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Environmental activists arrested for protesting new housing development near Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Office
Posted at 6:41 PM, Feb 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-25 21:41:08-05

Santa Barbara sheriff deputies arrested eight adults and cited one other person during a protest against a contractor Wednesday evening.

Deputies responded to the incident at about 8 p.m. and monitored the site until noon the next day when contractors and protesters arrived at an agreement.

Those arrested were protesting a housing development adjacent to the San Marcos Foothills Preserve, which is located about a quarter-mile north of the Santa Barbara city limits.

The preserve encompasses more than 200 acres.

Local environmental activists have been trying to raise money to purchase the land where eight luxury homes are slated for construction. They want it to become part of the preserve.

According to the website for Channel Islands Restoration, a group leading the effort,"(the land) provides important habitat for rare birds called white-tailed kites and other wildlife as well as native grasses and wildflowers that depend on grasslands for their survival."

The group reports it has raised more than $1.3 million so far but estimates it would cost about $5.5 million to purchase the land.

Those who were arrested have been released from custody.