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Earth Island Journal
Award-winning environmental reporting, commentary, and analysis
In This Issue
In the Pipeline’s Path
Appalachian communities oppose the Atlantic Coast Pipeline
To Keep a River Running
In Brazil’s Amazon forest, one tribe stands against a mega-dam project.
A growing biomass industry could threaten US climate goals.
Funds dynamic community based restoration programs in Southern California focused on protecting and enhancing wetlands and watersheds.
More than 65 projects working around the world to protect our environment.
Celebrating a Big Win for Southern California Burrowing Owls
We are proud to announce that Earth Island’s Urban Bird Foundation, in coordination with Sierra Club and Banning Ranch Conservancy, successfully prevented the loss of burrowing owl wintering and foraging habitat in the Banning Ranch area of Newport Beach, California. In a hearing on September 7, 2016, the California Coastal Commission upheld the coalition’s burrowing owl habitat protection recommendations and voted to deny the 895-home Banning Ranch development project on the Southern California coast. The project would have destroyed open space and eliminated acres of critical burrowing owl habitat in Orange County.
“Burrowing owls have been declining in parts of its range for decades, due primarily to conversion of its grassland habitat,” said Scott Artis, Executive Director of Urban Bird Foundation. “The owl is a California Species of Special Concern, has been virtually extirpated in some areas, and has even been the subject of a California Endangered Species Act listing proposal. And since the state of California is considered one of the most important wintering grounds for migrant burrowing owls it is imperative to protect the foraging and over-wintering habitat along Southern California’s coast.”
Since their grassroots movement began in 2008 as Burrowing Owl Conservation Network, Urban Bird has led the restoration of or helped restore open space and grassland habitat across the Western U.S. restoring 10,074 acres of bird habitat.