Southern California environment news and trends

Lawsuit aims to protect California condors from lead bullets

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The Center for Biological Diversity, Grand Canyon Wildlands Council and Sierra Club have announced the combined intention to file a lawsuit against the U.S. Forest Service for failing to protect endangered California condors from toxic lead poisoning in Arizona’s Kaibab National Forest.

As reported by, Arizona’s California condors are the world’s most endangered species, and that lead poisoning — due to lead-based ammunition used by hunters entering the condor's food chain — is avoidable thanks to the availability of nontoxic alternatives. As recently as 2006, 95 percent of Arizona’s condor population suffered from lead poisoning, with an estimated 12 to 14 dying from it. Up to 70 percent of the birds have been treated for lead exposure.

“At a time when other agencies are stepping up efforts to get toxic lead out of the food chain, the U.S. Forest Service continues to bury its head in the sand, refusing to exercise its authority to protect wildlife on its lands and prevent the needless lead poisoning of Arizona’s condors,” said Jay Lininger, a conservation advocate with the Center For Biological Diversity. “If we want condors to survive, we must stop using ammunition that contaminates their food supply with toxic lead, especially on our national forests.”


Sierra Club’s new clean energy initiative targets California Gov. Jerry Brown

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the nine-point bill lays out exactly how the state can invest in clean energy solutions in order to generate “jobs, savings, clean air and a more equitable and prosperous economy," 

Sierra Club, America’s longest-running grassroots environmental organization, has launched a new initiative asking members to petition Gov. Jerry Brown to sign a “Clean Energy Bill Of Rights.”

Tagged “My Generation,” the nine-point bill lays out exactly how the state can invest in clean energy solutions in order to generate “jobs, savings, clean air and a more equitable and prosperous economy," according to the Sierra Club.

Among those bill elements are “universal access to clean energy,” the “right to earn money from abundant and unlimited clean energy sources such as sunshine and wind,” and “reduced harm to low income communities & communities of color, which, according to Sierra Club, suffer disproportionately from the effects of dirty energy such as coal generation.”


World’s largest solar farm coming to Imperial Valley

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The Imperial County Board of Supervisors has given the green light to Folsom’s 8minutenergy Renewables to build a series of large-scale solar projects that will result in the world’s largest solar farm. The decision was supported by environmental organizations Defenders of Wildlife, Natural Resources Defense Council and the Sierra Club, which has been working in partnership with 8minutenergy Renewables on the project. Among the primary concerns is a program that protects the habitat of the burrowing owl, a local threatened species.

"By working with the Sierra Club and the rest of the environmental community to provide additional stewardship for the burrowing owl they have demonstrated that they will go the extra mile," said Bill Corcoran, Western Regional Director of Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign in a press release.