lawyers and biologists reduce the impact of population growth and urban sprawl on endangered species and their habitats in key fast-growing regions of the Southwest and California.
ABOUT OUR URBAN WILDLANDS WORK
The Center’s urban wildlands program targets private land development in areas where the pressure on endangered species from unchecked urban growth is most severe — tearing up habitat, creating pollution, and driving extinctions. We bring our expertise in California land-use law and biology to bear on developments that threaten rare and unique plants and animals in places whose biological and cultural value is high — from vernal pools in San Diego to the pine-covered mountains surrounding Los Angeles, and from the San Francisco Bay-Delta to the southern Arizona desert.
HOW WE DO IT
• Scientific research
• Listing of imperiled species for state and federal protection
• Participation in review process for developments, including:
• Strategic lawsuits
• Building coalitions to advocate for wildlife
• Creative media
Our Urban Wildlands Program:
• Revolutionized urban planning in southeastern Arizona with the Endangered Species Act listing of the cactus ferruginous pygmy owl, which led Tucson’s Pima County to develop the groundbreaking Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan.
• Permanently protected 1,200 acres of habitat critical to the San Bernardino kangaroo rat and coastal California gnatcatcher in a 2003 settlement with the Lytle Creek North Project in San Bernardino County.
• Negotiated the 2003 set-aside, by the Oak Valley development project, of key land for a vital wildlife corridor connecting San Timoteo Canyon to the San Bernardino Mountains — along with a 10-percent reduction in the number of homes to be built, preservation of all project wetlands, and creation of a 32-acre wildlife refuge.
• Permanently protected key parts of the Wind Wolves Preserve in California’s Tehachapi Mountains, a nature-education haven for underserved urban children, through a settlement whereby Occidental Petroleum ceded its mineral rights to the preserve’s most significant ecological areas.
• Secured a settlement with developers in San Jose’s Silver Creek, based on our lawsuit filed in 1999, to save the rare Bay checkerspot butterfly by establishing a butterfly preserve.
+ URBAN WILDLANDS CAMPAIGNS
Contact the Urban Wildlands Program.
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