The following is a press release from Sierra Club California:
Sierra Club California is pleased to announce the release of the 2011 California Coastal Commission Conservation Voting Chart. The 24th Voting Chart is sponsored by Sierra Club California and League for Coastal Protection to measure pro-conservation scores of the Commission.
The 2011 chart examines 23 separate votes. Votes analyzed were selected in consultation with coastal conservation activists based on their likely impact on coastal resources, their potential to set important statewide precedent and whether the project employed one or more paid lobbyists.
"We are disappointed that the overall conservation score for the Commission dropped from 61 percent in 2010 to 56 percent in 2011,” said Amanda Wallner, organizer for Sierra Club California. “This is the second year in a row we have seen a decline in the conservation voting score.”
Though there are still examples of the Commission acting to enforce staff recommendations and honor past precedent for development standards, many votes demonstrate an inconsistent approach to protecting Environmentally Sensitive Habitat Areas (ESHA) and a failure to ensure long term enforceability of agricultural and open space permit restrictions.
“These decisions highlight the importance and value of ongoing public involvement to make sure that the Commissioners adequately and correctly review proposed projects against California Coastal Act criteria,” Wallner added. “With an average conservation voting score of 51% for the Coastal Commission over the past 24 years, Sierra Club California and activists from our eight coastal chapters are committed to continuing to fulfill this role along with our coastal allies.”
For the complete voting chart visit click here.