The Regional Conservation Investment Strategy (RCIS) is back on track. Conservation efforts for the San Bernardino kangaroo rat continue.

EHL co-chairs a County stakeholder group tasked with putting together a conservation program. It is using the state RCIS program, which identifies priority lands and is voluntary in nature. At the last minute, the Building Industry Association reversed its long-standing support. Fortunately, the Dept. of Fish and Wildlife wrote to elected officials pointing out the benefits of the program, such as in addressing Joshua tree issues as this iconic species enters the regulatory arena. The draft plan has now been submitted to the state for completeness review, a precursor to public review. EHL and the Nature Conservancy met with decision-makers and made the case for the program.

Otherwise, litigation by EHL and the Center for Biological Diversity against the operations of Seven Oaks Dam along the upper Santa Ana River has entered a mediation phase. We seek benefits for the endangered San Bernardino kangaroo rat and other species dependent upon floodplain habitat.