EHL acted to defend the critically endangered San Bernardino kangaroo rat (SBKR) and the Western Riverside Multiple Species Habitat Conservation Plan (MSHCP).

EHL and the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) filed suit against the Army Corps of engineers over failing to release water from Seven Oaks Dam along the Santa Ana River to maintain habitat for the endangered San Bernardino kangaroo rat (SBKR). The suit built upon extensive legal research conducted by EHL. The litigation has been on hold pending the outcome of settlement discussions. EHL is actively working with two water district partners on studies to see if there are ways to restore flows. If so, the litigation could resolve the litigation. The third phase of hydrologic studies is underway. EHL is represented by CBD.

In a related matter, EHL joined CBD in filing a notice of intent to sue the Corps over allowing unpermitted silty discharges from the dam to damage spawning grounds of the endangered Santa Ana River suckerfish. 

We also continue to monitor the progress of a draft “Biological Opinion” from the US Fish and Wildlife Service that would sentence the SBKR to extinction.

In Riverside County, in order to protect the Riverside multiple species plan. EHL and other groups filed CEQA litigation against the City of Temecula over the Altair project. In addition to maintaining mountain lion movement, a critical objective is to reverse a pernicious methodology used by the City and the applicant to determine project consistency with the Plan. Use of this method, which ignores the plan’s criteria for proper location and connectivity, would lead to a systemic failure to assemble the entire reserve system. In March, a judge ruled against the City on its harmful methodology and other issues. EHL is represented by the Law Offices of Abigail Smith. The Center for Biological Diversity led parallel litigation.