Preserving Biological Diversity with Wildlife Corridors: Amending the Guidelines to the California Environmental Quality Act

Schlotterbeck, Jennifer
December 2003
Ecology Law Quarterly;2003, Vol. 30 Issue 4, p955
Academic Journal
This Comment explores the concept of the "wildlife corridor" as a means of protecting biological diversity in California. The works of prominent conservation biologists are described, along with the efforts of Southern California conservationists to preserve biodiversity in the Whittier-Puente-Chino Hills, by connecting large swaths of open space with corridors through which various species can migrate. The Comment poses that the scientific community accepts the veracity of wildlife corridors, but that conservationists, despite having various legal means of protecting open space at their disposal are still at a disadvantage when it comes to protecting wildlife species. The Comment further suggests that the conservation of biological diversity is a policy goal under the California Environmental Quality Act. It then proposes that an amendment to the CEQA Guidelines mandating consideration of impacts to wildlife corridors, defining those impacts, and suggesting mitigation measures is legally justified to meet this policy goal Finally, the Comment proposes exact language (reviewed by leading biologists in the field) for such an amendment, and demonstrates how that amendment would benefit the Whittier-Puente-Chino Hills. Let's start indoors. Let's start by imagining a fine Persian carpet and a hunting knife. The carpet is twelve feet by eighteen, say. That gives us 216 square feet of continuous woven material Is the knife razor-sharp? If not, we hone it. We set about cutting the carpet into thirty-six equal pieces, each one a rectangle, two feet by three. Never mind the hardwood floor. The severing fibers release small tweaky noises, like the muted yelps of outraged Persian weavers. Never mind the weavers. When we're finished cutting, we measure the individual pieces, total them up--and find that, lo, there's still nearly 216 square feet of recognizably carpetlike stuff. But what does it amount to? Have we got thirty-six nice Persian...


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