,

,

'.

SPECIAL

REPORT
e0 0

AU G,US T 2 7, 2

~.
~J;~i"1W

,~~

from the editors

'0.. fiS~Srtn Gabriel the

.----~ :;j~~~e~:e:~;~
,I

It RIV,ER RUNS ifHRBUGH iii'

3

Riv01' s.erves as a comnlOn ti1:rea,d tlU1Jt con-

A&er.yeurs'ofneg!e~'ond're!oli'/e o~smity, the Son Gabriel River is Beginning,to gel thealiennon it so ric.hly deserves.

r3 '

MIND 'fOUR BUSINESS

51

Many cities use'property along the'San Gabriel Rivet liM Rlaca to ionduct business.

HORSING AR0UND

noise. In. some 'way.s oft's @me of the tssea' s liest-'kelfJt secrets. The 'ri:tlelF is !I:l@W getting S(i)me of 11te €I;Mel1fttion. it d.ese~~e'S- anuZ

me (ounlj',Department
tn completing
0

A MASUR IUAt:I· lip
dnublk Works,h,anli!s way mastw plan fo~ the San Gabriel River.

t.. IltASS ACT 5'7
RIVER DWmER-S 24
Gfailuate students,fromlCal PiJlyRomol1ii,me commissioned to come up'Willl u'plan'for the river,

needs.

8e'V€1-al g"'(i)'!&'Ps .
c{iYn'bi~ (WJ_'t

cies (we

and go've'J-1'l1ment agen-

with

A1llsorts of'people,live along the river, ranging fromllhe homeless, to people,wftfi pride,of Homeowners~ip, to 'folks, who live, in tbe mountain;.

big plCl/l1sjci:r

tJl1,e·'B,ani!;

Gabriet.
'THEPb\YEIfS 60
Many en'/irnnmentollgroups have plans for thariver, Are their plunSiparl'of urcnrerted eHort, or a mishmash of in~ependent thinking?

MORE THANA RIPlitE 61
W1iatlis the relationship of"t~e Son Gabriel River to the othenivers·in our oren?

FLOWiNG JHOUGHTS 6'3
Eaitorio! page e~itor Steve SrilUzi]Jo, sbares bis thoughts oboult~eriver,

On tile cover: p\ great egret stands in tlie BaA Gabriel River JuSt south 0f Santa Fe Qam.IA tfie tDacl<gr9Illrild, I:!ive [lal, Avenue and tIile Sail Gabriel River (60§) Freeway sYJTIbolize tlle mix 0f wildlife ana Im:Jmanity eomirlg together im the San Gabriel Valley,
. Staff photo by nM BERGER

2

AUGUST 27,

200,0

KABLE J.OURNEY
After a decade

of indifference, the l;,'Vewis jlowing
fr@1iIit

relrftti'V,(!;

~bsol!.l,rity

into the spotlight
By Laurence Oarmiento

winter on the lenelv, rock-strewn peaks of the Sa'll Gabriel Mountains, it will begin a remarkable journey. Cascading down the steep slopes of the majestic range that defines the Valley's northern border, it will join other 'THE OVERVIEW runoff to . form the clear streams that feed the head of the 58-m_iIe-long SaN Gabriel River. But from there, deep in San Gabriel Can_~0n, it may take days, . weeks or even year-s to reach the Pacific's waters near Long Beach, as it navigates an obstacle course of man-rna de diversions. Along the way. it may bathe a hot swimmer on the river's popular East Fork, or serve as a water stop for one of hundreds of birds passlng through the Whittier Narrows. ~ . More likely, though, it will lie still for months In one of a trio of canyon dams built to tame what had once been an unruly waterway that regularly flooded the Valley below. And even when released, the water may find itself diverted yet again, this time hurried along to spreading grounds, where it will be absorbed into the Valley's vast aquifer and wait to be pumped to the tap. Indeed, while the San Gabriel River is no Mississippi in its length, breadth or grandeur, its waters have done nothing less than breathe life into the Valley that
Staff photo tiy BERNARDO ALPS

~'!
.

TI. storm walter faNs this

hell. the fi:rst drop €If

'~

Slaif Viriler

Please turn to OVERVIEW /4

The East Fork, along With the North and West for~, are three mountain streams that make up tl1eSan Gabriel River.

AUGUS\

27.

2000

3

East Fork on hot weekends, seeking a respite frem urban. neighborli10IDtls, atnong miners, Continue'd from page 3 no less, still seeking to bears its Name. . strike gold. Or try the For mote than a century, it has hunting, fishing and been our primary source of water, other recreational actlvirrigating orange groves and other ities enjoyed lIP and down its span. crops that were the Valley's first engine of growth. Discover how the And ,as the economy boomed river's invaluable water after Werld War II,.it sustained the supply once led to endless tracts ef homes and busi- fistkuffs and WOFse nesses that plowed the graVies when. it wasn't floodlng under, while vast stretches (!)fFee- the early settl,l'!fS but ] way were built from the f0cky sedi- is now tamed and C0nments the river deposited on the served through massive Valley floor, pubtie werks plmj,ects But for an that tile river and its and legal judgments, Take a hike WitH us watershed gave and still. giiVe file to San GatJriel V,alley, it has roeen a . up to the lieadwater:s @f poor stepchild 0f tfle very people it Ure river to the winlilserves. twisted Umber: pi,nes, Dammed, chaIDleledand a des- where eivilizati0n can be tination for industrial wastes and stillQ left behind and seek human d'ebris, tlierfv,er QS110 'pe(!)1\l"J:e 'sJjliritu,ai longer the WiNd beast that genera- solace, An~ Qn.:. y,our way tions before tirelessly S0Ug,fu:'t back down, visit Marris to Dam, a: mm;mment ~o tame. b Not only n.eglected,it has even human ingeID.ui1tyuiilt faded from the conseiousness 0f seven decades ag0 witlh many whe live within sight 0f its more than half a milliCiJn cubic ;varas0f C(!)ll€l!1ete. banks. Then get on yoUr But, teday, fef the first time in decades, there are those whe are bJike and enj0¥ the 37mile bike_waththat hugs thinkiI1g ahout how to give a little the river from the mounback to the river. A river conservancy has ween tams to the sea, bqt make sure you stop at formed! and e~peJ!ts have joined together to stud~ the v:ery F~¥e,r the Whittier Nan'0ws that has served to bind the \lalley Nature ~en.tier. What beth physically and in thought. you'll be astounded tio "This river was one of the f0ur learn is a bird watchers sacred rivers of our people. It was paradise wUh a national treatedwith respect and d1iromitw reputation. Y0U'l!l. lso dlseever a because it was a 1if8"g;tvin.g ferse. Then you see things dumped into how the river supports hundreds of businesses it," says Mark Acuna, a Tongva - from quarrIes to Indian who advocates the river's restoratien. nurseries - but BOW urban life also has dam"We've been w.ate,fii:lilg the renewed interest,-an.& warms our aged what was once a .it hearts to see someone else come to pristine waterway with appreciate its greatness anrilwant litter, chemieal contamito bring it back to what it once nation, homeless encampments and even was." Staff photo by KEITH OURFUNGER crime. In this special report, this newsThJean G81llriel Rive~ looking n0rth from the reothHi (210) Freeway. S But then you'll be paper looks at all aspects of the river - from its history, to its cur- able to take heart that many dedicated citizens, profes- of Engineers we eonductlng sepa- space. rent state, and,. perhaps most But, like all human affairs, it's importantly, to its future, sionals and elected leaders are now rate studies on. river land use, not necessarily going to be clear 'Iake a trip back through time to taking a closer look at the San parks, open space and watershed management. sailing for river advocates, as a learn about the geologic and Gabriel. ANdin pmbably the mest signif- variety of interests stake their Graduate students at Cal Poly human lrlistory ofa diller that cut . through:the fast-risiilllg Gabriel Pomona have just flliished a Shldy kant development, the new San . claim to the future of a waterway San with a very long past. Gabriel & Lower Los Angeles Mountaias m:i:1tliotls years ago, . commissioned by a local conservaof And finally, we hope this series sustaining HumaN settlements for tion group that suggests ways to Rivers & Mountains Conservancy at least 2,000 years, beginning with improve and better integrate the is starting its work, hiring an. exec- will better inform you on how you utive director and ready to begin can take part in the noble goal of the Oabrielines. river into our daily lives, Join the many families, includThe county Department of setting prmrities for $1'5llT@on it restoring a river that has silently ing many Latines, who crowd the Public Works and the Army Corps has set aside for parks and open served us all. 0

THE OVERVIEW

.

I

4

AUGUST 27.

2000

.,

Ire fh£ Fri£nds of the lin Gallriel River
'Chang,;n,g the Wag We Look at Our River
• • • •

HUfr's how you can get involved:
Sign up to learn more about the Friends of the San Gabriel River Volunteer to help restore and enhance the river Report acts of pollution Tell your friends and organizations about the campaign to renew the San Gabriel River .

Upcoming ,Events

Join us for a rece,ption honoring
Mary Angle
Executive .Officer of the newly established Joint Rivers and Hountains.Conservanczy Sunaay,:September 24,2000 I 3:00~5:00 p.rn, P-io Pi!OoState Historical Park 6003 S. Pioneer Blvd.,· Whittier (just east of the Whittier Blv,d. effrarnp, 60S fw¥)

[ein us with EI Derado N.Iatl!JreCenter Saturday, September 16,2:000 I 9,00 a.m. - 12 N001il 5320 Olympic Plaza· c:ity of Long Beach _ ~byOcean Blvd. & Termine Ave. ir;!tersectien~

M:ANY KIDS AGiflW:ITrIES

What is ttap~ening in our, wat'el"shed1 Biologic::al Bvaluation of our, Waterwa),:s €itizen Honitorring Groups Report theil7 Finain_gs

todeiber '0 folic care of our river if fillies care of us
JOIN FRIENDS OF THE SAN GABRIEL RIVER
_ ~ Here's a contribution to help Friends of the San Gabriel River Enclosed is ·$25. in; _ Office Help _ Outreach Coun't me in as a member; I would like to volunteer. _ _______ Email, _ _ Fundraising Pollution _ Water _ I am interested Monitoring

Q4ality

Watchdog

Tabling _ ~

Education

_Other

Mail to: Friends of the San Gabriel River, P.O. Box 3725 South EI Monte, CA 91733 (562) 908-6449 f FAX (562) 695-8248 www.sangabrielriver.org

a rivel' on the edge

WHERE IT ALL BEGINS
The life of the waterw'ay starts with a trickle
By Katherine Drouin-Keith
SlarrWriler

