Judge upholds Ventura County action to protect wildlife corridors

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

In preliminary rulings issued final week, Ventura County Supreme Courtroom 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 elimination 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 evaluate, which they assert was required by the California Environmental High quality Act.

Borrell agreed with the moderators’ determination that the measure was exempt from the legislation. The choose mentioned she qualifies underneath “widespread sense.” Exclude tasks that can not be thought-about dangerous to the setting. The decree was additionally discovered exempt underneath Exceptions to environmental legislation from laws defending pure assets and the setting.

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

Borrell’s provisional provisions turn out to be closing on Subsequent weekend until prosecutors file objections. If the choose doesn’t change his thoughts after listening to these objections, plaintiffs can enchantment to the next courtroom.

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

Linda Parks, the county supervisor, who led the wildlife proposal, mentioned she was happy with the courtroom’s determination.

If the ruling continues, he is not going to solely keep the Ventura County legislation that protects the Wildlife HallAnd the but additionally Enable different cities and counties to make use of it as a mannequin for shielding wildlife of their areas, she mentioned.

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

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

4 teams have submitted pleadings within the courtroom case in assist of the county legislation: Los Padres ForestWatch, the Middle for Biodiversity, Wildlife Defenders, and the Nationwide Park Conservation Society.

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

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

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