Conservation Update, 2011 Jan | Hobo-Aliso Ridge, OCTA, Landscape Conservation Workshops

HOBO-ALISO RIDGE SAVED!
On Dec. 16, the California Coastal Commission approved an agreement with the landowner of three parcels, totaling 75 acres, on Hobo-Aliso Ridge that opens the way for native habitat to be restored and preserved on those parcels.

The agreement is a result of a five-year focused campaign by the Sierra Club Hobo Aliso Task Force to bring Coastal Commission enforcement action against a history of unpermitted development on the parcels. The agreement requires the landowner to 1) remove the unpermitted development, 2) remove non-native vegetation, 3) offer to dedicate open space conservation and public access easement over the entirety of the property, 4) transfer the entirety of the property to the City of Laguna Beach subject to OTD/conservation easement, and 5) grant to the Coastal Conservancy a “Preemptive Purchase Right Agreement” over an additional 80 acres of property that abuts the three parcels.
The agreement adds an important piece to southern OC’s reserved lands. This is truly a great victory for OC‘s natural environment! A rousing hurrah! to the Hobo Aliso Task Force for its long and dedicated, and successful, campaign!
(Hobo-Aliso Ridge is home to several rare plant spp. and the rare vegetation types they form; OCCNPS has monitored the ridge since the mid-1980s.)

TRANSPORTATION VS. ENVIRONMENT, AGAIN!
The Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) will present its Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) at the January 26 meeting of Friends of Harbors, Beaches and Parks,  7 PM, at Irvine Ranch Water District, 15600 Sand Canyon, Irvine. The LRTP includes future plans for transits, streets and roads, and freeways. Among the proposed projects:

  •     the Irvine-Corona Expressway (aka the tunnel through the Forest),
  •     the southern extension of the 241 toll road through San Onofre,
  •     the northern extension of the 241 toll road through Chino Hills State Park.

(And you thought these projects had been defeated!) OCCNPS, and the rest of OC’s environmental community, have long opposed these three projects, which would be very disruptive of three of the largest chunks of OC’s remaining wildlands.
ACTION NOW: Tell OCTA that you oppose these projects.
OCTA is accepting comments on the LRTP until Jan. 14, and will accept until early February comments that are based on the presentation at the Jan. 26 meeting. Learn more about the overall LRTP, and submit your comments, at octa.net/lrtp_overview.aspx.

LANDSCAPE CONSERVATION WORKSHOPS  
Two workshops are being held to identify guiding principles for the southern region of the California Landscape Conservation Cooperative (CA LCC):
San Diego, January 25th, Island Palms Hotel and Marina.
Los Angeles, January 26th, La Kretz Center, UCLA.
Contact Debra_Schlafmann@fws.gov for details on the workshops. If you would like to carpool to the San Diego workshop, contact Celia at celia552@cox.net.
CA LCC is a management-science partnership among agencies, non-governmental organizations and other entities that informs on-the-ground conservation actions addressing climate change and other stressors within and across landscapes. See CaliforniaLCC.org/.

— Celia Kutcher, Conservation Chair

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