Andresen, a hywoisgist with the P here in the Angeles National Forest, above the . Amgeles National Forest. "There's culverts and the dams and a lot of little spnngs and drainages the concrete retaimng' walls, is that come from a variety of 10ciJ,where it all begins. tions. They slow:1yaccumulate into Ram slices through wind-twistthe river." ed stands of limber pines. Blankets The various forks are nestled of snow drape spiky-leafed liv.e high in the back country of the San Gabriel Mountains, 'The sources of oaks. Manufactured on hign, these drops of moisture journey from far the East Fork are about ]$ miles OJ,lt over thle Paeific Ocean, or north and 5,000 feet up frOID sorne1iimesthe Glilf of Mexic(i) ana Clru;enf0l!l.t,in. the Sheep M0UJ:ltam the CaFtbltJean, and Dam tl]l [}.1 the W[JldeBl!l.eSS Area, where aeoess is skies above the upper reaches of limited to people on foot or horsethe San OabrielMonntatns, where back. . they revisit the ground, . Eight miles northeast of The moisture may settle meekPasadena and abeut 4,000 feet up is ly into the earth, or roar down the West Fork, just south of the San steep-sided gullies, dragging boulGabriel Wtlderness Area, draining ders arid tree trunks. Thousands of from northeast of Mount Wilson. feet below, the drops converge to The North Fork, sandwiched form a single waterway: the San between the two wildemu.ess areas, Gabriel Biver, . is 13 miles north ef Glendora and hlj;) here at the sousees (i)]~h.e 'atJeut 4,000 feet rogber, @Fj,gmati.:l!l.g gan ~abriel, tl~.ete an8 a fe;W; ints :. [l!l.and· aroun.a:~r~sta~ Lake, the h heart ef the' po.p.ular re0)'1eation IDfwhat t11e.ri~er will b,eeeroe. 'A Staff photo by JOSH ESTEY dripping spring seeps frem a hillarea. Water trickles out of the rnounteinside, feedingplamts near the Gwffy CampgrouRd in side. Tea-colored pools stand alone The country around the forks is the Angeles National Forest. This is the easternmost part of the river's source. in sandy'stream beds. Water-loving sacred land not only to hydrologists, but to hikers, horseback ridwildflowers nod over a roadside h.. ckle. i ers, mountain bikers and birdsought the source of the call, which catch up on birds who nest in the Cupped in. a 212-square-mile watchers. competed with the zoom of cars on area. "A lot of mountain birding is drainage area in the Angeles On a recent morning in June, the Angeles Crest Highway above waiting in open areas in proper National Forest, the main sources members of the Pasadena Audubon habitat and hoping something the trail. of the-river come from three comSociety tread quietly, even reverenBirds love the area for its v.egecomes through." .pass directions, with the fourth tially, along a path near the San. tation, solitude and the seas@l'lru Cyger pointed out a honking paint, the river itself, leading south Gabriel's West Forls, Early mornwater supply sf the Tittle streams birdcall to t1le binocular-wielding ing fog lapped against the lower aW'aw to the Pacific. Tae West, that feed into the West FOl1k·. An group - the sound of the acorn N~rthandEast f0rks, in turn, are reaches of Mount Wilson and a especially ambitious bird might f@lfed :Oyhundreds 0f smaller streams clear blue sky arched above, filled . woodpecker, . "They al~ays sound like they're low the fork all the way t@ ~h:e and gulches that gather snowmelt with the twitters of birds and the expanse of the Cogswell Reserveir, Iaughmg. And if you get a good scent of pine .. and raMuaN ana ferry it into the or even beyond, where the West look at them, they have sort of a irAlot of mountain birding is lisriver's main sourees. clown face." "It's not a single spot where it tening," said Ron Cyger, who leads Please turn to ORIGI~(7 Heads swiveled as watchers comes out of the ground," said Vic an annual trip to the West Fork to .

llJ

6

AUGUST 27,

2000

THE ORiGI~
Continuetl from page 6 Fork joins with the North Fork at the Rincon ranger station, seven miles north of Glendora. There it creates a single stream. A mile' east, this stream meets up with the East B0rk, and there the river is born. The river flows into tworeservoirs, the San Gabriel and the Morris, and basins and dams.check its flow even further before it emerges from the mountains north af Azusa, It dumps into the Pacific Ocean at Seal Beach. "Usually the San Gabriel is a tame stream, but when the flooding hits, it'sa raging torrent," said John W. Robinson, a Fullerton resi.dent and author of "Trails of the Angeles: 100 Hikes in the San {Sa-briels" and "The San Gabriels," a human hiStory ef the range. Gauges at Crystal Lake" Meunt Wilsall and the San Gabriel Dam collect an average of 33.5 inches of precipitation a year. Mueh of the precipitation seeps into the ground, percolating through soil and granite bedrock to ' re-emerge as the river, according to Andresen, who monitors the water quality of the San Gabriel River in Staff photo by BERNARDO ALPS 'the national forest. This wash, which is dry in July, collects snow runoff from Pine Mountain and forms the Prairie Fork, which becomes the East Fork. Despite Los Angeles' worldrenowned air pollution, the San Gabriel's water quality is good, at least in its upper reaches, Andresen says: The storms that bring precipitation to the mOUNtains at the same time sweep air pollutants out to sea. The water that emerges is tinged faintll.¥ with minerals Gut etherwise pure; But the San Gabriel's sourees do have foes, Artdresen said: fire and trash. The wildfires that 'roar periodically through the mountains strip away vegetation that keeps soil firmly rooted to earth. With the next rain, the riverbeds fill with sediment that turns the water a chocolate brown. Then there .are the visitors who head upstream every weekend to spend time in the cool mountain air near refreshing streams. They often leave behind piles of rubbish. It's so bad, the U.S. Forest Service is under state orders to clean it up. "The major challenge, particularly for the San Gabriel, is it's 'being loved to death," Andresen Staff photo by BERNARDO ALPS Crystal Lake, near tbe top of Highway 39, collects an average of 33.5 inches 0f precipitation annually. said. 0

AUG"ST 27.

2000

7

TME GATE EPERS
By Stephanie (ain
, SlaflWriler-

overhaul planned for sometime in t1le next several years is completed, Diaz and assistant dam operator
Jim

Tin

DAMS

ing water f]l0w and' turning the valves by hand. Water levels in the reservoir are decrded by PNoliG Werks officials who evaluate data sent to them eleBtFbnieaily. Using mat iNformation, tli,ey 1tetermilile how much water wiN be released on a giv:en day. to ·sprea:ding basins em the Vialley R00Y _ Normal l~akage, whiohon one daY"in md.d-JiW¥ was abeut !to galIons per minute, is for the mast Bart eJveaed outside to mix with the water released intentionally. When the valves can't keep, up with the i.nNow; as during a severe storm, 'the spiilway can release a mazirnum of 80,000 culDic feet of water pel! seeond, 'fie slilillwa¥ was last used during the 199&-1997 storm season, but the operators make a point of trying to hold black as much water as possible to aid in water conservation. As the eyes ami ears of the dam, Pleas.e turn to DAMS /10

NtcG(i)w.ah willeontinue cheek-

8

AUGUSI

27.

2000

SIEaRA·

MAIilRE
DAM

(j \_

""" . ~~rr.1·~
SANiI'li
S'AW DA'

"-

\,
.

PIT~;I

Sarita Fe ~Spreading Grounds •

t L

,/

.

Thl0MAS CREEl:( DAM

Sources: tos Angeles County, Elepartment of Public Works; U.S. Army Carps of Engine.ers, Los 'Angeles Illistric~

D SANTA FE DAM & RECREATISN AREA Pur,pose: Water conservation Type: f;at.th fill Elevation: mNeet Construction began: 1941 Construction completed: 1949 Cost: $1:2,6' t:lJlillion
Staff graphic by LANCE H, MARBURGER

AuGUST 27.

2000

9

Staff photo by MIKE MUlLEN

Monis Dam operators use a small motorboat to surveythe dam and surrounding shores. For 50 years, the Navyleas~d the darn for secret operations, includingtorpedo testing.

THE DAMS
Continued from page 8

Diaz and McGowan motor around the reservoir ill a small, converted rowboat to inspect tile structuse. "There's a lot of places we carr't visually see from the lilighw.ay," Diaz said. Morris was the second of wee dams completed in the upper reaches of the canyon in the 193(i)8, part of a flurry of C0flStFUCti011 largely attributed to the flood ef "1914. That disaster caused ID0re. than $10 million in property damage and was the impetus for the creation of the Los Angeles Oounty Flood Contr.0l District. The district was responsible for controlling and eonservlng flaed, storm and other waters. In 1995, its personnel merged with other county engineel"ing departments to form the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works. Construction on the three dams began the same year, ill 1932, but they were ultimately completed years apart. Please turn to DAMS/1:1
10

Staff photo by MIKE MUlLEN

Manis Dam operator ArthurDiazis dwarfed by a stream of Watershooting out from a 32-inch releasevabe. The valveto the rightis 72 inches in diameter.

AUGUST27,

2000

Inflated rubber dams play . .a -big 'lfolein the water flow
By Stephanie Cain
~loffWriler

A LITTLE Hit.

They're the little dams that can. While the San Gabriel RiiVerbas a series of concrete monuments that help control flood waters, a series of smaller but arguably as important dams help in the fight for water conservation. They are the rubber dams, alien-looking oddities that appear as' overgrown black slugs slurping their way across the water. Thirteen of them are situated along a three-.mUe stretch of the San @abriel Ri\ller's lower reac1J:es. Instelled in the rrNd-1980s,fuey we considered ]lermanent solutions to the laher-intensise, l:ii:and-hlUilt levees and berms formerly used to hold back ana dtvert water. "They used to have tIDhave a major crew go iN and :mat in boards and slots to CONtrolthe flow, whieh not only takes mere time but can be very dangerous," said Sam

Pedresa, spokesman for the Upper San Gabriel V'a'lley MUrol!icipa1r Water District. "Now they just pump U]l these rubber darns." Frem storm runoff to discharges from nearby tributaries, the dams control the water that remains after running through the other, larger dams high in the San Gabriel Mountains. Inflatable Madders made ef thiek, reinf'ol1cecl rtililher, the dams 1).el:m slbW:the water f![0wing d0:wnstream aNd diVleil't lit te plaees where it can pereelate iJnrIDthe water tab>le. This eCllua!s more water f(i)reverything from dri.nkiNg to irrjgatioR. 'Phe dams are inflated at low pressure - 6 psi, compaFed' with a €.aFtire's 32 psi - with em electric pump in a process t1lat takes about 20 minutes, said Gary Hildebrand, head of flood control ana waiter

Stiff photo'by MICHAEL HAERING

One of 13 rubber dams tIilata_re irnfiated al0ng tl:leSan 6al/lrielRiver. censervetien Emr the courrty's "It's been. a big problem," Hilfaebrand said. '(They've been Fublic W0rks Departnrents; Eaclii rubber dam C0StS ab01~t shot at, hlie.y,'ve su:llfer:e~puncture $i milllliion, including instB.1la:ti0n, wounds.and I just ih:eard "Wehad but annually helps conserve about someone WlilOwas-seen driving a 2.3 million gam-eNS of water, the piece of metalthrough it with a equivalent of about $252,000 worth hammer." of water if it were imported from The inch-thick nubber can hanoutside sources, Me a certain amount of abuse, S0 far, the department's biggest Hildebrand said, adding the more headache malataining the dams serious types of vandalism can usually be fixed like a tire punchas BO.tbeen wear and tear., but vandalism. ture. D

-------.------'-~ THE DAMS
Continued from page 10

Cogswell Dam, a rock-filled structure, took %3.1 million emcltwo years to complete. It rises 265 feet above the original streambed and is 585 feet leng at its crest, It islllSed both f0,r flnad control' and water c0Nservati<llTIant! [S !2Q mil:es llorihl1: of Arusa in San @a1Dli'i~I 8anM<iJB. San Gabriel I!lam, w:hlGID. serees a similar purpose, u<iJ<iJk bui[clers seven years and $17 million to €0mplete. It rises 31:0 feet aaove the original streamQedand is 1,500feet long at its crest 'l1b:e c0m.pacterit earth- ami rock-fili dam is seven miles north of AZusa. The (;0gsweN Dam and San Gabriel Dam were' built by the Flo0d C0Nttol District and are now operatet!l! By the Los ,,A:.ngeles C01mty Public Works Department. Without the dams, destruction in the Valley weuld be fast and furious. "With the size of the stOTInSthat can occur ill that watershed, without the dams there you're going to have tremendous flooding potential," said Gary Hildebrand, chief

