This rat is foiling developers’ plans to capitalize on a weaker Endangered Species Act

AUG. 22, 2019 5 AM
Southern California developers have long sought relief from regulations protecting wildlife, and earlier this month the Trump administration obliged, formally moving to weaken the federal Endangered Species Act.

But any boon for business could be short-lived — California is stepping in to protect species left vulnerable by federal rollbacks.

The California Fish and Game Commission, for example, recently declared the San Bernardino kangaroo rat a candidate for the state endangered species list, a decision that could create legal obstacles for an 8,407-home development in Rialto.

The panel issued its decision after a nonprofit group, the Endangered Habitats League, argued that intervention was urgently needed to protect the rodent, a federally listed species, from threats including urban sprawl and President Trump’s “politicization of federal regulatory agencies.”