County Supervisors Pam Slater and Dianne Jacob honored for environmental achievement

by Dan Silver

n October 27, 1999, the Endangered Habitats League (EHL) pre- sented its premier "Award of Excellence" to San Diego County Supervisors Pam Slater and Dianne Jacob. These awards honor their vision in putting together the San Diego Multiple Species Conservation Program, which provides a home for San Diego's wildlife and permanent open space for its citizens.

The Endangered Habitats League is a Southern California organization dedicated to ecosystem protection, improved land use planning and collaborative conflict resolution. The "Award of Excellence" program recognizes outstanding contributions toward these goals. Supervisors Jacob and Slater are the first recipients. They received a plaque containing original artwork by noted wildlife artist John Schmitt. Pictured are the California gnatcatcher, deer, hawk and other inhabitants of the coastal sage scrub ecosystem.

The Multiple Species Conservation Program, or MSCP, is a scientifically designed preserve system which will eventually total 172,000 acres. It will protect San Diego's natural heritage, balance development with conservation, enhance quality of life through recreational opportunities, and define San Diego's identity for generations to come. Its creation was a long and difficult task, involving competing interests, controversial issues and tough negotiations with the state and federal governments. Supervisors Jacob and Slater were the Board of Super-visor's representatives to the MSCP. According to Dan Silver, EHL Coordinator, "It was their perseverance and leadership which guided the program to a successful conclusion."

The Endangered Habitats League chose October 27 to make these awards as, on that day, the Board of Supervisors received an annual report on the MSCP, which demonstrated excellent progress in building the preserve system.

Both Slater and Jacob have been doing a lot of good things lately besides the MSCP. Among the pluses are working to conserve Wrights Field, opposing roads through Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve ("son of 680"), denying the extension for the Tecate Wastewater Plant and Water District, and helping get the widening of SR 94 off SANDAG's project list. Of course, the biggest issue will be the upcoming General Plan 2020 update.

For further information, contact Dan Silver at 323-654-1456.