In this rapidly developing region, the NCCP program is truly the only hope for retaining wildlife diversity. Due to remarkable local political leadership, open space was defined as a necessary complement to other infrastructure. The NCCP for the western county anticipates a reserve including 153,000 acres of newly protected private land.
With the participation of each and every city, plus the county, and a dedicated agency created for implementation, no where else in Southern California have the benefits of the NCCP approach been so markedly clear as compared with the pre-existing status quo. The habitat plan includes a huge core area linking the Cleveland and San Bernardino National Forests along Wilson Creek. However, a wider array of acquisition funds will be needed for it to be successfully assembled. A complementary NCCP for the desert region was also adopted, though EHL only played a supportive role.
EHL participated intensively on advisory committees for all three parts of what was termed the Riverside County Integrated Project – habitat, land use, and transportation. The land use component ended in a disappointing General Plan Update when a "community-centered" pattern of growth was rejected. However, EHL successfully advocated for a system that curtails the previous piecemeal application process of the past in favor of periodic, comprehensive updates. We continue to participate in the most recent Update cycle.