Wednesday July 20, 2022

Center for Biological Diversity

The Marin County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a conservation ordinance on Tuesday that would protect coho salmon habitat and end a 15-year legal battle over California’s most important watershed for the endangered species.

The Stream Conservation Area Ordinance would set development limits and improve riparian habitat and water quality for Central Coast coho and steelhead populations in the San Geronimo Valley and Lagunitas Watershed. The Center for Biological Diversity and the Salmon Protection and Watershed Network had sued the county for failing to adopt conservation measures that were deemed necessary under its own environmental analysis.

“It’s about time the endangered coho salmon get the protection to survive a warming planet,” said Peter J. Broderick, a senior attorney at the Center. “I’m relieved that after many years of litigation, the county has finally agreed to do the right thing and adopt these common-sense measures before it’s too late.”

Legal challenges from the conservation organizations resulted in a string of losses for the county. In April a Marin County Superior Court judge ruled the county violated state environmental law by failing to mitigate the cumulative impacts to coho and steelhead from streamside development in the watershed, which were allowed under the 2007 Countywide Plan.

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