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Pasadena City Council Votes to Support Proposition 47

Pasadena, CA — The Pasadena City Council voted at its Monday, October 6, 2014 meeting to support Proposition 47, known as the Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act. Proposition 47 is among the statewide ballot measures California voters can consider for the upcoming election Tuesday, November 4.

If passed, Proposition 47's provisions would reduce from felonies to misdemeanors certain nonserious and nonviolent property and drug offenses, such as theft of property worth $950 or less, shoplifting property worth $950 or less and possession of most illegal drugs for personal use. The measure's language indicates the penalty would not change for possession of marijuana, which is currently either an infraction or misdemeanor.

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Sage Grouse Conservation in the Golden State

Much of rural and small town California depends on the economic impact of recreation and tourism. Camping, hunting, fishing, birding, hiking, guiding and other activities in 11 Western states, including California, brought in $623 million in direct spending and $1.06 billion in indirect spending, according to a recent Western Values Project study (http://www.cfra.org/western-values-project-study). And nearby communities also benefit economically from the nearly 68 million visitors that spent time on land administered by the Bureau of Land Management. Without good conservation, visitors won't flock to these places.

Right now, rural California communities have an important opportunity to partner with federal agencies to plan for sagebrush ecosystem conservation. Without such planning, declining populations of species such as sage grouse might compel federal action under the Endangered Species Act - an essential tool for protecting species from extinction. If, however, voluntary conservation measures can raise sage grouse populations and benefit the local economy as well, that's ideal.

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