Staff, photo by MICHAE~ HAERING

MmrisBam is orneat tlileSam(3al/lnel alley,'s ost iml!lressi",eeats (i)f engiReering. V m f of fleod control and water €OBServation for Public W0rks. In addition to preventing damaging floods, the dams serve an essential furrction in water censervatien, Water captured from storm runoff and snow melt falls to the reservoirs and from there is diverted to downstream spreading grnunds. Water in the spreading grounds, vast open acreage with little vegetation, is readily absorbed in -the underground water basin that is tire Valley's primary water source. Hildebrand said the darns will.

remain viable as long as they are properl¥ maintained. But just as important as the integrity of the structure itself is the removal 0] sediment that acenmulates behind the dams, which is geNeliailly,:accomplish:ed by sluicing, er draining the reservoir, threugh a bottom gate anm flushing' the sediment out. ''If we don't, in 50 or 60 years the thing will totally silt UfJ and we'll have no space for water anymore. These SaR Gabriel Mountains, they're some of the most erosive mountains in the world," Hildebrand said. In 1998, Public Works hired the 'federal !Bureau (!)f Reclamation, whica owns numereus dams, to evaluate Morris Dam's valves and to recommend upgrades as well as a sluice channel, said Keith Lilley, a supervising civil engineer with Public Works. The design for the project is expected to be completed early in 2001and tItrechanges should be completed the following year, he said. D .1
AUGUST

27.2000

11

THE GEOLOGY
here's an 0~i'd tHiNg about tl!J.e San Gabriel River: If you want to UNderstand its waters, you need to understand its rocks. For if there's anything written in stone - indeee. in countless tons from deep within the Earth - it's the 1'i:v:er'sgeQleg.ic pedigree. To put it simpl¥, S million years ago there was ne river, but then the San Gabriel Mountains, at the vortex of some of the greatest forees on Earth, began, thelr great lift upward. "The river is there today, because the mountains are rising today," said Lawford ANderson" , chairman of USC's Department of Earth Sciences; "It is at the b0"un<ilaryof fue rno Iargest plates on Earth, and we are sitting right at that boundary," Geol0gists believe the San Gabriel Mountains were formed when a beNd fomnea in the region wM,ere the Pacific Pla,te a"ll~ t'He North Aim,ericaN Plate rub up , against each other. , According to the theory of plate tectonics, the Earth's continents aNd oceans ate cradled by, a! number 0f vast J!)lateE;hat meve acress t the surface 0f the globe. Normally, the two plates slide against each other: but thebend ereated [rictron that forced the eG!ge of the North Alfileriean plate , upward, ,creating NOt only 'the San GabrielS but a ,dbwnwar<il fold that was the origin of the Valley. Moreever, geologists believe the San Andreas Fault once traced right across the mountains before alll),alncl0!l'l~lilg tJhat IDtlil.et@ Hl,!!lMe J:iIorthw. [eaMililgmehiN@J'theSan Gabriel A faUl~ l!ine aiJJlaws e water to eeeur more rea ' at erosion is beaeved to have led to the creation of the East and West forks of the SaN GabFiel River, which sit right atop the fault. Then, sometime several millions of years ago, the folllG regan to feed a s~ngle prima'ry route south to the Valley below - a FOl!lte Qfunsure ge~nogie erigin tha.t eventually turned into the San Ga:bl"iel River. "it might have just took that· course at random and then as the mounta-ins continued to elevate it €(mtinued 10 down cut," said Mike J ohnscn, the chief geol(i)gist with the county's Department of Public Works. "It's nothing that has been

I~

UNDERG-ROUND MO:VEMENl
Area ha's a rick; evo,lving geology
, By Laurence Darmiento
SImI Wriler

AN

pr0ven. Ge010gy is n0t 8.J:iI ex:a:etscier.J.ee.". But for geologists, the origin ef the river is not nearly as interesting as the subsequent precesses: a tremendous crumtllting ana erosion at' the mountains exceeded only my the testenic pressuse that makes them one of the fastest-rising ranges in the world. "At the rate of erosiori ill a million years they eroded 5,0(i)0 feet. New: ulrey are 10,000 feet at tfu:ei!r maximum elevation, hut maybe wourd have been [5,000 feet," Johnson said. "It is staggering." ' And the implications for the ri,ver.? ill SHort, it means a rtv.er that runs largely UNaerground, The bedrock fold that forms the base ofthe SaN Gabriel Valley is n0W thousands of feet belew

groim<il at 1'lomts, covered with the mountain's roeky crumbltngs, what geologists call alluvium, That alluvium t'0rms the Valley's ]S7-square-tnile <![uifer, or ground-watep reservoir, wlNch can kol.d. 2.8 tl!'i1li@ngallons and is the Valley'aprlmary drin'ldng water sU]!lply. "It's very ]J0rous, which. means the water cam just percolate into the ground," said Rick Sase, an engineer Wiltfu the MaiN San Gabriel Basin Waterma:ster, the agency that regulates pntnping in the basin, At the south end of the Valley at the Whittier Narrows Recreation anti Natural Areas, the gee1ogi!c re<;:(o};e.s irrdicate t~he Puente and Montebello Mills rose after the river had already made its wa¥ out to sea. It then proceeded to cut its way

Staff

by JAMES KU

Geol(i)gists elievethe San GabrielMountains were formed when the PacificPlate ana b . the North AmericanPlate grinded wp against each other forcingone plate to rise,

through MUs, forming the gap thuusands of motorists ride through today without a second thought. "The river actually predates the hills, which is' why it didn't attempt to flow around them. Water takes the path of Ieast.resistance," said Steven Lipshie, an engineering geologist with the county. Bat elsewhere, and even during the time ef Euro]!lean settlement, the shallow river altenee. its course from time to time. "If Y(iJU look at. maps mom j1:SS0, the SaN Gabriel R1ver then NSetl to nl0Ve info the LA River well noFth of the hasher; It ptQbab1y moved ]jack and ferth ever the yea1Ys," Lipshie said. Today, tl!J.eriver's course is set, literally in conorete banks, while. debris basins ill the foothills above expensive tract homes attempt to catch the rocky soil thalt still sluugRs offithe mounta<iJolslopes, An attempt is clearly still the operative word. Records kept my C0URty Publlc Works show that the mountains can rain down 360,000 tons of debris in one year, which the de]Jamnent autlfull,y cleans out of its basins with dozers and other machines. Tons of silt also accumulate ill the three great diams in S'an Gabriel CailiJ.'Y0TI, the departsillt ment has tried to eliminate for years with heav;y equipment and sluieing; or draining, of the reservoirs. An<ilerson said the mountains -some efthe fastest el'i0d,' rn w:arlci. He has, a ]!itlrr'y ef ~t: "The l'iigrner rthey. stancl nuieker tlle':Vfall." . Over tl!J.emillennia, great floods have carried boulders and smaller rocks to tlie Vailley fleer: Generailey, the l!J.eaiViestrocks are left in the canY:ONS close to them or while the hlghter ones get carried further away. Some say the river may lack the r.es]!lect it deserves, 0nly because we Have not seen its full power In generations, a force that has left tell-talesigns far from mountain' canYONS. "Sometimes you'll see these' huge boulders," said Oliver @alaRg, a superMismg c:ivtl engineer fol"Public, Works. "We haven't seen the worst of what these mountains are capable of sendililg down the ri¥er."O

AU~UST

27,

200Q

13

"

Vel)'

t

A wmmanwarkS"he~ IDalrrnatiann tIlle$a11 i3abrjelRiver<rail near WardlowR0ad in long Beaeh. It's here wmerethe commete oanks give the river amwrbamfeel. o T

FROM THE MOUNTAINS TO THE SEA
fikte
C;iff/llfflJj~ifiltaJm(f)f£rs
Anaheim

0/ thewat~r~l2l~
resident JeF'emq

(Il~

~tZ~3~~JS the Val1:ey

Sf, Mlc".llel Deon Cllork
510flWriler

rea@hes the DownBY area,

0Bh:ary to what some people in the Valley might think, ~~ the San Gabriel River does extend beY0nd the Whittier Narrows, creating relationships unique to the communitles it passes through, Pacific Qceal1,tlJ.e SalN @a'hl['ie.l River undergoes seve.ual maj0r changes in appeaJ1:ahCe" sh~£t.ing

.

Fancher, mIra rides the bHm ~atfu along the d:ver for exercise, sa'ill he fmds the ermroament just south of :the Whittier Narrows much prettier than the waterw<lY's northern '" "'Fhe rrver doesn't mirror tis slirrcmndtll1gs, " Fandre:r said. "WfieliJ. y.ou're im the in"dl!l.strial area, it'.s reaill.w,mere Naturai. Bat when Y0U'l1em a nesidemtiffi area duet." Much of the r.iNer is bordered by 'propertieswrt'h stables amI pens holding horses,catfie, g0ats, sheep and even anestrieh here and there. 'Illiose pl'0wer· ties are broleen l1g cecasional!ly by narks a:nd newer c011tlominiuun €0mplexes. A few miles beyond the NarrowS, the river is eJltiliely lined with eoncrete and takes on a m0l1e urban feeL hardly aware thai! the riV:er is Near except when it rains or attlre end of each menth when tlreyllave to pay their federally mandated flood
D(:)';wn here, most peeple are t1te river is more illi!{le an aque-

stretch.

As it winds south toward the

between natural pJamt life and g1:af. fiti-stained concrete before em£)ty· iug in marshy wetlands near Seal
of the river changes, its purpese to the communities it runs Beach.

li!IilSl[.ra~ce, sai.d ~ssembl~wGlJlan Sally Haviee, B·ArteSia. But threaeen to take out that conerete to return the riv.er tID its natural state and residents ~11 mer district, which is two·th.itms in the river's flood plain, will protest loudly, she said. . As the river cuts threugh Long Beach and out to its eventual end at Seal Beadl, it becomes a malism;y wetlaad wttll various llih;cl~ plants refieeting its ]!Jr;ox;~m1;tyto

ana

Officials at the outlet of the Fiver are veu concerned aboutthe

the oeean,

As the appearance

pollutien thatruns

'DfueoiiN spends dmse to$Z5@,()OO a year to clean u.p and maintain a beaoh that gets 1.2 million v1sitors each year, Mest of that matntenanee is cleaning ull the Christmas trees, sNoPE>i;ngcarts, toys, Styrofoam cups and oil, among other things, that travel down the river, Badum said. _ "If it's droIlliled.int0 a stall 1 drain _ or even just left out it will end up deJWn here;" Bad.UTI1 "Everyone said. whs lives near the watershed needs to know they are responsible for sto])prng l!Jolluti<m." 0

tlwougl1 does as well. "Th.e upper stream is more the nattu:ai habitat ... while

rhn!Hl:gh storm dnadins along the rtver and is flu·s'Med mt0 the oeean after "We'ne essentially the end· 01 the line f0l! eVeryone else's 11'ash t101at floats downifn!JID fITe storm draliNS, " sa'id S-tev;e Badlum. dkector of PU:lbH~ W0rks for Seal Beach. "And that's

each st0rID.

and protection against polluti0U,'; said Ann Croissant, founder of the San Gabriel M01.:ll1ltains Reg;ioNal Conservancy, which is seeking to preserve river habitat. . South of the Whittier Narrows
the river

downstream is mere flood control

sand-bottomed ereature until it

continues as a grassy;

. very expensive"

16

AUGUST

2.7, :bOOO

..

