Wet weather returned in a big way to Santa Barbara County this week as the season’s first real rain hit the South Coast on 10/13. According to county data as of press time, the storm dropped just over 9 inches on San Marcos Pass, nearly 4 inches in downtown Santa Barbara, and 5.5 inches at the Gibraltar Dam. Further, county officials are reporting no major damage or mudslides from the early-season storm, save for a temporary road closure Tuesday evening on Gibraltar road just above El Cielito.
After settling the latest of two lawsuits, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service on 10/9 re-proposed the designation of critical habitat for the endangered Arroyo toad, to cover 109,110 acres intermittently from Santa Barbara to San Diego counties. Incorporating federal, state, tribal, and private land, the original designation of 182,360 acres had been successfully challenged in a lawsuit by the Building Industry Legal Defense Foundation.