Posted on | January 7, 2011 | 3 Comments
UPDATED Today marks a blogger solidarity day to save the Arcadia woodland. Chance of Rain is on board. This site has never linked to a petition for any cause before, no matter how worthy that cause may be. The case of this petition from the Sierra Club et al concerning the Arcadia woodland marks an exception not because it’s a good cause, but because it’s good sense. There is no adequate way to mitigate for the loss of such established riparian habitat from our slender Southern Californian reserve of mature native woodland. It is too rare and takes centuries to become established. Meanwhile, when it comes to choice of disposal sites for dam sediment, for which we are to believe that a clear-cut Arcadia woodland is the best option, there are countless other ways to employ that earthen mix, not least in landscaping to create parks or for sealing over landfill. We have a chance, albeit narrowing, to get this right. Let’s take it. Click here for background on the Arcadia woodland demolition proposal, along with a petition to save it from the Sierra Club, California Oaks, the Pasadena Garden Club, the Pasadena Audubon Society, the Sierra Madre Mountain Conservancy and San Gabriel Mountains Chapter of the California Native Plant Society. — Emily Green, January 7, 2011
From LA Creek Freak, blog solidarity organizer Jessica Hall writes, “LA-area place names like Encino, Los Robles (both Spanish for oak), Sherman Oaks, Fair Oaks, etc hint to us of woodlands past. An oak reputed to be 400-years old on Caltech’s campus demonstrates that their presence was no fluke. Oak woodlands belonged to Southern California. How many do you know of today?”
UPDATE: Landscape architect Joshua Link reports on LA Creek Freak that saws are set to fire up next Wednesday. Link encourages all concerned readers to e-mail, write and/or phone Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich at email@example.com / 500 West Temple Street, Room 869, Los Angeles, CA 90012 / (213) 974-5555.
Thanks to Joshua Link for forwarding this URL of a January 6 letter from the Director of LA County Department of Public Works to the Board of Supervisors. Read it and come to your own conclusions. What strikes me is the hyperbole about the danger posed to local businesses and homes by preserving the woodland. No one is suggesting that the sediment shouldn’t be cleared, that seismic safety and flood control should be taken lightly. What protestors are calling for is that the sediment be trucked off site. This was dismissed by LADPW as onerous for the community after “approximately 10 citizens” attended the public scoping meeting in July 2007. While the public outreach process may have complied with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) it seems clear given the concern of now more than 700 signatories to a petition objecting to the woodland clearance that public scoping was inadequate at best. Ten citizens.
1/8/2011: In a post summarizing the LADPW response, Joshua Link posts at Creek Freak: “Thinking of all the measurable and immeasurable ecological services the Arcadia Woodlands provide to the community, it is nearly impossible to justify replacing it with a single-purpose pile of sediment and debris.” To read his follow up piece, click here.
Click here for my article in The Los Angeles Times 125 year anniversary edition on oaks as the iconic tree of Southern California and here for an article connecting the vital role played by oaks in supporting cricket night song and wildlife.