.

Staff photo by JO·SH ESTEY

Laboratory technician BillFurlonguses a bucket to collectwater samples alongthe San GabrielRiveronce a month for the San Jose CreekWater ReclamationPlant.

esting the waters in any situ,ation takes courage and ~ ~ risk. But when it comes to testing the waters of the San Gabriel River, it takes even more than that. No one group is responsible for sampling and analyzing all of the river's water; some cities contract with private engineering firms while other agencies do it themselves. Surface water is tested weekly for some things, monthly for others, quarterly or longer for yet others. And not all groups monitor the same chemicals er pollutants. And since the river snakes its way from the Angeles National Forest through urbanized, industrialized cities, the surface water is affected in different ways. But there is one thing many people agree on: The water quality of the river is not up to snuff. "Definitely, it needs to be

A

Our water is neither better nOT worse than other rivers
By Ni(ol~ M. Campbell
SlaffWriler

DELICAJEMIX

waterway and its surrounding improved," said Jacqueline areas. The 'problem is so bad that Larnbrichts, founder of Friends of the U.S. Forest Service is under the San Gabriel River, a group orders by the Los Angeles Regional designed to preserve and restore Water Quality Control the waterway. clean Both the California THE POLLUTION iBoard toregionalit up. The board Water Code and the recently published a federal Clean. Water "State of the Watershed" report Act mandate standards for surface concerning the surface water qualiwater, which are not being met. ty of the San Gabriel River. The largest problem may be . According to the report, everytrash, especially the litter that visithing from ammonia, to algae, to tors and others dump into the
,

banned pesticides is found in the river and its tributartes. Also a problem -is coliform, the generic term for bacteria that is an indicator offecal centamlnanen, "From a human health standpoint, the coliform would be the worst of the problems, but the coliform isn't going to be a problem unless people are swimming in the river," said Shirley Birosik, the board's watershed coordinator. As for wildlife, nutrients such as ammonia can kill fish if it's high enough, while nitrates can inspire algae growth. And while that doesn't seem as threatening, it's unsightly and can deplete dissolved oxygen. It also begins to smell when it dies off and has posed a problem at Legg Lake, part of the Whittier Narrows Recreation and Natural Please turn to WATER /18

AUGUST 27.

2000

17

"It's [@reH-y gond," said Jay Bo1ito1I1ley,the districts' lab superContinued from page 17 viS0r. "If it waSN't we wouldn't be d,ischargiFlg. " Areas, ~ott0m.3.ey ,said there are many DDT, a pesti0icie banned ill the . other dischargers to W0l:1rY atJ0ut .. United States 30 years ago, is pre"IT ji0u'r:e in©errit0s, y,.0amigli!t sent in RIit1'dingstt:me ReSel1M0IT in get ~discloial1geS') from. dairies, 'TIhey San Dimas, a ]!l0Jil1Jllar l0Ca1 fishiNg have a lot of dah'ies there. If ~ou'Le spot, where it accumulates iN: betin Wlihlttier yOU!might get maustri· tom-feeder fish. al, If you're in a resicl.ential area, "DDT is foood virtually everyy-ou IDiigllt get a lot (Df estiGides. ill p where, so that's not surprising," E1 M0Nte, wi1iliu ail th.e hsrses, tl!J.~y Birosik said: "n ta1kes a 10Ng time wash! the lfi0fses ro'if and ~tgets into to break cl.qwm and it's very persisthe sewers," l.iJ.e said. tent, 'so that's why it was banned .." . . But even with Lam b.ri c h t s all that, Birosjl; said atiNormalict. •• 1jf Y(fJU "re in said the San ties in th.e water. @a,tJrie~ River W¥l11iMielf. 31@u rrnigh:t get further S0tl'tB. faills right in the toward the ocean iuduetrial, IJf you're i1J;l) middle in terms affect marine fish . trt 1·esitilentiaZ area, you of water quality, such as halibut. abeut the same as "There' appear might get a lot 0J pas" the 10S Angeles to be impacts, 'ti@icles. In lEt .lVlonte, Rtver alliId better meaning some of wiohall tine horses, than the .their fins ma~ be .n 0 min g u e z missing or they t1hey'wash the horses Channei, whdch may have off Cbnd it gets inco the flows w011lgli th.e tumors," she said. wesmern !!lalFt ef sewers·. " Metals - sucb [[.0S ANgeles and as mereurv, lead, - Jay Bottomley dumps into L.A. copper, silver and Harbor. arsenic, all ef lob supervisor, And there are whicfu are found (ountysonit01ion districts solutrans to the in the rwer and its walter pE0blems. trlbutanes ___: caN' Glne of tilem is the fedel1al1y manbe harnlfiil to humans and animals. dated: Total Maximum DailYi Load "It's more a problem !f<ilr longa program. . lived organism like a human than Required by the Clean Water a short-lived organism like a fish," Act since 1979, TMDLs are caJ.culaBirosik said. tions of the maximum amount of Lambrichts said she believes as pollution, on a pollutant by polluimpairments go, the worst is nitrotant basis, that waterways can hangen. dle and still meet the act's guide. "And the biggest source of that lines. is the sewage treatment plants," "It's a holistic approach to she said. • watershed Improvement," The Los Angeles County Lambrichts said. Sanitatlon Districts treats sewage Dischargers are categorized two at several plants that discharge ways: point sources, such as factointo the river. These plants prories, and non-point sources, such duce reclaimed water that has been as neighborhood storm drains -and highly 'treated and is even spread residents hosing down their driveinto the ground to recharge the ways. water basin. Non-point sources are a major But 1ike any business that disfocus now, but Birosik said the charges into the waterways, the task of finding out the source of sanitation districts need a permit pollution is labor intensive and to do their work, making sure any ma-y only be alleviated QY commuwater tiley put back into the river nity-wide efforts. . cannot be texic, . Lambrichts said installing catch Water samples taken from 15 basins at points along the river can sites are taken back to the lab and prevent surface water from being analyzed, Different wds of vertepolluted, while a citizens monltorbrates, invertebrates and plants ing program can strengthen conta' are placed in the water to see how mination prevention efforts. D they are affected regarding repro-

THE POLUJnON

duction, growth and life expectaney,

Staffphoto.by

JOSHESTEY

CarlitaMatias, a laboratorytechnician at the San Jose CreekWater Ql:Jality aborat0ry L in Whittier,demonstrates a water l1laranessanalysis.Thistest is one of many the water goes tArougl:if71 to ensure tAattreated water from the facilityis fit to be !\lutback i order into tfle San GabrielRiver.

Current· warier-quality impairments
'flie fellowing is a list of pol Il!J fa nts amtil impai~liI'lerJts fOl:lne ir,)the San Gal;)~jel River.
AREAS OF IMPAIFlMEN'r
-_.--!_ --

