Wednesday, June 29, 2011

A Special Place: Hahamongna

Another video produced by Time River Productions, involved with the Urbanwild Network, provides an excellent documentation and background of this endangered watershed and Arroyo Seco floodplain. This watershed is still under threat of destruction by the LA County DPW, and public objection is on the rise. Even MWD Director Tim Brick has given testimony before the Pasadena City Council last year in July regarding the critical importance of Hahamongna. This video writeup is below:

The Hahamongna Watershed in California consists of the stream drainage in the Arroyo Seco as it exits the San Gabriel Mountains near Pasadena and La Canada. Hahamongna was the name of the original Tongva Indian Village that occupied the Arroyo Seco area from at least 1200 CE until the European invasion. In 1920 the County of Los Angeles build Devil's Gate Dam across the Arroyo to help control flooding and to aid water conservation. Silt, mud, and debris collect behind the dam. The 2009 Station Fire in the San Gabriel Mountains has led to an increase in the debris accumulation such that the dam's operation is becoming impaired. The County of Los Angeles Department of Public Works put forth a plan to remove the debris, which also involves removing well established native trees and vegetation such as California Black Willow Trees and threatening the habitat of the endangered species, The Arroyo Toad.

Earlier in 2011 the Department of Public Works created a public outcry when it destroyed 11 acres of over 200 old growth native oaks and sycamore trees in the Arcadia Woodlands to make a temporary storage area for mud and silt Concerned citizens demanded an independent environmental impact statement be drawn up for County's Hahmongna Plan. Questions were raised about why the County allowed silt and debris to build up behind local dam to a point that tthe problem has become an emergency. The dams were built in the 1920s and 30s, so it has been argued that the County has had more than adequate time to clear the build up behind dams.

This video provides a mosaic of the Hahamongna watershed area, so the viewer can see the area in question and make up their own minds about the proper course for this natural ecosystem.