Waxing quixotic for the Santa Clara River

June 10, 2009 § 3 Comments

Let’s say you’re one of those people who thinks the LA River is a sewer, that it makes for a pretty poor nature experience.  And let’s say you know a thing or two about nature experiences.  (we’re playing let’s pretend here, Mr. Turner)

Then, certainly you know about the Santa Clara River. The best living representation we have of what the LA River was.  It is also a rare river in that it (it’s mainstem anyway) is a large undammed river, and home to endangered steelhead trout.  And now facing the same development pressures that LA faced 100 years ago – and guess what – they’re building levees around the river so they can build in the floodplain.  Which means it’s probably just a matter of time before the cycles of catastrophic floods and defensive responses kick into gear – and it ends up looking like the LA River.  Some areas in the upper watershed have already been hemmed in with soil cement levees in lieu of protected floodplains.  

Santa Clara River with soil cement levee after a storm. Image: http://www.aegsc.org

Santa Clara River with soil cement levee.  Image:  www.aegsc.org

Santa Clara River, sans levees. Image: Lynne Plambeck, http://www.scope.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Seems like something a good editor who cares about genuine nature experiences would want to investigate and write an editorial about.

 

As to the rest of us quixotic folk, please tilt the windmills!

There will be a hearing on the Newhall Ranch EIR/EIS June 11, 6:30 pm at Rancho Pico Middle School, 26250 W. Valencia Blvd, Stevenson Ranch, 91381. Come at 6:00 if you want to attend a rally with California Native Plant Society folks.  CNPS pointed out two items they will focus on:  the endangered San Fernando Valley Spineflower (once believed extinct) is on the property in question and requesting a 120 day extension for comments as people review the lengthy environmental docs.  If you can’t come to the meeting, send a quick email – Newhallranch@dfg.ca.gov before June 26.

Maybe want to review the docs before you agitate?  Follow this link:  http://www.dfg.ca.gov/regions/5/newhall/  Fortunately their online map shows the river’s active area protected- what is not immediately clear is how that stands in relation to the County’s Capital Storm or even FEMA’s 100-year storm boundaries.  I’ll need a little time to sift through the docs to find the answer to that – and after you poke through that website, you may end up wanting another 120 days just to read it all too!

For even more information, also check out Santa Clarita Organization for Planning the Environment (SCOPE), one of whose photos I raided (apologies) above.

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