=

~~~~_-----::;---_

SrgtJj

San Gabriel River Reach 2· (Firestone to Whittier Narrows Dam)

~~=----=--------------San Gabriel,River Reach 1
(Eslual¥ to I7irestone) San Gabriel River Estuary

!J!.Q!g~ ,
litarg~~10
Puddingstone Reservoir ~liiiIiiiUrnnlBl §==I,I;;il=lgI=I!d=;\E!Il=~= __ • ....:.___ San Gabriel River East Fork Legg Lake

[J1!l

III==~=~=[J",----

San Jose Creek Reach 1 (Sa confluence to Temple Street)

_

lEi

Santa Fe Dam Park Lake

o

San Gabriel River Reach 3 [Whittier Narrows to Ramona)

Walnut Creek

[][] [l- Abnormal
fish histology oxygen

0- Toxicity* . !8- NH3: (Ammonia
IJI- Algae
[J- pH

at high levels)

rIi- Nutrients

(Put out toxins) .

I!:J_: Dissolved I!J- Organic
I!}.- As

!a- Trash

(Measure of aci~ity / alkalinity)

Uill- Odors

(Algae smells when it dries) enrichment

[1- PCBs** (PolYChlorinated biphenyls)

(Arsenic) (Generic term for baetena)

Ijl- Chlordane [!J- I'lg (Mercury)

1IJl- C u (Copper)
[g~Pb (Lead)

Q- Ag (Silver) !;J - Coliform***
~-

DDT (Ba,nned pesticide)

Eutrophication

(Indications of too man.y nutrients - w~ter may be pea green)

• Tests may never have found the source of toxieity. •• Pollutants such as brake fluids. transmission fluids. paints or other base materials. *H It often can indicate fecal contamjnation. Source; Los Angeles Regional Water Quality ccntrot Board's "State Qf the Watershed" report on surface water quality • .J une 2000. Staff graphic by MANUEL AMAYA

18

AUGUST 27.

2000

-

I.

Thebillepaths rurl downthe sideofthe SanGabriel iver r:lru mot really R a do indicate whereyou arewhile travelinglongthem. a

D

t runs silently through the San Gabriel Valley, almost unnoticed. While many people pack up the car and travel to the San Gabriel Mountains to spend the weekend along the river, many Valley residents rarely visit the waterway that flows through their own back yards. And a trip along the bike path down the river can turn into an adventure filled with mystery, as few, if any cities, post signs telling people where they are or what roadway they are passing. Indifference sometimes seems to be the greatest response to the river, perhaps summed up best by Bob Griego,the fanner city manager of Irwindale, a city dominated by quarries created eons ago by river storms carrying rocky sediment to the Valley. "It's kind of a channel with concrete," Griego said. "I don't know what kind of amenities could be added, but with some good plan-

A SILENT
Some cities embrace the river while others appear to ignore it
By Nicole M. Campbell
SlolfWrilar

PARTNER

ning, anything could be turned into an asset." . Even 801ne of those for whom the riv:er and its water are their life work have an indifferent perspective on the San Gabriel River. "It's not actually a river," said Jay Bottemley, lab supervisor for the Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County, which treats sewage for a majority of the coun-

ty's cities. "It's only a river in the' wintertime when there's a storm. It's stagnant." But there are exceptions and advocates trying to change that perspective. Azusa perhaps is most closely aligned with the river, since it is closest to the mountains and the river's water source. "This is 'The Canyon City' and through the canyon runs the San

Gabriel River," Mayor Cristina Madrid said. . In fact, Madrid said, the city derives its name fnilill a native Indian word meaning "place of sacred waters." "I think the river is very meaningful for all of us, and I think there's a lot of commitment to create a natural environment around the river," she said. "It's a big part of our history and our identity." John Fasana, Duarte city councilman, said his constituents most certainly have a connection with the river, a bond fostered and strengthened by the opening about 10 years ago of the Puente Largo Bridge as a pedestrian thoroughfare. "1 know a lot of people (who) walk along there to look at Third life and plant life, and they're quite involved with it." he said. "And this time of year, there's not a lot of water in it, so it's really amazing."
Please 'turn to IDENTITYJ 20

AUGUST 27,

2000

19

. the

SAN GABRIEL ~.:-

(OMPANIESSPROI:JiED OVER WAIERRIGHTS
hoever said wAiskey is water per day from the canyon and for drinking and water is produces more than 3.3 billion galfor Iighting' over mast ~', lons of water per year, said Steve have heen in the San Gabriel Sherman, field operations superinValley in. the late 1800s. tendent for the company. The leger.ui~ F0WSever rights PrimarHy,' the treatment to Sem Gabriel River's water may By Stephanie Gain f!1JOCeSS removes potentially harmnot have escalated to blcodshed, Slo!fWrifer ful bacteria and viruses, resulting but they did lead to fisticuffs and in water that costs less than a influence the formatien of agencies f0urtb: of water ~mworted to the such as the Covina Irrigating ([;;0. tion of rig:b.ts. Suburban Walter Systems, . TClIday,the NClIll!)rofitcompan\¥, "lFhe ftmmers backiI:f :the !l!800s S0utllern CaI.1l0rnia Water Co., . Valley; fcom noruhern Oalif0rnia and the Coloraao Roi~eF. sells water to more than a dezen Vallley G.oianJy iW:ater DfstriGi started th'iS 1ll0nll)laE.Y" bl!t fliie state . If Rot for the 1'iN'er,there would communities. ami €mrporati.ons wasn't iNteres.ted! 11hen,"· said Valencia. Heights Water Co. and be no Covina as we now tt, De around the Southland. It's come a Howard Ha'.w:krns, a 50-year compathe city of Glendora. Jesus maintarns. long way from its Fmrmati0n in ny board member and former The company's water treatment "Th:~ old adage Qf 'build it and Covina mayor. 1898, WHen water Needs centered on plant clarifles and chlorinates up they w.iJ.il eome' is'se hue," he said. D irrigation. "Then it became €lear there was to 12 mdliion gallons of surface But necessity begets 0ueativity·, going to be a shortage of water, so and the Covina In-igating C0. has a they stepped in and made a law bit of both in its begiI;mings. that said the water belonged to the FiEst established as the Azusa people of California and allocated it Water Illevel0pment and irrigating to the people that were spreading C0. in 1882 tID distribthe water. ute water to staJllie"Evel'y,b01ilY,w THE ~RRIGA1IOf\l mere water so anted holders and settlers t1n:ey in the Valley, the could farm more, but company fought several battles to the San Gabri.el River is very terngain rights to the river. penamental, -But in cb!y years there Insisting the water belonged to wasn't enough, and in y:ea'rs ef them, some of the ear1iest settlers f!lQ0dsnob0cl~ wanted it aR(Ylil1011e," . drove home their point through . he said. sabotage, emptying trenches ef The Covina Irrigating Co. has water, four employees - a general manag"History tells us there weren't er, two field operations super:intenany gunfights, but there were some dent,s and a secretary, A§> a wholefistfights up there when they fOIDla saler, H directly serves six water they were damming uw the river," suppliers WHOthen wipe it to the . said David De Jesus, general mantap. Photo courtesy of COVINA IRR1GAnNG CO. ager of the Covina Irrigating (Co. Forty-two percent of its stock is In what later came to be known owned by Covina - and and thus In this photo from the 18S0s a man pulls up in a wagon to fill his barrels with water at as the Brunson Case, the company the largest share of its water supan irrigatior;) site along the San Gabriel River in the Azusa area. ~ in 1884 ilied a suit fer a determinaply - with the rest divided among " '~

Irrigation played a key role in ricer's transformation

J

obstacle to perexample. Wild sunflowsenally identify"I think there's o lot ers crop up on the ing with the river of c01TIl1'1,imnent o t Continued from page 19 riverbank next to is indeed the lack Still, outside of Azusa and ereaie a. natnm·ttl .. faded. beer paekagof signage ttRd Duarte, the river's essence can get ing. The quack of urban landmarks environment around. muddied. ducks is drowned along its path. Even a lifelong resident of the A group of masout by the buzzlng he ricer: It's CL big East San Gabriel Valley like 67of overhead power ter's students from PCl1·t Qf oUT history year-old Norma Rowley, who 'has . lines. An unobCal Poly Pomona'S visited the river since she was a structed bike path landscape archiand 0'/'£1" identity; " child, has a limited view of it. tecture departfades into the hori"I can say I have never been to' zon while trucks ment who were - Cristina Madrid the river except up San Gabriel zoom by all Durfee hired by the San Azusa mayor Canyon," said Rowley, who lives in .Gabriel Mount Avenue and the Glendora. "Unless someone Has whistle of nearby ains Regional been d.l:~g out of (the river) in the freight trains pierces the air. Censervancy to study how to better rainy season, I have never given it integrate the river into community But there. are no signs indicatmuch thought unless it's in our ing where the city's Iimits begin life ineluded a call for more signage own back door here." and end. in their recommendations. And downriver on the waterThe county is preparing a masJacqueline Lambrichts, founder w.ay, it's hard to even identify ter plan for the river and its adjoin. of Friends of'tlle San Gabriel River, where the Fiver is passing through. ing lands, which could br,ing about whica is seeking to preserve and Take South El Monte as an restore the waterway, said a big such changes, officials said.

THE IDENTITY

------,----.

~-------

Advocates also hope improvements in hiking and equestrian trails and bike paths will draw more v,isitors to the river in all.[ cities, tliereby increasing a eonneelion willi. the' San Gabriel. Rosemead Mayor Margaret Clark, a board member of the new San Gabriel & Lower Los Angeles Rivers & Mountains Conservancy, said the o!)ening0f the Basque del Rio Hondo Bark has increased community identiflcation wlth the waterway. The park, at San Gabriel and Rosemead. boulevards, has picnic sites and a foetbrtdge. "It's very pretty," Clark said. "I think now that there's people who identify a lot more with the river. Before that it was just a channeL"

Staff Writer Dave MeleniU contributed w this story. 0

20

AUGust

27,2000

h~ San G,' abriel River is not only a Witness to crimes but ~ ~ also avictim, At times, it's even a suspect. The homeless set up lodgings by the river while others take potshots at small animals, drink alcohol er commit assault. The river also doesn't escape abuse, getting its share of garbage ana vandalism. By itself, it ean be deadly, especially during the rainy season. Anyone who falls in runs the risk of drowning in the fast-moving water. But officers point out that the areas by the river aren't awash in trouble. "It's not a erime-ridden area," said L0s Angeles County sheriffs Deputy LaI'ry, 'FaGK, hose beat in w the forest mchldes the river. "For the most palJit,there's not mUCN crime. Most @fthe peeple who come up here .are pretty wellbehaved." When crime does happen, which agency handles the case depends on location, location, location. No one law enforcement agency has sole responsibility for Keeping an

ENfORCEMENT ALONG THE RIVER
Policing duties are shared by several agencies
By Ruby Gonzal~s
SfaffWriler

eye on the river. . , Several agencies overlap jurisddctmrrs in the Angeles National Forest. And as the river moves past the mou1:h of the canyon and o'lluvard to the Pacific Ocean, crimes and rescues are handled by·the yoliee, sheriff's and fIre departmen.tstilf THE the cemmunities it winds weugb:. Nene of the various departments aetlilally has a black-andwhite dedicated to just patrolling

the river in their areas. The river, be it in natural form or trapped in a concrete wash, is usually included as part of a patrol beat. UP IN TI-IElMOUNTAINS

LAW

In the forest, there's the Sheriffs Department, Ute U.S.Forest Service, the Los .Angeles County Fire Department and the California Highway Patrol. The forest draws a lot of peeple who live iID. the communities below

