Deal reached in former military land dispute

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MORENO VALLEY, Calif. (AP) – Environmentalists get protection for endangered kangaroo rats and developers get the OK to build an industrial center in a deal ending a lengthy Southern California court fight over use of former military land.

The nearly decade-old dispute focused on about 1,200 acres west of March Air Reserve Base in the Moreno Valley area of Riverside County.

The settlement reached this week leaves 660 acres of the former military property as habitat for the endangered Stephens’ kangaroo rat, designates 424 acres for industrial development and leaves 91 acres for a park.

Until environmentalists sued, the Riverside Press-Enterprise says the March Joint Powers Authority planned to use nearly all of the property, which is now covered with brush and bush, for an industrial center and park.

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