Friday, January 7, 2011

Arcadia Woodland Oaks - A Death Row Reprieve?

I got on the phone to Supervisor Antonovich today to urge his office that the Santa Anita Dam Sediment Placement Project be placed on the Supplemental Agenda for the Board of Supervisors meeting this Tuesday 1/11/2011. The project has not received the proper public review or process for its implementation. It's a rush to use an "emergency" to push projects forward and eviscerate the EIR process, just as in the Hahamongna Watershed "emergency" during the December rains. As I posted on the Tattler on Dec. 5:

Another great plan from Public Works. The Arroyo Seco Foundation is making a similar complaint with the County's plan to clean out Hahamongna reservoir behind Devil's Gate dam. The Station Fire puts a great sense of urgency on cleaning out these reservoirs to make room for expected incoming mud flows. Public Works thinks it can push these projects through by claiming emergencies and short-cutting the EIR process. THERE IS NO EMERGENCY.

My earlier article lays out the issue at the County level; there has been a lack of consistent maintenance, as well as a stubborn refusal to listen to local communities and organizations that clearly state that the watersheds and rivers must be protected and enhanced, not bulldozed over and destroyed. That's the old Army Corps of Engineers mindset that put the entire Arroyo Seco and Los Angeles rivers into concrete channels that creates massive maintenance and truck hauling efforts to mitigate environmental damage and restock fish in areas that used to function in this way naturally - and for free!

This mindset is fostered by water suppliers and development forces that have no respect for the environment that gets destroyed, and no concern for the open space and common areas that cities and towns need to survive in any kind of sustainable way. It's all treated as plumbing that's blind to natural forces and removes critical watersheds from a functioning natural system. The price of all this is a massive bill for County maintenance of crumbling infrastructure that has to be constantly rebuilt to even be minimally functional. It's a long-term exercise in futility, in other words. The hubris of this approach is stunning.

How much more intelligent it would be to expand these native and riparian areas, move human habitation out of critical environmental areas, and work with the natural ebb and flow of nature and physics.