Saving one of California’s greatest wildflower habitats
When naturalist John Muir crossed California, he passed through vast fields of wildflowers noting that his feet “would press a hundred flowers at every step.” Places like this still exist, and CNPS is working to protect one of California’s last.
On Dec. 11, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors will decide whether or not to approve a new city of 55,000 people in the far northwestern corner of the county. The proposed project is located on Tejon Ranch, which sits at the confluence of five eco-regions. Here, where coastal habitats meet the Mojave Desert and the Tehachapi Mountains, lies one of California’s most biodiverse landscapes. Tejon Ranch is home to 911 native plant taxa. That’s 14 percent of California’s native flora of California occurring on just 0.25 percent of the state’s acreage!
Bad for the environment, bad for people
CNPS, the Center for Biological Diversity, and thousands of other Californians are working hard to stop the project, which planning experts and scientists are calling a dangerous boondoggle.
- The proposed Centennial Specific Plan is sited on a hot, windy grassland prone to wildfire. CAL FIRE has designated the location a high fire hazard severity zone.
- Neighborhoods would be built on top of two major fault lines, including the San Andreas.
- Public transit will not accompany the project, leaving future residents with long commutes.
- Experts estimate an additional 75,000 car trips per day.
- Californians will have to pay a $800 million price tag to widen Hwy 138, which will be needed to accommodate traffic associated with the project.
- Centennial will destroy more than 5,000 acres of high quality habitat for native grasses and wildflowers.
The Los Angeles County Planning Commission recently OK’d the 19,000-home Centennial project on Tejon Ranch. Developing in the wildland urban interface, where homes and offices abut foothills, forests or other open land, increases both the risk of starting fires and the number of people and structures in harm’s way when there is a fire. – LA Times Editorial Board
CNPS & Partner Comment Letters
Group Sign-On | CNPS, Center for Biological Diversity, Great Old Broads for Wilderness, Tri-County Watchdogs, Wild Heritage Planners, American Indian Movement, Defenders of Wildlife, Los Angeles Audubon Society, Investing in Place, SoCal 350 Climate Action, Center on Race Poverty & the Environment, Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice, and Los Angeles Walks
Community Group Comments
Additional Expert Comment
LA County Board of Supervisors are expected to vote on December 11. They need to hear from you now. Call or email your supervisors and ask them to vote NO on Centennial!
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