"Much.of the activity is by the. roadway. Much of the roadway is within a stone's throw of the river," said Chuck Shamblin, law enforcement coordinator for the U.S. Forest Service. "Many of the problems in the forest originate with people who ceme, It happens between people who know each other," he added. The Forest Service has its own 1aw enfoscement division. Shamblin said they work with other agencies on illegal pot farms 1n the forest and enforcing highway safety. And they can cite people for fish and game violations such as using nets tc fish, He said the biggest problem in the for,estis intentional destruction of property, r.aRgjn_g from graffiti en ~0CKS to bulletriddled sigas; Murders, stolen cars, robberies and other such crimes in the forest are handled by the Shertff's Department. The sheriff's San Dimas Station patrols the mountain from the
Please turn to LAW/22

it. The river is part of the attraction.'

\-.--_'_'"

Staff photo by KEITH DURFUNGER

As part of his regular patrol of the river, county police Officer Jose Carrillo uses binoculars to scan the area of the San Gabriel River at Whittier Narrows near Pico Rivera.
AUGUST 27. 2000

21

bounty police Officer Jose Carrillo notifies fishermen that they earillilot fish in ttnis 11l0ttU0n the San 6abriel River. of

nu lAW
Continued from page 21 .

canyon to the border between Los Angeles and San Bernardino Counties, The more commonly occurring crimes are drinking in public and c:hm" use, said Sgt. Dave Rash, who is in nharge Qfthe mountain ]latl?ol cars. He is alse a coceerdtnato» (!Iff the San m~ilS Mountain !Neselle Team, ' The Sheriff's Department also has primary responsibility for search and rescue calls in the mountains. They're the ones wli:a look for missing bikers. County fire is the secondary age'.Jlcy in SUCRcases. . Nut when it comes te emergency medical calls, the cou.n.ty. Fi.re BeNartmen,t talees primary mtil. 'Ffie"Sheriff's Department becomes the secondary agency. It was a slow day for 'Iack ti)1ring a recent shlft. He shooed a swimmer fir0m CiYstal Lake, telling him that ~ isn't allewed there. Sundays and holiday weekends ara the busiest days in the forest,

El Monte ]i)IDlic;:e a helleopter, use regcilla,r patrol, tJicyele team and ofificers IDnmotoJ!izem dirt bikes to keep tabs on the ri;ver and its surroundings, aCCQr.<iiNg te Boiill Ankeny, assistant police chief for EIMonte. "We db it because it's the right thing to do. The safer the area is, the safer our citizens are," he said. "It's not a bad place but it bears IN THE FLATLANIDS watching." Ankeny said officers on horseAzusa police patrol the riverbed back every onee ill a while would because there are resiO:enees that patrol the area t00. The department's PrID blem Oriented;' Policing backup to the waterway, lPolice Lt. Jeff !Needsaid, team also ih:eads There because of 'Draf'foiegenerated by motorists the homeless eneampmertts. " heading to the forest during weekAnother ]}roblem that has ends and holida,ys is a !problem for cropped up from time to time this footlloi.llcommunltz. " involves men Jiavrng'sex with men "TMe traffic problem we get 1S in public, he said, folks coming back, primarily peeThere are "residential properties ple being turned (awa.y) because that back Ulil to the horse trails. the place is full," Reed said. Ankeny said a burglar can get in

said Larry lBl'Qwn, a: ike" preveution officer with the Forest Service. The canvon can accommodate 3,000 parked cars at one fune. It's Brown's job to keep his eyes peeled for people using fireworks and illegal campfires. He's worked in the forest for 25 years. "It's a balancing aet here of protecting reso-urces and providing riecreation to people. )liou do it by emlu.cati0u and enf0FC8melilt of ruies," ne sa,id. iWhile he ean call fat armed law enfsrcement to bacld him UJ:l if needed, Brown hasn't dbne that. "I personally beheve it's h0W you handle the situation," he said.

nres.

"Especially iN tile summer months, people like to go tIDthe Gany.on." Sometimes those who can't get into the forest decide to hola their picnics or barbecues by the riverbed below the canyon. 'I'here have been rescues and open camp-

an.1il! ut ef houses without being o seen from the streets, another reason why they patrol there. And there's the potentiaiJ. of suspeets fleemg inte the wash to elude p01ice or runaways using it as a hideaway) he said. The river, for the most wart, poses no problem fa]' the sheriff's Industry Stati0n, aecording to Lt. Charles Schultz. It's ruso ql!ldetiN Fi€0 Rivera. 'Ji1b.el\ese@!tIDbe a smal] gneup a sf fi0mele,ss who set up a camp by the trees bY'Beverly BQllle"llal!d several years ago, said Sgt. Henry Garza of the sheriffs Pica Rivera station. That was until the county flood control staff leveled the brush. Gang members whose back vards faced the riverbed used to run there to escape. The gang memo bers ¥lere arrested In the mid19908. Bike rtders, jogger-s ana 1i\UIlrrers now eotl!s'tiltute the tJ.i"affic ther-e, he"said, " "It's quite safe and the pu.blic is quite €0lflfol'it-able going there," Garza said. The sheriff's Temple City
Please tum to LAW I 23
t

22

AUGUST27,2000

THE LAW
Gon~inuedfrom page 22

riser. The railroad trestles that goes underneath the Slauson Avenue overpass is used a footbridge by gang members to get into the City and Pica Rivera, according to Whittier police Lt. Rick Gilliland. It',s a spot the cops eheck, Fcir a while, Gilliland said there was a problem with thieves jumping onto trains as it negotiated the bend by the river. The thieves would throw their loot off the train and then jump offlater. Police teamed up with the railroad police, conducted

as

stakeQuts and made arrests, In Norwalk, a woman Jogging on the bike pam on May 18 was attacked by a man who tore off her top before she got. away. Two hours later, a 14-year-0ld gh11 was raped by a man matching the same description. 'Fhe teen was attacked on the path Near Firest(!me BoUlevard. The next day, deputies arrested a man on suspicion of the attacks. While the -wash is offclimits. to the public that hasn't stqpped trespassers. "It's fairly Gammon to frod two three kids slip in. It's kil).d of inevitable. They use it to cut across, hop fenees and p-laYthere," said tiire Capt. Larry Coll'ins. "Sometimes when it rains, they're oau.ght unawares." Plucking vtctlms out of the wash is most likely a task for the county Fire IDepartmeN,t But before 1982, Collins saW there was no swiftWater rescue program. Cellins, .Wh0 helped develep the department's program .ip. the '80s, said a person Gould fain im.t0 the Fiver and not be seen by rescuers. Now, all of the 3,000 GO~ty fitefighters we trained in swntwater rescue. As .part of its pr;_e-]jlamIing:,the me department created maps of all rivers and tributaries In the GOlmty showing where flreflghters will fie posted in case of a rescue. 0
23

AUGUST 27,

2·000

" . 't~; :

.
'!l

Staff photo'by

KEITH DURFUNGER

Gl!la~all!Jpe Rod~iguez, Who H\'Ieswitlilft:iernciJs in a l?iG0 Rivera horne that macks up-to the San ~abriel River, hangs her'laundry in the late morning.

"if need uhe SW1"ilf t@ let

w'ow, the serenity of the

LIV·INGJON· IH.E WAIER'S EDGE '~'j I !
. _ _. By William Dauber
S!offWri!er

nite

ricer and WcttfM:faUs . .11:'S
quiet asui there's no
crime, ct1ulm,y s~:m gef!s to

fish and chase but~erjlies instead oj playing
'IDiril.e@'

games all clay. That's why I li'Ue here."

- Dawn Yornell-Pechinko
(amp Williams resident

-

(!)ses, Gonzatez stands a10Beon a railroad bridge near Slauscn Av.enue In SaBta Fe Springs. He's en his wa"j to aOWn1Fl!g 12-pacik of Millell a while listening to rock. 'n' roll and watching the wildlife pass him by. , The Pica Rivera resident, dotted ~th three "lone-wolf' tattoos, has been ceming to the same SP0tabove the San GabrielRiver for l2 years. "I'm a loner by nature," the .33y.eaN)ld Gonzalez said, C001ing to Neil Young music on a warm summer day. "I just come to relax here, .take in thescenery man, it's beautiful out here." Gonzalez points out the longnecked cranes and the ducks and says he has spotted red-tail hawks and even a California condor. Down below,there's been the cecasional fox or two,

Gonzalez is a part-time welder who lives in.a PiC,0Riillera apartment that's a ti\l'&minutebike ride frem the bridge. iBis observatiens are reserved for the wildlife and 1J.e keeps a safe distance from the human inhabitants of the area. "This is a great .place to see th~ animals and nobody bothers you," he said. "It's like you're in your own world with the cranes and the foxes." The reserved Gonza1lezis not mud dtfferent from many of those wso li;ve ON or near the San Gabriel River in their own world. Some live next to the river as an escape from a congested city life, others to keep their distance from police and some, like Gonzalez,just for the solitude. Meanwhile, the homeless pOIlU-

lation along the river seems to grow each year, lilut nobody seems to kNow theili" numbers. They lhve below freeway passes, under railncad bridges and other places that provide shelter. Their camp's are equipped with makeshift tents, mattresses, radios and usually feature a home-made hibachi. "They choose to live here because nobody bothers them," said Da:vici: Ortiz, who rents a home along the river with a' few friends 'in Santa Fe Springs. "The cups don'tcsmeby here too much, and I think they like that. They don't really bother nobody unless they are making a lot of noise at night. But you kind of get 'Usedit." Ortiz, 39, said the homeless enjoy the freedom they wouldn't
Please turn to DWELLERS / 25

24

AUGUS,

27.

2000

~.·edge

THE DWELLERS , Continued from page 24

have in a city, "t,IiJ.erepolice ase always en alert and usually connne the homeless to a single area. He aJ1:;(i) said he's net sune that all 0fi them as down ana 0Ut as they first seem . ."I think they either g0 to a r-elative's home to shower or they go to a shelter," Ortiz said. Ortiz's family, like a few in Pica Riw.eva,. .v,-e M al(i)):ilg ThIer because tlre nousmg is aff0~dable. [t's tone same reason that Fmrreiseo L0pez, 31, moved into the city .. He lives with his two brothers, wife and two children in a three-bedroom home. UJr.rliketh~ alilaJtt]nenf they prev'iel:l.sl:w .liv:ed in, L0pez said tib:ey can eNj0Y a fuaekYarci b~becue on Slffidays, haze a place to hang their. laumlry an_dnow have the Ilr,ide of home 0wuership. But there are some drawbacks. "We irked it because it was a home and it was a g0(i)ddeal,' said Lopez, whose heme:.backs tip to theriver on Ptco Vista Road. "The oilly problem is that sometimes it gets noisy at night and in the summer the river stinks." Lisa (Cox,32, will: admit to a few foul smells on the riv.er but wouldn't live an¥ other place. She was raised Near the San Ga1lriel by her mother since she was 8 years old and now lrves in a RewJ!aIild Heights home that bac-ks UP to a waterway. "This is a different wopl!!!,"said Cox, wh0 also teaches at tb:e S~ta Fe Springs Equestnian 0enter. "m. fact, we call this ]llace 'tile island' because we don't U0t'ice the freeway traffic whelil YOU head !ilC!llllil1 the river en horsebaGk." The iIilstrilct(i)r saitl she :bIas seen her island get s_mal~er, w,ifh fihe Closm:gof man.:y h9li'Se sMbTes uw and down 'tibe river and. the p-rtj!fferatlen of mote Nemes. She remembers taking horse rides i0W1l fa' DOE:gBeach, but 1I0W the trail's to the beach ha'Ve 10ug, s~nGe·been fenced 0ffte horses. . Jodi Jenkins has always been attracted to a life surrounded by nature and a sense of tranquility. That's why the 63-year-old hairdresser said she's enjeyed living in mountain canyons amove Azusa fer nearl¥ 15 years. "I spent a lot ef time, as a ym.rog persoa, with my paxents up here, ,.,said Jenkins. "I used to tell iny parents that one day I was going to have a place up here. And I did it sooner than later."

pre

