Fairy, Fairy, Quite Contrary
In a decision that could curb sprawl and development in Southern California, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced yesterday that it is designating more than 500,000 acres as critical habitat for two species — the threatened gnatcatcher bird and the endangered fairy shrimp. The move will affect and add costs to the plans of developers and road builders from Los Angeles to the Mexican border, though two military bases were exempted from the designations on the grounds of national security. Developers are none too happy with the decision, though the USFWS says it will not significantly hamper construction. The government was compelled to act because of lawsuits filed by the Center for Biological Diversity of Tucson, Ariz., and the L.A. office of the Natural Resources Defense Council. Enviros are pleased that habitat designations have been made, but are disappointed that they don’t include more acreage and the military bases.