County Supervisors make their mark on the Santa Clara River

October 6, 2011 § 4 Comments

We get so excited about our steps to mitigate (at beaucoup bucks) the environmental harm caused by the historical destruction of our waterways, that we often lose sight of our remaining natural waterways, that are impaired and under siege by ongoing efforts to build on floodplains, straighten, channelize, pond, dam and otherwise alter.  I wonder sometimes if this is because we are more excited by the human handprint on the landscape than we are awed by the natural processes that are greater than us.  Or is turning away of our gaze a kind of fist-shake at nature for being continually humbled?

The Santa Clara River, last natural big river in our region, the one that should be our point of reference for restoring the Los Angeles and San Gabriel Rivers, that can really help us to postulate our way out of the sediment dilemma of debris dams and spoiled woodlands to floodplains and sediment transport, will bear new markings of that human handprint.

For new development will soon mark the floodplain of the Santa Clara River at the “Landmark Village.”

It won’t just be the river and its habitat that loses. That river is at risk, and needs a larger community of support to protect it, but don’t kid yourself – the little handprint of Landmark Village can be easily swiped away in a large enough storm, poised as it is on the inside bend of a river that will be constricted by development.  There may someday be a landmark that says, Here Once Laid the Landmark Village. A companion sign to the St. Francis Dam disaster sign much further upstream.  One more ruin in a heritage of hubris.

County Supervisors Knabe, Molina and Antonovich approved the first phase of the Newhall Ranch project.  Ridley-Thomas and Yaroslavsky were absent for this important vote.

In the news:  Landmark Village gets green light – Daily News

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§ 4 Responses to County Supervisors make their mark on the Santa Clara River

  • The focus on restoring rather than preserving seems to be an ingrained human quality – like our focus on saving endangered species over preserving the habitat needed for those that are still abundant. (Though frequently working on behalf of the endangered does help those that aren’t).

  • Chad says:

    These suburbs encompass all that is wrong with America. …..broken record I know.

  • This is so true … we don’t consider much what we have that hasn’t been bound up in concrete. There’s a really good article in this month’s California Fly Fisher about Piru Creek, from a guy who has fished it for 30 years. His “take” is informative about what all of us need to fight for.

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