Center for Biological Diversity and other environmental groups withdraw previously announced appeal of District Court ruling
(Tejon Ranch, CA) The Center for Biological Diversity, along with the other plaintiffs in a lawsuit that challenged the 2013 approval of a Multi-Species Habitat Conservation Plan covering the upland regions of Tejon Ranch, have voluntarily dismissed with prejudice their appeal of the ruling by the Federal District Court that granted summary judgment entirely in favor of the US. Fish & Wildlife Service and Tejon Ranch Co. The Habitat Conservation Plan—a permit issued in compliance with the Federal Endangered Species Act—will protect the California condor and other species found on Tejon Ranch.
In his December 2020 ruling granting summary judgment for Tejon Ranch and the US Fish & Wildlife Service, United States District Court Judge Cormac J. Carney resoundingly rejected every argument made by the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD), Wishtoyo Foundation, and Delia Dominguez, the plaintiffs in the lawsuit. The court went so far as to characterize CBD and the other plaintiffs’ arguments as “unsupported by the record” and noted that CBD tried to “misleadingly suggest” its position was based on law.
The plaintiffs’ lawsuit was initially filed on April 25, 2019, a full six years after the approval of the Habitat Conservation Plan, and just four days prior to the expiration of the period in which to file a legal challenge.
Following the court’s December 2020 ruling, the plaintiffs announced they would appeal the decision to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. However, they never filed any legal briefs with the court and ultimately filed a motion with the court to dismiss their appeal. With the issuance of the Court Order, the appeal is permanently dismissed and cannot be filed again.
The tactics employed by CBD to litigate, delay, and obstruct proposed housing developments throughout California, including Tejon Ranch, are a significant contributing factor to the housing crisis in California. As CBD pursues its agenda, which, as stated by CBD co-founder Robin Silver, is ‘to inflict severe economic pain,’ those burdened by that economic pain are the countless numbers of Californians who find adequate housing increasingly unavailable and unaffordable.
Even in the face of this onslaught by CBD and other environmental groups who rush to court to try and derail Tejon Ranch’s efforts to responsibly develop its landholdings and create thousands of homes and jobs for Californians, Tejon Ranch Company remains fully committed to the ongoing stewardship of the ranch’s 270,000 acres, as it has done for over 175 years.