Artwork promotes endangered species awareness

The “SAVES Club” is a student run organization, that was established at Valencia High School, Valencia CA in 2013. It’s purpose is to work in conjunction with local, regional, and world-wide non-profit organizations, as well as individuals and business leaders to aid in the rescue, conservation, and preservation of endangered wildlife species. The members of this organization strive to provide monetary and other resources to selected organizations to aid in their conservation efforts.

Their main focus for the 2013-2014 school year was to fundraise for and contribute volunteer hours to the Gibbon Conservation Center located approximately 4 miles from Valencia High School, in Santa Clarita, CA. For more information on the Center and their conservation efforts, you can visit them online at: http://www.gibboncenter.org.

They are also working on an action plan to locally to raise awareness of the plight of 3 endangered species that exist in their local valley: the unarmored threespine stickleback fish, the least bell’s vireo bird, and the arroyo toad.

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  • Lawsuit Fights to Save River, Wildlife from Sprawling Newhall Ranch Project (independent.com)
    A group of public-interest organizations sued the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is in federal court today over the agencies’ approval of permits for the sprawling Newhall Ranch development. The development is one of the largest residential projects ever approved in California and would transform more than 2,000 acres along the Santa Clara River from rugged open space and agricultural land into a sprawling new suburban city.“These federal permits pave the way for the destruction of the Santa Clara River, one of the most endangered rivers in America, by bringing massive development within the river’s floodplain and along its tributaries,” said John Buse, a senior attorney with the Center for Biological Diversity. “It’s unconscionable that the federal agencies charged with protecting the river have permitted the destruction of its floodplain and tributaries on a scale that would have been unthinkable in the 1950s, much less today.”
  • Newhall Ranch project faces new hurdles with environmentalists’ suit (latimes.com)
    The government permit authorizes the developer, Newhall Land and Farming Co., to fill in and alter more than 82 acres of flood plain and tributaries at the site 35 miles north of Los Angeles. The project would be built in phases over 20 to 30 years, ultimately covering 2,587 acres with 19,812 residential units and about 51/2 million square feet of commercial space.
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    “We’re opposed to this project because it would plunk a new city down in the last undeveloped river valley in Southern California,” said Ron Bottorff, a spokesman for Friends of the Santa Clara River. “That land should be set aside for wildlife that rely on it for survival.”Marlee Lauffer, spokeswoman for Newhall Land, had not yet reviewed the lawsuit. However, she said, “We spent over a decade working with Army Corps and other federal and state agencies analyzing and reviewing all of the environmental issues” of the project.

    The 12,000-acre area is home to threatened and endangered fauna and flora, including San Fernando Valley spineflowers, unarmored threespine sticklebacks, least Bell’s vireos, southwestern willow flycatchers, coastal California gnatcatchers, arroyo toads and California condors.

    Opponents also say they fear that storm water discharges containing pollutants such as dissolved copper would significantly harm migrating steelhead trout and their offspring in the river.

  • Lawsuit Fights to Save River, Wildlife From Sprawling Newhall Ranch Project – Center for Biological Diversity (press release) (biologicaldiversity.org)
    A group of public-interest organizations sued the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is in federal court today over the agencies’ approval of permits for the sprawling Newhall Ranch development. The development is one of the largest residential projects ever approved in California and would transform more than 2,000 acres along the Santa Clara River from rugged open space and agricultural land into a sprawling new suburban city.“These federal permits pave the way for the destruction of the Santa Clara River, one of the most endangered rivers in America, by bringing massive development within the river’s floodplain and along its tributaries,” said John Buse, a senior attorney with the Center for Biological Diversity. “It’s unconscionable that the federal agencies charged with protecting the river have permitted the destruction of its floodplain and tributaries on a scale that would have been unthinkable in the 1950s, much less today.”
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    “The project’s discharges of pollutants into the Santa Clara will impart irreversible impacts to the wellbeing of watershed residents for years to come, and threatens the tremendous southern California steelhead recovery effort in the watershed,” said Jason Weiner, associate director and staff attorney at the Wishtoyo Foundation’s Ventura Coastkeeper Program.

    “The impacts to hundreds upon hundreds of our burial sites and natural cultural resources, such as river rock, willow, and the California condor, that are such a vital components of our culture and religious practices, will be devastating and irreversible,” said Mati Waiya, a Chumash ceremonial elder and executive director of the Wishtoyo Foundation.

    “Rather than ensuring that the last free-flowing river in the county is preserved, the agencies have approved development directly in the Santa Clara River’s fragile floodplain,” said Lynne Plambeck, president of the Santa Clarita Organization for Planning the Environment. “Such a massive development in sensitive habitat and prime farmland is out of step with contemporary urban planning. It is time to implement new planning concepts that protect, not destroy, wildlife habitat, water resources and our local agriculture.”

 

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