In its 20 years of existence, EHL has played an important role in protecting habitat in Southern California. Given the challenges of a pro-development political climate, we believe our strategy of working through the cooperative NCCP framework was the right one.
This strategy aligned the local government-controlled land use process with achieving biological objectives, and attracted large streams of local, state, and federal acquisition funds. We are on the way to an interconnected reserve system over much of the region, which is increasingly a source of pride for elected officials and the general public. EHL has also made significant contributions to improved General Plans in Riverside and San Diego Counties, although the failure of state-level growth management efforts has been a disappointment. In recent years, EHL has begun to work on the link between land use patterns and climate change. While threats never end, EHL’s proactive approach has helped put conservation in Southern California in a much stronger position than it was 20 years ago.