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Controversial Biological Resources Guide On Agenda

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Sonora, CA — The Tuolumne County Supervisors will hold a public hearing tomorrow on the Biological Resources Review Guide.

The guide is designed to be an optional program for developers dealing with state and federal environmental regulations. The guide was originally created in 1987, and referred to as the Tuolumne County Wildlife Handbook. It was later revised in 1996.

A committee, led by Supervisor Dick Pland, had the task of overseeing the latest revision. County documents show that 16 individuals or groups have submitted letters voicing their concerns regarding the latest draft. Representatives from environmental groups, like the Central Sierra Audubon Society, CSERC, California Oaks and the local Sierra Club, argue that it weakens protections for some habitat, and makes easier the removal of certain oak trees.

On the other hand, some people are arguing that many aspects of the guide are overreaching and unnecessary. Those letters were from Supervisor Randy Hanvelt and local company Blue Mountain Minerals. There is an argument that some aspects of the guide have stricter rules attached than what the state of California requires.

Tuesday’s Supervisors meeting will be streamed live in the multimedia section of starting at 9am. The Public Hearing for the Biological Resources Review Guide will start at 2pm.

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