Jeliiktns, is one of many residents - including famdhes and retrned people - livil1gin Caril]l WiI.llams Mobtle Park, less than 25 minutes amo;ve the San. Galbriel ValleY foothlIIs. The residential community is neighbored by a campgr0l:lNd aNt1l. restaurant, as well as the S0Utl ef the flowing San Gabriel RtveF. "] enj0Y the tranqui1[ty ef the river. I can go down there-and meditate or just think," Jenkins said. "You ean also just sit aNd! wateb ttre animals run or fly by." Mountain residents do experienee their octasiotral ineonve. niences,"like in the wtnter when the roads are out or when you: lose' electricity," said Jenkins. But the mishaps are not enough to push them away. Neither are such challenges as supermarkets and gas stations so far away that Sfl0JU;ling requires advance planning. , "It's 2a miles to the closest galIon of milk," said Dawn YiarnellPeclUnkQ, who also lives at Camp Williams. "I go dewn the hill once a week and get as much as Ineed." The Rev. Jim,Homer of the Little Chapel of th'e Canyon said many of the people who live in the mountains and al(i)ng the river are fleeing from more tradltibnal lives, "Residents Wh0 Hve here to a lar.ge degree are running from something, whether, it be an exspouse, bill coflector, the law or pimps, And there are a lot of people who come up here ... to a .large degree, to find God," he said.

Mose'sG01i1zalez Rico RiVera of staads 0na train trestle $0Uth of Slaus(!JnAl:'ern:Je, watcbingfor wildlife alongthe San GabrielRiver. "They are looking for a,_ change son gets to fish and chase butterin their lives. There's a percentage flies instead of playing Viideogames who come and leave better people all day. That's why I live here." Yarnell-Pechinko and JenkiIls than when ttrey came ill:' Yarnell-Pechinko, 40, said her said their neighbors and other family's meve to the Angeles canyon residents have jobs in the National F0rest Game when her city, of course, concluding their youngest son, Zachary, was in his day back home by the river. And ewly years iN elemen1:a.pY school. Jenkins believes that's a personal The fanlily has lived in Rancho reward. Cucamonga, but the "hustle and "There's something about going bustle" (!Jfstep-and-go traffic could up and down the highway and seenot compete with their love for the ing the beautiful water from the outdoors, dam," she said. "That (freeways) is not my idea of living: This is." '1 need the sun to let me grow, the serenity 0f the river and waterCorrespondent Araeeli Esparza and Staff Writer Phil Drake confalls," Yarnell-PeGh:illko said. "'It's quiet and there's ne erime, and my tributed to this story. 0

stan photo

~yKEITHIDURFUNGER

~

a river on the edge

"'1 just :reJlnem"ber hearing the hum1~ing. 'Iirllt.ere wq,s so much. 1U::t111ilning. Antil it wasn't heavy ipetin, hut it was const(1lnt. It (seemed) like it.

._

rain.ed jorrecwer."
- Adolph Solis

MEMORIES OF THE IGRE'AT· STOHIY RIVER'
San Gabriel rich. in history with stories of go·ld, Indians and water wars
By Michelle Rester and .Debbie Pfeiffer Trunnell
.
,

S.loffWiilm

net at all the peaceful meanderh.ey say it was once a Wi!. 'd ing €reeK sonre people imagine." Fiver fuat could unleash a ~ ~ wall of llquld fury, making Here is a brlef rundown of' some it as deadly as it was beautiful historical high:lights. If it only hall a voice, what amazing stories the San Gabriel TONG-VA IND~S RiveI!' would share, It might speak volumes on natur"We knew it as the Great Stoney al and man-made violenee: of enorRiver," said Mar:k Acuna, a memmous boulders c~ashil!l.g dow;n IDe bel' of the 'Fongv.a Ind.liaN 'Fribe iWniieh at one rime had vililages SaB Ga,briel CanNon amil!l.g thundermis storms, devastatil!l.g floods, a!long tile baJ!J'ksof the river from o]!uweSSiOliJ. native people and! Azusa Canyon to the Papllk Ocean. of it was lirke the aiGlJ.,ndanee of wat~r wars that prempted ranchers im]>Fessiv.e boulders 3!HIl stones to d~te eaelt other's dams. ltLeN came the taming of the tltat still rumble forth out of Azusa Canyon that may have inspiFed the river. 'Phe construction of monumental concrete and Foe:::k-fill dams name. The roughly 2,000 built fo c0ntrGl flboQiing. Water rights .sorted out remaining THE H~STORY Indians, often Tongva called in courtrooms, not the canyon f1<:JOr. Gabrielinos, offer one of the longest Imoks back at the river's But the eentreversies continue today with fights over pending ancestry, whrch for them consists of everything hfe-afflrming. housing developments on its banks "To me, (the river) represents at the same time the new San the past in a very spacial way," Gabriel & Lower Los Angeles Rivers & Mountains Conservancy Acuna said. "It always reminds me of what the world once was - a . begins its mission to protect and restore what is left. land of flowing rivers, fish, and a land of people Misiting village to vllRiver advocates say the past, as Iage, city to city, and as a place ef always, offers its lessons. "We need to understand how it, commerce. It was also a place for people to come together, a place for was before people were here," said joy, picnics and canoeing and just a Margaret Clark, Rosemead mayor lot of activities." and conservancy board member. "It was a raging torrent at times The river served as the vehicle of trading, as the Indians traveled

in reed canoes to far-away villages such as the Il1Cijor economic center of Puvungna, which is now Cal State Long Beach, said Margaret Hammon, Santa Fe Springs cultural arts administrator. The Tongva Indians also consider the San Gabriel River one of four sacred rivers in Seuthern California, Acuna said. The .otlrers are the Los Angeles, Rio Hondo and Santa Ana rivers. '''We beUeveallliving things were considered sacred and h01y arid should be treated with respect and dignHy because they were Iife-giving fosees," ACUNa said. Today, visitors to Heritage Park in Santa Fe Springs can take a glimpse ata re-creaeion of a Tongv:a home that would have appeared in that area in what was once the Chokiishingna Village. GOLD

Photo courtesy

1939 photo of Adolph Solis, 8, and his cousin, Rose Perez, 2, in front of Solis' Azusa home\'

F:ish and. water weren't the only preeinus gifts given to river denizens. Word of gold in the foethills and

canyons of tliie San Gabriel Mountains began to spread in the 1830s. The first nuggets were reportedly discovered in San Gabriel Canyon's East Fork in 1838, according to historian J ohn
Please turn to HISTORY I 27

26

AUCUST 27.

2000

HIE HISTORY
Continued hom page 26

The violence of the river later cast its wrath 0H g6ld,seareliers in the form of a wicked fi00d that w.asl:lei!l. awa;y the 1i.i'st0rirc Eldoradoville Mining Town iin. Janu!ITY 1862. '!'he town sprang up along the San @abriel Ri¥er at Cattle Canyon in 1858. It was that 1862 flood thatendetl the boom days, Robinson said, sending the miners.elsewhere: One of them,a Gernran named Jacob Waltz, lett for Arizona and imm0rtality as the discoverer of the legendary Lost Dutchman Mine.
])EVELOPMENT

Robmsen,

A10ng with gOld-thiFsty Amerlcans, the land asound the San Gabriel River was populated with other settlers. First there were tIre Span.ish, who built the first mission here along the San Gabriel River, Historians say their attempt to baptize the natives into OhristiaNity led to IrildiffiilwOFk camps, Meanwhile, there wex:e an in.nrreasing number of El!lr0pean setStan photo 6y JOSHiESTEY tlers wlis created, eattle and oitm1s B0DBraael;) eeps an eye .omhishig)i-baflkerqredge wfilile iSnephewT0mmyMal'S~uses the pump to bringup debris fromthe K h ranches - an the while, IDe figb,triverbedCinheir attempt to ifinQ 0milie East Forkof the $an GabrielRiver. t gold fig controlled to tame the rush,iNg f100flS and over the ri'igb:ts of tliie, ' necessary river water for dritlkin!g as well as irrigation, WA:'FER WARS

MiN;~rssti~lseek the mother lode in the mountains
By)Roseli Ilona
COJn5p~naenl

at f(ijN0wed was liM:e cReatti:oIil nf wha;t t~da'Y is known as the Committee of Nine or, more fm,pmally; the San Gabriel River Water Committee, Which has the only legal right to. divert water from the river, Original committee .members included. men from the Old Users Contract Wat.el' Co., Azusa Irrigafing Co., Duarte Mutual Water Co., Agricultural Water Co., Beardslee Water Ditch Go., Azusa Water Development & Irrigating Co..and Vosburg~Neil. . "Before this, it was something you'd see in an Old West movie," said Don BetTY, whose official title
Please turn to HISTORYf 28

Forest can be had for only $25. It was in the San Gabriel. Monntains where the first re(wrrn.ed gold sti:'ike toek place in ]838. "It's getting 0Ut into. the forest and seeing gI)itter at the bottom of my pan tha~ keeps me mining," said Barret Wetherby, secretary and treasurer of the California Thall Users Coalition. "There's. always. the chance that yo.u will be ali the right plaoe at the right time." As well as an entertalning pastime, gold milling can bea rewarding career. . Hoagland l1ieganas an avid backpacker, read book on panniNg f0r gold, and ha,s been hooked ever sinee. He has mined for 33 years, spending more than $100,000 on teehnical mming 'equipment, but it has paid off.

"It became apassio» ami a family business," he said. "It's also been -a gosd way toma:Ite a living." 0

ALL THAT GLll;liERS
Got gold fever and a taste for adventure? Here are a couple of local gold-mining suppliers. who CQl1 send you on your way. Az.usa Gold Roland "Ron" Hoagland 615 N. Azusa Ave., Azusa, CA 91702 nttp:/1WWW.azl;lsagold.com Manconl's Mining Supply Aland Janiee Marcom 23400East Fork Road Azusa, CA 91702
(626) 910-1388 (626) 334-259'6

a

AUGUST

27. 2000

27

TON,GVA INDI,ANS. FLOURISHED ALO,NG THE WATE.RWAY
By Juliet (~ung
(orrespondenl

he San Gabriel River ties the past to the present f0Y ~ ~ the Ga];lFie'lIiJ.;r0mcmgv'a, hlre soatteree descendants of a ]!leacefill Ind!ian flat ion that called the LGs' Angeles Basin horne. The San Gabriel River is one of four rivers - the others being fu:e Los Angeles River, the Rio .Hond0 and the Santa Ana River - HIe Gabrielinos' lives revolved around, . according to Mark Acuna, a 'I'ongva Indian and retired Mount San Antonio College ,pu0fessor. "It was treated with great respect and digni1:¥because it gave life," he said, "It's sacred now because it's a neminder of the world that was itclkenfrom us." .Ap81i from being their primary

source of food and transportation, the rivers also served as a site for their villages. But their prominerree in the Gabrielinos' lives was destroyed when Spanish missionanies enslaved the nation in the 1770s to build the San Gabriel Mission he said. "A culture that was one of tIle' most extensive and most poweisul in all of California was completely wiped out in one generation," Acuna said, citing changes in language, clothing and religious practices . "Six thousand of the 'I'ongva

.~Thewo'rld· in 5;0 years in thEl. missions. Genocide is that was exactly what it was." F01lowing Mexico's indepentaken dence and the secu0L the missions, the from us' larizatlen Gabrielinos eontinued to work,

Th.e village structure,comprised of democratic and independent villages, has been replaced with a number of tribal units that . focus on preserving and celebrating traditions. The units generally support the efforts to renovate the San Gabriel River, Morales said, but have not yet actively participated. And while much of what characfirst for Mexico and terized the Gabrielino Tongva has then for the ranchos anter disappeared, their respect for the California became a state. rivers that deflned their lives per'Foday:, Anth0ny Merales, chief sists. ' of the Gabrtelino Tongva nal!i0n, "In our hearts and in our minds, estimates that roughly 2,000 we still respect and honor those Gabrielino Tangva exist. Estimates at the tribe's peak of population in waterways because our ancestors lived on those waterways," Morales the 16th century plaee the numbers said. 0 as ltigh as 7,000. Indians w.ere buried

----=-----+----"------

THE H~STORY
Continued from page 27

is zanjero, a Spanish word for "keeper of the ditch. " "One 'rancher 'would build adarn to divert water for his cattle, , then his neighbor downstream would find out and blow up the dam with dynamite. It was vicious." FLOODS Although he was only 7 years old at the time, Azusa City Clerk .Adolph Solis said he- can still l'ememOeF the El00d 0f [938 - one of several that caused millieas of dollars in property damage and separated the San Gabriel Valley from Los Angeles. Hundreds of Azusa families in the town ef about 4,000 scrambled for safety to the, old Lee Elementar:y School - the highest ground in the city and on property that was also the original site of pioneer Henry Dalton's first ranch house. "I just remember hearing the humming," Solis said. "There was so much' humming. And it wasn't heavy rain, but it was constant. It (seemed) llke it rained forever." The Solis home on the brushfilled and open San Gabriel Avenue suffered no major damage that year, but a few homes close to the

