Access Issues

Endangered listing deemed unwarranted for flat-tailed horned lizard

At the California Fish and Game Commission meeting in San Diego an agenda item for consideration was the Petition to consider listing the flat-tailed horned lizard as a California Endangered Species.  The potential listing has been in review for almost two years and a staff report was issued that recommended that list of the FTHL is not warranted.

Today the Commission received a status review and public comments concerning the proposed Petition to list and voted to accept staff recommendation that listing of the FTHL is not warranted.  Next step is to produce a “finding of fact” document that will be presented at the next Commission for formal adoption of the finding.

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Appeal denied: More good news on Imperial Sand Dunes decision

We received a favorable decision last August from a three (3) Judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirming the trial court's earlier decision to uphold the Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) Record of Decision to reopen most of the area that had been closed to OHV activity by an earlier lawsuit brought by the Center For Biological Diversity (CBD). 
 
The CBD then filed a Petition for Certiorari (review) of that decision. I have now received a notice that denied that petition for a rehearing, en banc, and no judge has requested a vote on whether to rehear the matter en banc.  That ends that matter as far as the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals is concerned.

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Northern Spotted Owl listed as a Threatened Species under the California Endangered Species Act

Northern Spotted Owl

On August 25, 2016, the California Fish and Game Commission (Commission) voted unanimously to list the northern spotted owl (Strix occidentalis caurina) as a threatened species under the California Endangered Species Act. The owl is already listed as a threatened species under the Federal Endangered Species Act. The Commission’s action increased protections for the species by allowing for state and citizen enforcement actions through the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and the state courts. 

In California, the northern spotted owl’s range extends south along the coast from the Oregon border to Marin County, and across the Klamath Mountains to the Cascade Range near the Pit River. According to the species status review prepared by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, the primary threats to the continued existence of the northern spotted owl are the rapid expansion of the barred owl into the range of the spotted owl and a rapid and accelerating decline in northern spotted owl population size and habitat from wildfire and timber harvest. Additional threats include potential increases in the frequency and severity of wildfires, widespread occurrence of marijuana cultivation on public and private lands, changes in weather patterns, effects of climate change on wildfire patterns and forest vegetation distribution, and the spread of the non-native fungus-like pathogens.

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Critical habitat designated for three Sierra amphibians

Designation helps recover threatened frogs & streamline federal land activities permit process

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) has designated critical habitat for three Sierra amphibian species – Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frog, mountain yellow-legged frog, and Yosemite toad. All three were listed in 2014 as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. Designation of critical habitat for these species is designed to assist with their recovery. Most of the critical habitat for the frogs is on federal land, with significant overlap lands designated for each species.

The total acreage the Service identified as required to recover the three species is 1,812,164 acres. Based on more than 800 comments received during the two comment periods and numerous public meetings, the total area designated was reduced by 23,229 acres.

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State Parks releases study on proposed Oceano Dunes dust control measures

Reprinted from The Tribune, August 16, 2016

Public meeting will be August 23 in Grover Beach

A draft environmental impact report covering those dust control activities at Oceano Dunes is available for public review and comment.

State Parks published the document Aug.1, and the public has until Sept.16 to comment on it. Additionally, there will be a public meeting to discuss and comment on the EIR at 6p.m. Aug.23 at the Ramona Garden Park Center in Grover Beach.

High particulate levels have been linked to asthma and other lung problems as well as to cardiovascular disease.

State Parks is proposing a variety of measures over five years to control the amount of dust that blows from the park onto the Nipomo Mesa, where state standards for particulate matter were exceeded 62days in 2015 as a result of blowing dust from the park’s off-highway riding area.

 

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Los Padres NF announces closures on Santa Lucia District

US Forest Service logo

Rockfront Off-Highway Vehicle Area is affected

GOLETA, CA, June 6, 2016…Los Padres National Forest officials today announced the closure of the Rockfront Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) Area due to concerns related to dead and dying hazardous trees that pose a safety risk to visitors. The temporary closure is effective immediately.

This temporary closure includes Baja, Buck Springs and Paradise campgrounds, Rockfront OHV Staging Area, as well as the following trails: Upper 35 Canyon, Paradise, Branch Creek, Big Rocks, Jack Springs, Twin Rocks, Shaw Ridge, Logan Ridge, and Los Machos. These areas will remain closed until the public safety risk is mitigated by cutting the hazardous trees.

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Cal4Wheel meets with CA State Parks Director Lisa Mangat

Today Cal4Wheel met with California State Parks Director Lisa Mangat and Deputy Director Maria Mowery.  We wish to thank them for the opportunity to meet and listen to issues of concern to Cal4Wheel members.

Cal4Wheel provided a briefing paper outlining our points of concern that was used as the basis of the discussion.  Cal4 is calling for a permanent Deputy Director and a full complement of administration and staff to manage the nationally recognized OHMVR Program.

The discussion focused on the importance of the OHMVR Grants and Cooperative Agreements component.  Within that framework, while the 9 State Vehicle Recreation Areas are an important part, the partnership with federal partners is the main beneficiary of the OHMVR Grants program.

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