EHL was quoted in the media on endangered species issues in San Bernardino, on tribal land transfers and general plan litigation in San Diego, and on property acquisitions in Riverside.
The San Diego Union-Tribune covered the environmental aspects of plans to transfer land into the Sycuan tribal reservation (Sycuan Tribe Scales Back Expansion Plans,” Sept 25, 2011). EHL’s position was referenced in regard to the idea of selling a portion of the land to a conservancy for preservation: In a letter this week to the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs, Dan Silver, with Endangered Habitats League, praised the conservancy idea, along with related measures in Sycuan’s application. He said he hopes it can serve as a model for other tribes looking to expand into environmentally sensitive lands.
For an article in the San Bernardino Sun EHL provided a “bigger picture” overview of the controversy over protecting the rare habitats of Lytle Creek Wash near Rialto from a proposed housing development. While the article focused on a neighboring golf course owned by the same developer (“El Rancho Verde Golf Club closes despite effort to save historic property,” Oct 12, 2011), it also covered the court ruling which, due to EHL’s litigation, had invalidated the EIR for the development project. “We would like to work with the city of Rialto to rethink this so that the economic development is compatible with the beauty and natural heritage of the region,” said Dan Silver, executive director of the Endangered Habitats League.
The Californian followed the progress of a major land purchase benefiting the Multiple Species Habitat Conservation Plan, that of Anheuser-Busch’s 964-acre Warm Springs Ranch near Murietta. On Dec 14, 2011 (“RCTC pledges $24 million for habitat conservation”) the paper covered a key funding decision and turned to EHL for comment: In a telephone interview later, Dan Silver, executive director of the Endangered Habitats League, said it is "absolutely true" the plan could unravel without the French Valley purchase. “Core 2 has unique biological features,” Silver said. “If you don't get Core 2 right, you don't get the plan right.” He said it is one of few habitats in western Riverside County that has low elevation and is influenced by air blowing in from the coast. Silver said it is important habitat for the Quino checkerspot butterfly and coastal California gnatcatcher.
Regarding the final sale (“Conservation authority buys Anheuser-Busch ranch,” Jan 3, 2012), EHL shared this perspective with the Californian and its readers: Dan Silver, executive director of the Endangered Habitats League and a member of the panel that hashed out details of the habitat conservation plan a decade ago, called the deal "an extremely important acquisition." Silver said the ranch has high-quality habitat.
"It's a large contiguous block of land, whereas most of the western county is extensively subdivided into estate lots," he said. "It's only here because of the unique circumstance of the brewing company raising the Clydesdales there. Otherwise, this property would have been developed a long time ago." Besides the wildlife, the purchase will provide a benefit for the human residents of Southwest County, Silver said. "It'll be great open space for the surrounding populated areas," he said.
The North County Times covered the filing of litigation against the new San Diego County General Plan by Rancho Guejito (“Owners of Rancho Guejito sue SD County,” Sept 16, 2011). Rancho Guejito is a 22,000-acre property near Escondido with great natural and historic values. EHL was quoted on the matter: “Unless they want something as a result of this lawsuit to leverage a shift (in zoning) to a major urban use, then I don't really know what they're trying to get at,” said Dan Silver, executive director of the Los Angeles-based Endangered Habitats League. [Ranch chief operating officer Hank] Rupp dismissed the idea the corporation was trying to leverage anything, saying Silver was “purely speculating.” He repeated Friday that Rancho Guejito “is not for sale.” Silver has worked alongside county leaders, including North County Supervisor Bill Horn, to raise taxpayer money to purchase and preserve Rancho Guejito.
When the County of San Diego considered purchasing land to add to the Multiple Species Conservation Plan preserve, the North County Times reported EHL’s perspective among other viewpoints (“County eyes addition to Poway-area preserve,” Sept 13, 2011): Dan Silver, executive director of the Los Angeles-based Endangered Habitats League, said San Diego County is a conservation leader among governments in the region and state. “San Diego County is the ONLY local government that uses its General Fund to directly acquire land from willing sellers,” Silver wrote in an email on Tuesday. “These local funds play a critical role in leveraging state and federal (conservation) funds.”