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Month: July 2008

July 31, 2008

Starving the Beast: The Coastal Commission's Shrinking Budget

As reported in this Capitol Weekly story, the Coastal Commission is facing a major budget cut of 10% this year.  Projections are that the Commission will have to lay off 19 to 25 members of its 125-member staff.  The Commission's budget expert, Susan Hansch, says that the budget cuts "will devastate the Coastal Commission and ...

July 30, 2008

Pacific Legal Foundation launches legal challenge to polar bear listing

Pacific Legal Foundation has filed a 60-day notice with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service for violations stemming from FWS's decision to list the polar bear as a threatened species.  The notice was filed on behalf for the California Cattlemen's Association, the California Forestry Association, and the Congress of Racial Equa ...

July 29, 2008

Mt. Holyoke Homes: Fighting Back against Coastal Commission Permitting Delays

Perhaps highlighting the potency of our amicus brief in Mt. Holyoke Homes v. California Coastal Commission, the Coastal Commission filed its response.  Mt. Holyoke concerns a home owner's attempt to defend a coastal development permit (approved by the City of Los Angeles) against a disgruntled neighbor's appeal. Although the facts and iss ...

July 29, 2008

More on Huell Howser's Puff Piece About Eminent Domain

Larry Gilbert spoke to PBS TV host Huell Howser about why he would produce a 14 part miniseries about the supposed successes of redevelopment in California without any discussion of its failures and its costs. When I asked him to include redevelopment stories that were not successful, or to mention that they are not all ...

July 29, 2008

lawsuit/60-day notice filed over Navy's operations in Puget Sound

Yesterday the Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility and the Wild Fish Conservancy filed a complaint against the United States Navy.  The lawsuit alleges that the Navy has failed to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act because Explosive Ordnance Disposal training operations in Puget Sound are being conducted without ha ...

July 28, 2008

Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen's Associations v. Gutierrez

Earlier this year, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California held that the National Marine Fisheries Service's 2004 Biological Opinion on the effects of California and federal water projects on endangered and threatened salmon was arbitrary and capricious.  As result, NMFS must complete a new BiOp, but the question re ...

July 28, 2008

Wyoming congressional candidates discuss the Endangered Species Act

Yesterday's Wyoming Tribune-Eagle contains an article devoted to how the candidates for Wyoming's lone house seat feel about the ESA.  Apparently, all agree that change is needed: "The sad thing about politics in America in 2008 is that we got good at politics and completely lost sight of policy," said Cynthia Lummis, a Repu ...

July 25, 2008

more wolf news

Today's Casper Star-Tribune contains a nice summary of the gray wolf injunction, including reaction to the decision from Ed Bangs, the federal gray wolf recovery coordinator.  In the article, Bangs asserts that one of the central assumptions of the worst-case scenario for the wolf that led in part to the decision is "patently impossi ...

July 25, 2008

Prop. 99 Has Proven to Be A Sham

Former California State Senator Jim Nielsen has an important article on eminent domain in California after the passage of the League of Cities' Prop. 99: Not even two months have passed since Prop. 99 became law and public agencies are already exploiting ways to circumvent the voter approved ballot measure that the California League of ...

July 24, 2008

news on the Northern Rocky Mountain gray wolf injunction

For those interested, here are some links pertaining to the recent federal court decision that reinstated Endangered Species Act protections for the Northern Rocky Mountain gray wolf population: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service news release (originally pointed out by Jonathan Adler) "Judge sends wolves back to feds," Sublette Examiner " ...