Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Red-legged Frog v. Development

(Guest posting by Chris Montague-Breakwell)

The endangered California red-legged frog’s proposed critical habitat has been slashed by more than 80 percent. A lawsuit by a group of developers brought a court order reducing the frog’s designated critical habitat. Under the new proposal, large areas along the Half Moon Bay and Montara coastlines will lose Federal protection, though they still will remain protected under the Coastal Act. The California Coastal Commission promises to keep the same protection on the coastside as when it was designated a critical habitat, however, areas not protected by the Coastal Act will have no such guarantees. Further, the Commission expressed reservations about developers’ influence over the critical habitat decision.

The general counsel of the Home Builders Association of Northern California, a party in the suit, claims the critical habitat provision in the Endangered Species Act is being misused by environmentalist to stop development and hinder economic growth. Counter to his claims, the Fish and Wildlife services released a study that predicted only 0.9 percent of housing units projected to be built in the next 20 years would be prevented by the critical habitat designated for the red-legged frog.

Coverage has been sparse, though this type of issue must be not be forgotten or ignored. The Half Moon Bay Review has a good summary here.

The Endangered Species Act itself faces a threat to its future, summarized here.


Thursday, November 17, 2005

Come on Stanford

Follow this link to a commercial that played on television during the Stanford/USC football game several weeks ago:

Come on Stanford

I think it helps show the depth of concern over Stanford's attempt to widen the Alpine Road sidewalk instead of putting in a new trail. While we at CGF were aware of the commercial, we didn't finance or produce it. A lot of people are upset at what Stanford is doing.


Wednesday, November 9, 2005

More allies for the environment

The New York Times had an interesting article on growing environmentalism among Christian evangelists. They're focusing recently on global warming, which is very related to our mission of land use protection, and on protecting the Endangered Species Act from attack, also a concern of ours.

Religious issues and controversies are very far away from our area of expertise, but if people's value system leads them to support the environment, we're glad to hear it.