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LAWSUIT SETTLEMENT INCREASES WILDLIFE PROTECTION.



Byline: Lisa Mascaro and Krystn Shrieve Staff Writers

ANGELES NATIONAL FOREST The Angeles National Forest (ANF) was established by executive order on December 20, 1892 as the San Gabriel Timberland Reserve. It covers over 2,600 kmĀ² (650,000 acres) and is located in the San Gabriel Mountains of Los Angeles County, just north of the metropolitan area of Los  - Environmentalists and the U.S. Forest Service have settled a lawsuit that will require continued closure of the Littlerock off-roading area, along with new steps to protect California condors, arroyo southwestern toads and other endangered species endangered species, any plant or animal species whose ability to survive and reproduce has been jeopardized by human activities. In 1999 the U.S. government, in accordance with the U.S. .

The settlement involving the four Southern California Southern California, also colloquially known as SoCal, is the southern portion of the U.S. state of California. Centered on the cities of Los Angeles and San Diego, Southern California is home to nearly 24 million people and is the nation's second most populated region,  national forests - Los Padres, Angeles, Cleveland and San Bernardino - was welcomed by both sides in hopes of improving habitat for wildlife.

``It's a good first step. We're hoping for many more steps to come,'' said Peter Galvin, a conservation biologist for the Southwest Center for Biological Diversity The Center for Biological Diversity combines conservation biology with litigation, policy advocacy, and an innovative strategic vision to secure a future for animals and plants hovering on the brink of extinction, for the wilderness they need to survive, and by extension for the , which filed suit in 1998.

``The Southern California national forests are 6.1 million acres of some of the last best open space in Southern California, and it's very important they receive the protection they need because it's a last refuge for wildlife.''

In off-roading events permitted by the Forest Service - such as the annual Rim of the World Rally - vehicles will be required under the settlement to use antifreeze antifreeze, substance added to a solvent to lower its freezing point. The solution formed is called an antifreeze mixture. Antifreeze is typically added to water in the cooling system of an internal-combustion engine so that it may be cooled below the freezing point  other than common ethylene glycol ethylene glycol: see glycol.
ethylene glycol

Simplest member of the glycol family, also called 1,2-ethanediol (HOCH2CH2OH). It is a colourless, oily liquid with a mild odour and sweet taste.
, which has poisoned condors released in the Los Padres National Forest Los Padres National Forest is a forest located in southern and central California, which includes most of the mountainous land along the California coast from Ventura to Monterey, extending inland. Elevations range from sea level to 8,831 feet. .

The settlement also requires the Forest Service to halt construction of the Alder alder (ôl`dər), name for deciduous trees and shrubs of the genus Alnus of the family Betulaceae (birch family), widely distributed, especially in mountainous and moist areas of the north temperate zone and in the Andes.  Saddle off-highway vehicle trail around Alder Creek near Upper Big Tujunga Road. The ban is meant to protect the arroyo southwestern toad, an endangered species for which off-roading was halted last year near Littlerock Reservoir.

The closure, which forest officials previously said would last until at least 2003 to allow biologists time to map out toad habitats, will continue until the Forest Land and Resource Management Plan is amended, officials said. The agreement sets a 2002 deadline for amending forest plans, which are updated every 15 years and guide use of the land.

The revised plan for Littlerock could call for ending or extending the closure or for a range of other options, officials say.

Environmentalists filed the lawsuit to block some activities in national forests until the Forest Service's plans comply with the Endangered Species Act The federal Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA) (16 U.S.C.A. §§ 1531 et seq.) was enacted to protect animal and plant species from extinction by preserving the ecosystems in which they survive and by providing programs for their conservation. . Forest officials said they will continue efforts that began when the lawsuit was filed in 1998 and take additional measures.

``The center brought to our attention several areas of concern which need to be addressed,'' said Brad Powell, Pacific Southwest regional forester for the Forest Service. ``As a result, we are developing an aggressive strategy to improve wildlife habitat and be more sensitive to the needs of various species.''

Among the 15 threatened or endangered species living in the Angeles National Forest are the arroyo southwestern toad, the bald eagle, the slender-horned spineflower and the unarmored three-spine stickleback stickleback, common name for members of the family Gasterosteidae, small fishes, widely distributed in both fresh- and saltwaters of the Northern Hemisphere. Sticklebacks range from 1 1-2 to 4 in. (3. , a tiny fish that lives in the Santa Clara River Santa Clara River may refer to:
  • Santa Clara River (California), a river in Southern California, United States.
  • Santa Clara River (Utah), a river in Utah, United States
  • Carmen River, a river in Mexico that is sometimes called the Santa Clara River
. Nine of those species were added to the protected list in the last 10 years.

Under the agreement, the Forest Service will take a range of short-term measures to protect wildlife and will begin work with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Department on long-term plans.

Among the initial measures are steps to protect the California condor, including installing anti-perching devices on microwave towers and discontinuing the use of poisonous antifreeze in Forest Service vehicles.

The Forest Service will determine where the condors fly in the Angeles National Forest, believed mostly to be around Pyramid Lake in its northwestern corner.

The Forest Service will also increase its surveys for other endangered species, such as the arroyo southwestern toad and the red-legged frog.

- Staff Writer Charles F. Bostwick contributed to this story.

CAPTION(S):

photo, box, map

Photo: (color) ARROYO SOUTHWESTERN TOAD

Box: FOREST CLOSURE

Map: (color) Area closed

Bradford Mar/Staff Artist
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Mar 13, 2000
Words:597
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