Judge upholds Ventura County action to protect wildlife corridors

A decide has upheld Ventura County’s groundbreaking conservation measures for the wildlife motion After a three-year court docket battle.

In preliminary rulings issued final week, Ventura County Supreme Court docket Justice Mark Burrell rejected requests from enterprise organizations to dam zoning legislation and dismissed all of their authorized claims.

The Ventura County Labor, Agriculture and Enterprise Coalition and the California Constructing and Industrial Affiliation filed a separate lawsuit in April 2019, a month after the county board of supervisors accredited the land use restrictions.

The ordinance affecting 163,000 acres limits fencing, night time lighting, constructing and removing of vegetation that impede the motion of mountain lions and different wildlife between the Santa Monica Mountains and Los Padres Nationwide Forest of their seek for meals, shelter and mates.

Earlier protection:

Enterprise teams argued that the council erred on authorized, constitutional and procedural causes. focus Particularly with regard to the truth that supervisors accredited zoning with out environmental assessment, which they assert was required by the California Environmental High quality Act.

Borrell agreed with the moderators’ resolution that the measure was exempt from the legislation. The decide stated she qualifies underneath “widespread sense.” Exclude initiatives that can’t be thought-about dangerous to the setting. The decree was additionally discovered exempt underneath Exceptions to environmental legislation from laws defending pure sources and the setting.

Borrell stated the county’s resolution that the measure would profit the setting was primarily based on “substantial proof” exhibiting that the restrictions would assist animal and plant species survive.

Borrell’s provisional provisions turn into closing on Subsequent weekend except prosecutors file objections. If the decide doesn’t change his thoughts after listening to these objections, plaintiffs can enchantment to the next court docket.

Louise Lampara, the group’s govt director, stated Agricultural Alliance legal professionals are reviewing the preliminary resolution and assessing potential subsequent steps. The Authorized Counsel of the Development Affiliation didn’t reply E mail searching for remark.

Linda Parks, the county supervisor, who led the wildlife proposal, stated she was happy with the court docket’s resolution.

If the ruling continues, he won’t solely keep the Ventura County legislation that protects the Wildlife HallAnd the but additionally Permit different cities and counties to make use of it as a mannequin for shielding wildlife of their areas, she stated.

Supervisors issued Ordinance 3-2 after a heated listening to that drew tons of of individuals to the county authorities heart in Ventura.

Most of them have been offended farmers and ranchers who opposed the additional regulation of personal land. Conservation teams, scientists, and different proponents have endorsed it as a method to assist wildlife survive within the densely populated province.

4 teams have submitted pleadings within the court docket case in help of the county legislation: Los Padres ForestWatch, the Heart for Biodiversity, Wildlife Defenders, and the Nationwide Park Conservation Society.

The wildlife scale is the primary of its variety in California, stated Jeff Kuiper, govt director of the Forestry Group.

“Defending wildlife corridors is important to their survival,” Kuiper stated in a ready assertion on Wednesday.

Kathleen Wilson covers Ventura County authorities, together with the county well being system, coverage and social companies. You possibly can entry it at kathleen.wilson@vcstar.com or 805-437-0271.