Summer 2015

The Power of
Streamlined Permits

A transmission-line project in southwestern Riverside County shines a light on how the MSHCP works. Southern California Edison is building 25 miles of new 115-kilovolt lines and fiber-optic telecommunication lines between the giant utility's substation in Menifee and Ivyglen Substation in unincorporated Riverside County. Southern California Edison also is upgrading a substation in Lake Elsinore.

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Monitoring All Creatures
Great and Small

By land, by water, and by air, biologists monitor the 146 species of animals, birds, and plants protected by the Multiple Species Habitat Conservation Plan (MSHCP). In the past year, for example, they've looked for burrowing owl burrows and golden eagle nests, and listened to songbirds in coastal sage scrub.

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Protecting the
Tricolored Blackbird

At one time, tens of thousands of tricolored blackbirds with their signature red and white shoulder patches sang a noisy chorus when they gathered in colonies for springtime mating from March through June. But over the years that song has increasingly declined, along with native grasslands and wetlands. Agricultural activities such as crop harvests also have destroyed thousands of bird nests at a time. Once described as the most abundant bird species in Southern California, the tricolored blackbird is now found in only a few locations, including western Riverside County.

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