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Church Is OKd Over Objections

Environmentalists say the Mormons' project in Running Springs will threaten wildlife. County supervisors reject their appeal.

September 15, 2004|From a Times Staff Writer

The San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday rejected an appeal by several environmental groups, clearing the way for construction of a 12,868-square-foot church facility in the mountain community of Running Springs.

The groups, including the Sierra Club, the Audubon Society and the Center for Biological Diversity, objected to the church proposed by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, saying the project should not be built without a detailed environmental analysis.

The environmental groups said the 7.7-acre site of the project near Rim of the World Highway is habitat for several protected species, including the Southern rubber boa, the California spotted owl and the San Bernardino flying squirrel.

Supervisors unanimously rejected the appeal, saying the groups provided no proof that church construction would harm habitat.

A spokesman for the environmental groups said they may consider suing the church to require the environmental study.

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