The Newspaper of the San Francisco Bay Chapter
September - October 2007
Ballot initiative will protect Moraga's open space
Moraga residents are planning an initiative to protect the town's open spaces - some of the most breathtaking in the East Bay - with free-flowing creeks, abundant woodlands, scenic ridgelines, and a diverse array of plants and animals. Today these lands face the ongoing threat of residential development at a level that would severely harm the wildlife and ecosystems they support.
Next June Moraga voters will have an opportunity to protect the town's most important open spaces by supporting the "Moraga Open Space Ordinance 2008" (MOSO 2008) ballot initiative. MOSO 2008 is an extension of the Moraga Open Space Ordinance, approved by voters in 1986.
MOSO 2008 will strengthen protection for Moraga's remaining open space.
Both Bollinger Canyon and Indian Valley support a wonderful diversity of wildlife including mountain lions, grey foxes, bobcats, deer, and many other species. Both provide habitat for the threatened Alameda whipsnake and California red-legged frog, and for raptors such as the white-tailed kite, Cooper's hawk, sharp-shinned hawk, and golden eagle. In addition, Indian Valley is the watershed of Indian Creek, which supports rainbow trout spawning in its lower reaches. Development in Indian Valley poses an added threat to the East Bay Municipal Utility District's (EBMUD) Upper San Leandro Reservoir immediately to the south.
The initiative would also protect the open space east of Rheem Boulevard from the 35-home Rancho Laguna development proposal. In its proposed form, this project would fill over 1,000 feet of creek and build a row of homes along a scenic ridgeline. All three areas, Bollinger Canyon, Indian Valley, and Rheem Ridge, are part of key wildlife corridors connecting EBMUD watershed lands and East Bay Regional Park District lands.
Signature gathering to place the initiative on the June 2008 primary ballot will begin in October. This initiative is the most significant opportunity to protect Moraga's open space in decades: if successful, it will provide much-needed protection to over 2,000 acres of Moraga's most important remaining habitat.
Volunteers are needed immediately to help with signature gathering and to organize a successful campaign. Moraga residents are especially crucial to this effort. To volunteer, or to find out more about the initiative, contact or call (510) 848-0800, ext. 307
© 2007 San Francisco Sierra Club Yodeler
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