Thank you for showcasing our community’s many successful efforts to preserve important open spaces in Santa Barbara County. [News, “The Million-Acre War: Fighting to Preserve the Wilds of S.B.,” 4/15/10.] While it is extremely important to recognize and honor the institutions responsible for securing final acquisition of such places, it is equally important to acknowledge and thank the grassroots organizations who fought long and hard in the trenches—sometimes for decades—to make sure that such places were not developed and could be saved for enjoyment by future generations.
As Carla Frisk once said, “Behind every acquisition is a good lawsuit.” Virtually every wild place mentioned in your article was saved through years of activism, advocacy, appeals to the Coastal Commission and other agencies, and, in many cases, lawsuits. If it were not for the hard work and perseverance of the Environmental Defense Center (EDC) on behalf of their many clients (including, for example, the Carpinteria Valley Association, Save Ellwood Shores, Surfrider Foundation, and more), none of these places would have been available for acquisition.
Please support these groups as they continue to work on saving our important coastal places, including Gaviota, Naples, More Mesa, and others. —Alice Roessler