Los Angeles built into a corner

LA’s improbable relationship with the San Gabriel Mountains makes the cover story High Country News: The list price was $1.125 million in August 2011, when Sotheby’s International Realty held the first open house for 1674 Highland Oaks Drive, in the Los Angeles suburb of Arcadia. Scented candles burned, classical music played and the air conditioner ran as potential buyers milled through the home’s three bedrooms, living room and combination den/dining room. Through sliding glass doors, a pool was visible in the rear garden; beyond it stood a sharply trimmed hedge. Past the hedge, in the ravine below it, a deep wash lay. Metropolitan Los Angeles ends at the edge of this canyon property, and above the wash, its steeply upland collar of national forest begins.

Once, like all the canyons threading the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains, Santa Anita Wash had a stream tumbling through it, lined with coast

We should save Arcadia woodland

Click on John James Audubon’s illustration of the Great-horned owl to be taken to a petition to save the Arcadia woodland by, among others, the Pasadena Audubon Society. 

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

Does this look like a dump?

The Pasadena Star-News has the latest on Los Angeles County’s plans to clear cut 11 acres of native woodland for use as a dump site for sediment from the Santa Anita Dam. The Sierra Club, California Oaks, Pasadena Garden Club, Pasadena Audubon Society, Sierra Madre Mountain Conservancy and San Gabriel Mountains Chapter of the California Native Plant Society are circulating a petition to save the Arcadia grove of oaks and sycamores. Short comments are admitted by the petition. Mine, along with this briefest of background, boiled down to this: To keep our trash from reeking as it hits landfills, waste managers use lawn clippings as “Alternate Daily Cover.” These clippings could be composted and storm debris used instead. In other words, why waste perfect landfill material on pristine woodland? Objections that trucking sludge causes pollution are certainly valid but given that we already cart around our trash and yard clippings

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    Emily Green by e-mail at emily.green [at] mac.com
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