A formal protest was filed against the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) by the Sierra Club, Center for Biological Diversity and Los Padres Forest Watch today. The motion was made in response to the BLM's proposed leasing of vulnerable land for gas and oil developments.
The conservationists advocate to defend and help animals
from potentially harmful industrial developments. They claim that the watersheds and wildlife of nearly 2,600 acres of land, located in Fresno and Monterey Counties, are at risk of being damaged by drilling projects. The project could potentially harm, they claim, the environment of animals like the blunt-nosed leopard and San Joaquin kit fox, as well as other endangered and threatened species in the region.
Rita Dalessio, a member of the Sierra Club, says that "thorough environmental review must be completed before any drilling takes place." The proposed drilling practice of most concern to conservationists is "fracking", which has been linked to contamination of groundwater with methane leaks.
The Defenders of Wildlife estimate that there are less than 7,000 San Joaquin kit foxes, though precise population numbers are unknown. Their numbers have been decimated by the development of Central Valley land into roads, homes and farms, the organization reports. The animal was declared endangered in 1967.