ARCADIA, Calif.— One of Angeles National Forest’s roads in the Upper San Gabriel River watershed—West Fork Road or National Forest System Road No. 2N25—will be temporarily closed to all recreationists on weekdays only (except on Federal holidays) for public safety from April 1 through Dec. 1 in both 2022 and 2023. This road closure is requested by Los Angeles County Public Works for sediment removal operations.
The goal is to remove up to 2 million cubic yards of sediment that has accumulated in the Cogswell Reservoir because of the Station Fire of 2009 and the Bobcat Fire of 2020. (Sediment has accumulated because fire burns away vegetation and leaves little to hold soil and rocks in place.)
Project work includes unclogging inlets/outlets and excavating and transporting sediment from the reservoir via heavy construction equipment to the adjacent sediment placement site. This sediment removal work provides vital flood control capacity to protect downstream communities.
From the Mercury News:
Supporters of a proposed November ballot measure to provide billions of dollars to build new dams, desalination plants and other large water projects in California announced Tuesday they are ending their campaign due to lack of signatures and funding.
“Despite crafting an initiative that would solve California’s challenge of chronic and worsening water scarcity, and despite recent polling that indicates over 70% of California’s voters support increased state spending on water infrastructure, the campaign has been unable to attract the financial support necessary to gather the required 1 million signatures,” the campaign said in a statement.
Read the whole story here.
@MayorofLA — Mayor Garcetti today celebrated $28 million in funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for the L.A. River Ecosystem Restoration project. This funding will enable habitat restoration near the Arroyo Seco confluence and the Taylor Yard site.
“The L.A. River is one of Los Angeles’ crown jewels – a foundational piece of our city’s story. Now, it’s on us to make it shine for ourselves and future generations,” Mayor Garcetti said. “This $28 million investment by our federal partners – their largest to date in the river – caps off nearly a decade of progress and investment in our bold vision of the L.A. River’s future. I am deeply grateful to our Los Angeles Congressional delegation, as well as the Biden Administration for this funding, and I look forward to seeing the transformation continue as a lifelong Angeleno.”
The L.A. River Ecosystem Restoration project will restore 11 miles of the L.A. River from Griffith Park to Downtown Los Angeles. The city estimates this plan will generate 14,200 construction jobs and 2,670 permanent jobs. It will restore hundreds of acres for multiple plant and animal species and provide access to natural areas and trails for historically disadvantaged communities.
During his first term, Mayor Garcetti personally lobbied the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the approval of the L.A. River Ecosystem Restoration project. He led on the passage of Measure M in 2016 which funded a drastic expansion of the LA RiverWay bike path. In 2017, the city acquired the 42-acre G2 parcel at Taylor Yard to expand park-land around the river. The river restoration project has been a priority for the City of Los Angeles for more than 20 years and is reflected in the City’s 2007 Los Angeles River Revitalization Master Plan, which outlines the City’s vision for the future of the L.A. River as well as the numerous benefits that its revitalization will bring to diverse communities in the region.
“The preserve is a Grand Central Station of wildlife corridors sustaining gene flows of native wildlife,” said Cara Lacey, the Nature Conservancy’s director of wildlife corridors, “by connecting them to swaths of undeveloped habitat that run from the Sierra Nevada to the Baja Peninsula.” Read the whole story in the Los Angeles Times about the new Randall Nature Preserve in the Tehachapi Mountains, two hours north of Los Angeles.
From the Washington Post: “The Environmental Protection Agency said Thursday that it would restore protections for Alaska’s Bristol Bay, blocking the construction of a massive and controversial gold mine near the world’s largest sockeye salmon run.
The policy shift, indicated in a court filing Thursday in response to a lawsuit filed by the mine’s opponents, deals a serious blow to a project that has been in the works for more than a decade and would have transformed southwest Alaska’s landscape.” Read the whole story.
Release Date: Aug 30, 2021
VALLEJO, Calif., — August 30, 2021. To better provide public and firefighter safety due to the ongoing California wildfire crisis, USDA Forest Service Pacific Southwest Region is announcing a temporary closure of all National Forests in California. This closure will be in effect from Aug. 31, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. through September 17, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. This order does not affect the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest, which is not in the Pacific Southwest Region.
“We do not take this decision lightly but this is the best choice for public safety,” said Regional Forester Jennifer Eberlien. “It is especially hard with the approaching Labor Day weekend, when so many people enjoy our national forests.”
Factors that led to this decision include:
1. By temporarily reducing the numbers of people on national forests, we hope to minimize the likelihood that visitors could become entrapped on National Forest System lands during emergency circumstances.
2. The closure order will also decrease the potential for new fire starts at a time of extremely limited firefighting resources, and enhance firefighter and community safety by limiting exposure that occurs in public evacuation situations, especially as COVID-19 continues to impact human health and strain hospital resources.
3. Due to state-wide conditions, any new fire starts have the potential for large and rapid fire growth with a high risk to life and property. The Forest Service and our partners are absolutely doing all we can to fight these fires and will continue to do so, but the conditions dictate the need for this region-wide closure order.
4. Forecasts show that conditions this season are trending the same or worse as we move into late summer and fall.
5. Although the potential for large fires and risk to life and property is not new, what is different is that we are facing: (a) record level fuel and fire conditions; (b) fire behavior that is beyond the norm of our experience and models such as large, quick runs in the night; (c) significantly limited initial attack resources, suppression resources, and Incident Command Teams to combat new fire starts and new large fires; and (d) no predicted weather relief for an extended period of time into the late fall.