Three prominent environmental groups have sued San Bernardino County, charging that the Board of Supervisors failed to require an adequate environmental impact review when it approved plans last month for a 12,868-square-foot church in Running Springs.
The board approved a plan Sept. 14 by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to build a chapel, a cultural center, classrooms and offices on a wooded 7.7-acre parcel near Rim of the World Highway in Running Springs.
The Center for Biological Diversity, San Bernardino Valley Audubon Society and Save Our Forrest Assn. filed a lawsuit this week, alleging that the board should not have approved the project without a detailed environmental review to investigate the potential impact of the project on surrounding wildlife habitats.
The conservation groups say the project is in a major wildlife corridor that is home to rare species such as the southern Sierra sunflower, the San Bernardino flying squirrel, the southern rubber boa, and the California spotted owl.
A county report on the church project concluded that construction would not have a significant impact on the sensitive plants and protected wildlife in the area.