Posts Tagged ‘San Gabriel Watershed’

San Gabriel Watershed – CORBA Supports Alternative D

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

San Gabriel Watershed and Mountains Special Rescource Study CoverThe process of determining the future of the San Gabriel Watershed region started in 2005 in a series of initial scoping sessions. In 2009 the first draft alternatives were presented for public comment, as we reported in 2009. After the 2009 series of public hearings, the alternatives were revised and released In October 2011.

In October and November of 2011, the National Park Service (NPS) held another series of public meetings to discuss their preliminary study findings about the San Gabriel region, and present their revised draft alternatives. There were between 75 and 150 stakeholders at each meeting, a clear indication of how important the San Gabriel Mountains are to Southern California residents.

The report is an extensive 300 page document. It discusses a broad spectrum of the natural, cultural and recreational resources in the study area. For those interested in the geologic, cultural and natural history of the San Gabriels it is a handy reference, well worth reading. The document further describes the national significance of the resource, and ultimately finds the region suitable for NPS protection. It discusses the feasibility of NPS involvement, then presents the alternatives as to how the NPS may be involved.

As we reported in October, one of the original Alternatives, B, had been dropped, and one, D, added. The three remaining Alternatives, A, C and D were summarized and outlined by Barbara Butler, who is leading the study for the NPS. The presentations essentially recapped the Executive Summary. Members of the audience were then invited to ask questions.

Many of the questions were very specific, addressing the current shortfalls in maintenance, funding, staffing and infrastructure within the Angeles National Forest. People asked for more rangers to patrol for litterers and graffiti, funds for trail restoration and maintenance, more staff to handle volunteers and funding for recreation facilities.

Some were concerned that there may be an increase in bureaucracy and red tape if the NPS were to come in. The presenters again assured everyone present that all land use decisions would continue be made by the current land managers. They defined the NPS roles more as “Management Partners,” sharing resources with the Forest Service and other agencies, as well as facilitating better coordination and cooperation between agencies.