Center for Biological Diversity

For Immediate Release, February 26, 2016

Contact:  April Rose Sommer, Center for Biological Diversity, (510) 844-7115,
Drew Feldmann, San Bernardino Valley Audubon Society, (909) 881-6081
Bryan Baker, San Gorgonio Chapter of the Sierra Club, (760) 780-3829

Lawsuit Challenges Massive Tapestry Development

Ill-conceived Project Would Devastate Wildlife Habitat, Overdraft Water

HESPERIA, Calif.— A coalition of public-interest groups filed a lawsuit today challenging the city of Hesperia’s approval of the sprawling Tapestry development, which would destroy more than 5,800 acres of wildlands, endangered species critical habitat, wetlands and farmland. The massive project would bring more than 16,000 housing units and 1.4 million square feet of commercial and retail space to the San Bernardino Mountains and High Desert, threatening at least two dozen protected species.

“This poorly sited and insufficiently reviewed project would plunge a dagger into the heart of one of the region’s most beautiful and important ecosystems,” said April Rose Sommer, a staff attorney with the Center for Biological Diversity. “There’s not enough water to sustain a development of this size, the greenhouse gas emissions will be staggering, and the area’s wildlife and wildlands will suffer greatly if this ill-conceived project is built.”

The lawsuit, brought by the Center for Biological Diversity, San Bernardino Valley Audubon Society and Sierra Club, challenges the project’s approval as in violation of the California Environmental Quality Act and the Subdivision Map Act. The development would increase the size of the arid town of Hesperia by more than 50 percent, adding approximately 47,500 new residents to an area already suffering from an insufficient water supply. The project will harm at least 24 protected species, including federally designated critical habitat for the critically endangered arroyo toad and southwestern willow flycatcher.

“It’s developments such as this that push rare plants and animals to the brink of extinction,” said Drew Feldmann, with the San Bernardino Valley Audubon Society.  “This area needs protection, not development.”

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 990,000 members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

The San Bernardino Valley Audubon Society is a local chapter of the National Audubon Society, with about 2,000 members dedicated to preserving the habitat in the area, not just for birds, but for other wildlife, and to maintain the quality of life in and around San Bernardino County.

The San Gorgonio Chapter of the Sierra Club is the local Inland Empire chapter of the national Sierra Club, a nonprofit organization with 732,000 members dedicated to exploring, enjoying, and protecting the wild places of the earth.

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