County Links Development and Wildlife Preservation
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
County residents can put their own stamp on a plan to protect endangered species while still allowing development in North San Diego County. KPBS Environment Reporter Ed Joyce explains.
The North County Multiple Species Conservation Plan would link blocks of land for 63 plant and animal species.
The linkages create wildlife corridors allowing animals, such as deer and bobcats, to move safely from one area to another.
Tom Oberbauer is chief of the county's multiple species planning division.
Oberbauer : San Diego County is known nationally to have a higher concentration of rare and endangered species of plants and animals than just about anywhere.
He says the north county plan covers 295,000 acres from Camp Pendleton and the Riverside County line to Ramona.
Oberbauer says about 100,000 acres within the area is considered sensitive habitat.
Oberbauer: You can still develop some of those areas but you need to follow these criteria for project design and that kind of thing. The way it's being designed is so that people are, based on incentives built into the plan, they're encouraged to develop outside the areas that are considered sensitive.
A plan for the south county was approved in 1997 and a similar plan for east San Diego County is is being developed.
County residents have until April 6 to comment on the north county plan.
Ed Joyce, KPBS News.
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