| FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 10, 2006
Annual Report Delayed Again for Riverside Regional Habitat Plan
Riverside, Calif. – Officials with the Riverside Conservation Authority informed the Center for Biological Diversity of yet another delay releasing its 2005 annual progress report for the Western Riverside County Multiple Species Habitat Conservation Plan.
Each March the Riverside Conservation Authority is required to produce an annual report documenting its progress towards implementing the conservation goals of the habitat plan. In March 2006, the Authority stated that the report release would be delayed until June 2006. It now says the report will be issued in July 2006.
Last year’s report for 2004 was six months late and showed that land protection was not keeping pace with the rapid spread of urban development into the county’s last natural open space areas, as required by the habitat plan.
“The continuing delay of the annual report is a real problem and raises serious questions about internal management of the habitat plan,” said Ileene Anderson ecologist with the Center for Biological Diversity. “Last year’s report showed that the Conservation Authority was not meeting its goals to conserve species or their habitats. Has this situation improved or have things gotten worse?”
The delayed release of the annual report is just one of a growing list of broken promises and problems with the habitat plan. The 2004 annual report showed that the amount of habitat being protected fell behind that lost to development. Also, the conservation authority is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars earmarked for the species plan to consider opening up more land to development, and it also eliminated an important wildlife crossing under the I-15 to benefit developers.
The Center for Biological Diversity is a non-profit conservation organization with more than 25,000 members dedicated to the protection of imperiled species and their habitats.