California Dunes Plan Largely Ducks Challenge
By REBEKAH KEARN
SAN FRANCISCO (CN) - Environmentalists largely failed to persuade a federal judge that rare plants and animals in California are at risk under the government's administration of the Imperial Sand Dunes.
Brendan Cummings, senior counsel for Center for Biological Diversity, said in an interview that the U.S. Bureau of Land Management's plan "rolls back Clinton-era protections, harms imperiled species, diminishes air quality and destroys wilderness values."
We are disappointed that the court upheld an ill-advised and unworkable management plan for one of the most ecologically sensitive areas of California," Cummings said.
Given that the environmental rollbacks will not take effect until this fall, the Thursday ruling from U.S. District Judge Susan Illston "is by no means the last word on this issue," Cummings added.
"We are still evaluating an appeal and other legal options," he said.
Located east of the Imperial Valley in the southeastern corner of California near the border with Arizona, the Imperial Sand Dunes begin about 11 miles east of Calipatria, Calif., and stretch approximately 40 miles south toward the Mexican state of Baja California.
The dunes were formed by the windblown beach sands of Lake Cahuila, an ancient body of water that once covered most of the region. Federal officials note that the prevailing westerly and northwesterly winds bring the dunes east at about 1 foot per year.
Popularly known as Glamis, the dunes attract off-road vehicle enthusiasts, horseback riders and hikers.
To read the full article.... http://www.courthousenews.com/2014/04/07/66868.htm