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"It was a splendid population - for all the slow, sleepy, sluggish-brained sloths stayed at home - you never find that sort of people among pioneers - you cannot build pioneers out of that sort of material. It was that population that gave to California a name for getting up astounding enterprises and rushing them through with a magnificent dash and daring and a recklessness of cost or consequences, which she bears unto this day - and when she projects a new surprise the grave world smiles as usual and says, "Well, that is California all over."

- - - - Mark Twain (Roughing It)

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Sepulveda Basin Park leveled by Army Corps of Engineers

Big Government Stupidity  -  U.S. Army Corps leveled the Sepulveda Basin Park in order to 'Restore' it
  • The morons at the Corps claim they leveled the park to stop drug dealing and gay cruising.
  • The Corps kept their plans hidden from the public.

As a Conservative Conservationist I watch in horror at the stupidity of people killing their own habitat.  The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers joined in on this insanity by leveling the area around the Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Reserve in Los Angeles.

It completely leveled as many as 80 acres at the lush reserve along the Los Angeles River. It caught the San Fernando Valley Audubon Society, environments and others who enjoy visiting the park  completely off-guard.

An area that just a week ago was lush habitat on the Sepulveda Basin's wild side, home to one of the most diverse bird populations in Southern California, has been reduced to dirt and broken limbs — by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Head of the Army Corps of Engineers
(AP file photo)

Audubon Society members stumbled upon the barren landscape last weekend during their annual Christmas bird count. Now, they are calling for an investigation into the loss of about 43 acres of cottonwood and willow groves, undergrowth and marshes that had maintained a rich inventory of mammals, reptiles and 250 species of birds.

Much of the area's vegetation had been planted in the 1980s, part of an Army Corps project that turned that portion of the Los Angeles River flood plain into a designated wildlife preserve.

Nearly all of the vegetation — native and non-native — had been removed. Decomposed granite trails, signs, stone structures and other improvements bought and installed with public money had been plowed under.

The Army Corps gave the public little clue about its plans for the region, which makes the devastation that much worse for environmentalist. The Army Corps said an environmental impact report wouldn't be necessary, because its effort would not significantly disturb wildlife and habitat, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The Audubon Society said on its Facebook page the corps' “vegetation management project" promised to carefully remove non-native trees and shrubs from the area and also remove dead limbs and debris along Haskell Creek. Instead whole swaths of the wildlife area were completely bulldozed, including lots of native foliage like mature Cottonwoods and Willows. A pond was completely filled in. A smooth hiking path through the area is a muddy road scarred by tire tracks. The group called it "a mechanized blitzkrieg assault."

Destruction of Sepulveda Basin by Army Corp of Engineers
Recently the Army Corp of engineers devastated the Sepulveda Basin destroying the environment for local and migrating birds. This video shows the destruction of one of the most beautiful location of the San Fernando Valley.

Army Corps Deputy District Cmdr. Alexander Deraney told the Times that "somehow, we did not clearly communicate" its plans to environmentalists and community groups. He promised the corps would "make the process more transparent in the future."

A 61-page document that local environmental groups never saw outlined plans to mow down plants in the region, spray herbicides for two years to keep out invasive species and then seed native plants in the fourth year, according to The Daily News.

The Audubon Society complains this will change a "naturally evolving, low maintenance habitat dominated by diverse native vegetation into an unnaturally open mono-culture of salt grass, will require many years for the habitat to recover, and will create a large, unsightly scar on the Wildlife Area."

The other reason given for razing the area is that authorities say it has been host to drug dealing, homeless encampments and gay cruising.

Deborah Lamb, environmental coordinator for the Corps' Los Angeles District office, wrote in an e-mail to the Audubon Society (obtained by The Daily News):

"The overall intent is to comply with Corps' policy regarding the Dam structural integrity and improve the safety of the area by eliminating hiding places for lewd activity and homeless camps, and reduce crime in the area by making the area more visible to LAPD patrolling the area."


This is what remains of a large tree destroyed by the Army Corps of Engineers in the Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Refuge. The San Fernando Audubon Society is up in arms over the razing of more than 80 acres of the refuge over the past week.


Robert e Lee said...

The intent-let alone general thinking-involved between the Nat. Forest Service and the Army Corp. of Engineers is so far beyond my thinking, I was wondering if I had lost my mind? Two thirds of the park consists of non-native species. About three years ago, I asked about paying to remove some of the trees in my own yard and transplanting them to the basin? I was told they do not want non-native species? Yet, the brunt of trees that grew in the early Valley were either live oaks or cotton woods-along the creeks (whether dry or year round). I was unable to grasp the ridiculous nature of their rejection of my offer while knowing the groups of pines, cedars, bamboo, etc. did not belong there to begin with...I was offering three kinds of redwood, oak and some fruit trees that could have maintained themselves as well as providing habit for wildlife and potential food for citizens at a later time? So what was I thinking? Since when did the government ever listen to any of us?

Gary said...

The insane are running the nation.