2 thoughts on “‘Rubber dodo’ for anti-environment US developer

  1. Deal threatens condors’ wild place

    Adam Keats

    Sunday, February 28, 2010

    Tejon Ranch, one of California’s crown jewels, is threatened by three huge development projects – new cities that would devastate one of the last great wild places in California, habitat to numerous endangered and threatened species.

    These developments would clog the already overburdened Interstate 5 with smog-spewing traffic in an area with the worst air quality in the country. And they would siphon more water from the nearly broken State Water Project, their thousands of homes forever dependent on unsustainable “paper water.”

    Unfortunately, opposition to Tejon’s plans is muted: In 2008, Tejon signed a highly publicized “conservation agreement” with five environmental groups that precludes those groups from opposing the plan.

    The Center for Biological Diversity was the sixth group at the table, working for more than two years with Tejon to protect the ranch cooperatively. We walked away when it became apparent that Tejon would never give up on its plan to destroy thousands of acres of designated critical habitat for the endangered California condor. We could not sign off on a plan that would doom one of the world’s most iconic species, still teetering on the brink of extinction.

    And we could not sign off on the severe environmental consequences of the plan, consequences that far outweigh the weak protections for the rest of the ranch provided by the deal.

    Tejon claims that only 30,000 acres of the ranch would be developed, but this figure omits the 28,000 acres of greenways and open spaces inside the developments that make them economically viable yet provide little to no wildlife habitat. Most of the remaining 212,000 acres would be protected only through conservation easements that would allow Tejon to continue its current activities – mining, oil and gas drilling, power plants, hunting and grazing – while severely limiting public access. Worse, 62,000 acres of these easements would have to be purchased from Tejon at market rates or be opened up for development.

    The groups that signed the deal feared that without it, the ranch would be subdivided and developed piecemeal. But in our analysis, the only way Tejon’s Wall Street owners can realize their desired profits is through large-scale, centralized development like that laid out in the deal. The threat of pell-mell development of Tejon Ranch is simply a red herring.

    Most of the “protected” acres are too steep, too rugged and too distant to ever be developed anyway. The fight is really over the 58,000 acres that Tejon is being allowed to develop and the 62,000 acres for which it might “generously” sell easements.

    In this, Tejon would be getting virtually everything it wants.

    The Center for Biological Diversity and our allies recently filed suit to ensure that Tejon’s plans do not succeed. Our children and grandchildren deserve to be able to experience one of the last great places in California and to witness condors soaring in the wild.

    For more information, go to http://www.savetejonranch.org.

    Adam Keats directs the Center for Biological Diversity’s Urban Wildlands Program. Adam Keats is the director of the Center for Biological Diversity’s Urban Wildlands Program.

    This article appeared on page E – 6 of the San Francisco Chronicle

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/02/2/IN501C36O0.DTL#ixzz0gxLv8CaB

  2. Pingback: US Senator Inhofe wins Rubber Dodo Award | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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