From the Publishers

Fresh start

by Carolyn Chase
'm looking forward to the fall, glad that the dog days of summer are passing behind us. For me - for many reasons - August was a bummer. I'm old enough now that you'd think I shouldn't get disappointed by government. But the reports of the city's lack of action on recycling and the region's persistent sewage spills combined to really bring home the extent of our government's environmental irresponsibility.
Combine that with a pretty bad session for the environment in Sacramento and really bad things federally, and well, yuck.
But this issue of SDET renews me. It's more about what is working for and by people. It's not an antidote to these other real issues, but it make me feel better that there are good things happening. As people take steps to better integrate their own lives with the environment, I take heart in knowing that these efforts will eventually percolate through the political process.
The official documents from the City of San Diego Multiple Species Conservation Program (also including portions for the county) have been published for public comment from August 23 through October 15.
Quoting from the implementing agreement, "The MSCP is a broad-based planning effort intended to provide for effective protection and conservation of the region's wildlife and plant heritage while continuing to allow appropriate development and growth," and "The MSCP proposes a program of conservation for the Covered Species and protection of their habitat in perpetuity through land use regulation, acquisition and management."
In its "Subarea Plan," the city commits to permanently preserve and manage approximately 52,000 acres and to conserve approximately 77 percent of the overall habitat with core biological resource areas, wildlife corridors and linkages.
These plans define, for the next 50 years, local, state, federal and private intentions to comply with all three levels of laws related to endangered species and land use-related environmental protections.
After public comment and signing of an Implementing Agreement, The City of San Diego will be able to issue permits to developers to take endangered species or habitat in exchange for the mitigation rules established. It will then be difficult, to say the least, to stop the future taking of endangered species or their habitat by developers who agree to the mitigation.
The package, which hopes to achieve a regional, connected preserve system to prevent species endangerment, will need much more public support if it is to be realized. Although these detailed plans are the results of five years of work, in many ways the next phase ­p; to establish a regional preserve system - will be more challenging. This next phase includes, for one thing, raising the funds for the program.
The documents are available at libraries or may be purchased by contacting Metropolitan Wastewater Records Management at 533-4229. Volume 1: Regional Plan costs $25 plus $5 shipping; Volume 2: Sub Area Plans costs $50 plus $5 shipping; Volume 3: Joint EIR/EIS is $50 plus $5 shipping.
If you have any questions about issues raised in the SDET, or you're interested in receiving more frequent updates about local conservation issues, please send me e-mail at .
If you're a Sierra Club member, please vote in the upcoming election. Even better - vote for me! I'm running for the Executive Committee of the local chapter and would appreciate any support. If you're not a member, please consider calling them to join: 299-1741.


Judy McCarty's FAX number was incorrect in the August issue. The correct FAX is: 238-1360
Our list of Bike Racks on Transit buses was out-of-date. The Metro Transit Development Board is in the middle of a multi-year effort to equip all their buses with front-mounted bicycle racks. Sixteen routes have racks now with another 14 routes to be added by the end of September. Bikes are also allowed on some trolleys, but a permit is required and must be obtained in advance. Bicycle brochures with details can be had by calling 231-1466.