river did, he said, It wasn't until land around the river became developed that floods really became 'an issue. "If it had been paved like it is now, it would have been a real mess," Solis said. Earlier settlers were net as fortunate. An 1868 flood wiped out most of the adobe mansion in Wh.ittier owned by Pia Pico, the last Mexican governor of California. . Aceonding to Robinson's bJ00'k "The San Gabriels," large floods also hit the area ln 1884, 1914, 1938 and 1969. Some Baldwin Park residents also still remember the 1938 flood. ' "In 1938, there was no Santa Fe Dam and it Iooked like Baldwin Park would end up in rthe Pacific Ocean," Aileen Pinheim said. "Of course that didn't happen, but it did do a lot of damage."

an

Photo courtesy

of LOS ANGElES COUNTY P,UBUC WORKS DEPARTMENT'

FormerPresident Herbert Hoover dedicates Morris Dam on May 26, 1934. Committee of Nine member. "Before dams, things would flood every year because the river was never controlled," Solis said. "So we were always at the mercy of the river and all that runoff from the spring thaw. Thankfully, we don't really have to worry about that now." Former President Herbert Hoover attended the May 26, 1934, dedication of Morris Dam, and offered these werds: "On behalf of those far-seeing leaders of this community, the engineers whose skill has brought this plan to practical realization, and the community which has given to them their loyal support, I dedicate the Morris Dam ta servlce of a hun.dred generations of Americans who will receive the' blessings." . Morris Dam also played a part in the war effort. For many years the Navy would test torpedoes in the lalm.D

DAMS Taming the water beast came with the construction of dams beginning in the 1930s.. April 1934 marked the completion of the first dam, Cogswell, followed by Morris, San Gabriel, Santa Fe and later Whittier' Narrows in 1957. "The dams are very critical to flood control and water conservatien," said Joe Hsu, director of Azusa Light and Water and

28

AUGUST

27, 2000

- --- -- -- ._--

_

__,._

-- --- -- --..~-

The URPEir SIn G1ibrlel Valley Munic:lpltl Wlt~r DI!l:tric:t is re~PGif:H:lble p,'r0vid'lmgwater to §up.plel!t1et1t the loc~1 groundwater for ~.ljpply, While rlall'lfall an'd natwralrunoff frgffl ow' local mOlJl'lt41il'iS r;wGlvldsrnwch of the San Gabriel V~II~yja w.atflF !'llJpply, nee all ~f Its watar needs Glll,l1 bl§ rr:l'Bt this way. Th@Valhw mUl}t lmpere Ib@ut 20%- of jt!lje wa.tl!r It uses, with mQst pUI'~hlsed throlJ~h the Upper Sin Gabriel Valley MUf1lclpaJWater Distr.l~t.

PARTN ERS'H IPS Make 1 Hoppen
ADIllRESSIN'G S

I'SIUES
The Upper San Gabriel Yalley Munidpal Water lBJistrictco-sponser:ed "Celebrate ime Riv.err" along with St.ate Senaner Hilda Soli.s arnd the Sierra Club to brir71gabout awarr;erJe:ss,ef issues affecting the San Gabriel' B.:iver.Orne €If, tine guest speakers imell!Ja.ea Secr'etary Marcy lNJieli101s who chairs the newly created San Gabriel and lower Los Angeles Rivers and Mountains

Conservancy,

WATERSHED RESTORATION ACTIVITIES

President Men Manning addresses the audiehce at th e "CeJebrcne the River" event held at the Santa Fe Recreation Are·a.

DIrector Frank F.orbes gives a water education presentation to the "readl. Historical Museum ___.,--~-

Students lookIng at !he product (rom the San jose Water Redomption Plan!, where [Jpper Di5ltlct~ water (or !he San Gabriel Valley .f{ecycled Water Demonstrqtion Project is purified.

The Upper San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District has partnered with s.everal high schools and senior centers to provide water education bus tours. The tours focus on issues pertaining to local, imported, and recy.ded water.

ernie Salas, 68, a if0Agva, waves feathers of, a red-telles hawk over smoke from burning sage in an abalone shell as he blesses ~le water;

~ ~ tli:e dver,S'tl~'e,ffs about e*e~'c!i;$'e,ht it's - also about elem'ing his mind. "~ think about a lot of thingS0ut here," the $year-old El M('J]1teres. iiihmt sam. "It's great. "[ think ab01l:t @od," the- TImck $'i¥:er said. "I tl1i!t~ 8!li>rout everytIIing,a lot of s]ririt\J.~thmgs. That ittelps me. 0ut a 10t out here:" the-wide epen spaGes f0r sIDm.ething more than just physi~a:l exet1;ion. 'Fhe Little Chapel of the Canyol'l is a tiny church 011 a hillside in Foll0WS Camp, in the msuntalns above Azusa. It's there where the Rev. Jim Homer preaehes to a small fl(!)ck of parishioners. "There seems to 'be something about mountains, streams 01' what, that gives them a chance tID r~1'llli," Homer said. "I think wheFl tlleur go uP' here they frnd something th~y ·B.itht't ;think tl1ey,;would fintil. That's true for a lot of people. "Any time we get clsse i!!>'Natufe ]helie isa}way-s a: sensatlen we are gettiNg (dose to GC!l(ij. Nature is one @f time many MtefielaNgel'Qs that God mas pr0dueed. It is one of Ilis many masterpieces."

bike HH2 milesa day along

o~y Benavidez rifles his

TAPP NG INtO A
M{fJjrnyfltJcl~ t~ tthe. rifje~ outdoors to cleanse thceir S01}1;Z
By Phil Drake a,nd Usha Sutliff
SloflWrilDr~

SPIRllUAL

5 DE

It's

E.0.

se011ertJ.tat ~e0IDle go to

Padgett said most people probably could not talk about what they feel spiritually .as they walka10ng the water and mountains. "Maybe they feel it, but d'on''t kuw how tosay it. '!!'hat is often now it is. . You proba:01y cotUclh't IiJut it i.nt0 words if ;YON Mea," Thesat@), '''Rkat's what poeRy, is fOF, but I am not a poet" 'Ifie Little Cha]lel's WOJ.lship[laJI itself seems 1:0 have linaerg01i1,e a spiritual renewal, Herner said the •

a river on the edge

t

B_y

Ma~y Schubert
SI~ff;Wrner

water. WateFIllace Bark fieeame .. 'rflen, pO]ilulafions etten move ~ end of a riv:emont outward, and the waterway that f!ro¥iiclencBRiver Park, a'lso flows through a town becomes litthe route; was eFeated IDY actually . tile mere man someflmlg to menireloGating-parts of the three rivers tor during the st0rmy season to and l;emowing tlle roadWiaw that ensure it doesn't overflowtts 1J.adsealed them off fer years. banks. Rhode Island architect wmiam But the urban river 'ts NOW Wamrer des'igned the $60 million regajning its prominence mmany river revitaliZation: pFojeet, WhiGh Legions, where cleanup some have duBbed "tliie and development have Venice of New transfermed What were England." utilitarian flood control The waterway has channels into ch?lTIl~g, been sprueed up with peaceful Meccas for stro1J:fulg,din.suchamenleies as co'bB[estone mg, s'lfLoPflmg;cycl::in:gand even 'sicie,valks, b!¥lches, olril-fas1:doneiil taking a g6nd01'a ride. stneet 1fg:hts, lla!l!.{t"ieal-st<y.,re sail-. . There's no telling whether the ir.rgs ana aneher emblems ON the San GabrM River will e.vo:!lilento i f00tliJrimges that stretch IT@li.'t (]lNe something like 1ilirat,but however 'bank to the ether, M0St of the ambitious or medest the plans, fanding came from the F'edem} those deciding i,ts future have Highway Adrn.m.istration aiild the many exampIes from which to state's Departmento.f 'P!:ansport· b0Vf0W. ati@m. ill San Amltonio, the ID@l!liligu.'es, Back in Southern GaJ:lf@rn.ia outdoo» cafes, footbrJdges, benchAz).1saofficiaLSare 1:hin1dng a:bput es and cobblestone. paths that fuJ.'e BOW;t!!} improve an 8-mile sueten both banks of RiiVer Walk. maw @fthe Fj,ver between the ~geles tourists who, in an0ther era. ma¥ Naili0l}ail. 'Ferest ami the.Santa Ee, have visited the 'il'eJi:astown only Bam. -to see theAlame. "We want -to preserve 1he Also known as Paseo del Rio, serenity aNd beauty that the river the 2.5-lnile walk was built by the has. It's a .wonderful chunk of Work Pr@jects A:dmiriistrati0n as wilderness, of nature in a pristine a flepres,S'IOPl-era sivie im:t!Jto~e" strate," A21usa May;or (i;ri-s:ti>lifa nrent. Itwas designed IDy SaIN Ma1illiid! said. Ant0ni'0 ar:ehiitect:Rol!iel~Hugman @ne ad~,mlntage. is that, for aNd funded by a local bond meamuch of its rO.l.il.te, .evel@pmeRt a sure and a federal ~'A grant. It hasn't encroached -bat ill ilts .mpemedin 1941. . current state, .the area surreundNoW!River Walk features boat ing the river could use some rides, an outdoor live theater, seaenhancements, Madrid believes. sonal festivals, "floating" parades, "There's no shade, There's HO . and rivets ide eateries imdudil!l.g benches," she said. "We weuld the Hard Reek Cafe and Planet like to make [t more user-friemlly; Hellywood, and wel([ lllie to return ;;IS much of . "It's just been fabulous for San the batiks to tITe nafu_titalslope as Amtoni0," said Patti Larsen, a we can." . spokeswoman for the local chant· Sta:n1ey Yooog, spa'll':esmaHfer bel' of commerce. the state's ReS0Hl"CeS 1'>i.geneY, said Meanwhile, in Rhode Isj;aT:ld, waterWa;ys have a way 0f G0NUectthree rivers the ing cnmnnuaties. , Waenasquatucket, the "It's the river that blinds them Moshassuck and the Providence together. The only pr01Jiem is, - converge in the capital city.. Ii until now, we have been turF.i!i.ng beautifitation project called our backs on the r~ver," he saJa. Riverwalk began in 1987 and, '·'We've been putting it in concrete upon completion a decade later, and behind barbed wire." 0
j

O~

ities have always had a way of growing up wound rivers and other bodies of

~:§aW:Fii"l'Iatl1I\sl~l2i"dl,ib6§;..\_1~n~_Si
~.~.~'fiiiil' R):;;~iWMI~~G)l,j~g ~

~~1~'2"1i'm1
~~i1f

II
I
I

I

control and water c0rlservaJion project constructed Corps of Engineers, Los Angeles liJistrict. The sam prevides is also the central element of the. L0S Angeles County cOfltrollfsy!stern.Construction of the pmject was completed in 1957, T'OP.I-,n''ln Control Act ef August 1941.

Wliles of the bike trail, from the boundary betw.e~fl long Beach sf the entire river trail, not only toeks amJ plants as the river nears . parks - EI Dorado and liberty Parkoff to the northeast about six miles trail; elF; if you don't mind cutting \{e.El.e'tIJ:!~y.:~ara picl<up the long Beach and . miles to Huntington Beach.

32

liJ$$illiiiiMmm;-s:
Park hour$: Park fees:

Recreation A,ea

750 S. Santa Anita Ave., South EI Monte

M(:mdaythrough Sunday 6 a.rn, to 30 minutes after Glusk •

.~--~.------. _ _--_._
..._ .. .... _ ... ..

_

Veltlicle eatranee fee (year round)_ "' R.V., trailers over 20 feet ~ Bus _, .. ~"" .. , Friday there is no park fee
Equestrian:

. ,

.$3 $5 $10

The Whittier Narrows Equestrian Center proviees g~ided rides along the !'lark. Reservations are required for large groups, There is a weight limit of 240 pouflds per rider and children liAust be least (years (')fage. Forlnformatlon.ann reservations (626J 575·5600.
Boat and bicy,cle rentals:

Boats.and bicycle rentals are available near tile lake at AlffedQ's Family FUACenters. The following rates are as followed: ·For information (562J 434-6121 Boats are $10 an hour Bicycles are $8 to $25 an hour
Four-wheel bicycles·that seat several people are $25 an hour.

Swimming: AtHletic

Tl;lere absolutely is no swimming permittem at any time. The area located along Rosemead Boulevard

pr0vides'SDccer, softball anl!l lJase[;1all,as Well as a f~11ElM/( bicycle racecourse,
Animals:

areas:

All animals must be kept on a leash no longer than 6 feet and under €.0r.ltrolof the owner at all times.

------.--~~~-For Information Source: The U.S. Army Corps of En~l1eers & los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation

Reservations: May be made tor .any day of the year. Areas are available for large families, company picnics QJ birthday parties and mayinclude barbecue pits and playgrounds.
and reservations Staff graphic (626) 515-5600. by MANUEL AMAYA & LANCE MARBURGER
AUOUST

27.2000

33

',..

-STill GOING STRONG
, "

".

------

P~ped trail stresches from Azusa to the ocean
By Debbie. Pfeiffer Trunnell
. Slll!f'Wriler

,. .

·--····-·--·------·-·----·r·--·· History, • A maj'erity, of the trail

The bicycle trail beglns im M:l:.Jsa, wtilere tlile San Gabriel·River cresses state lHiglilway 39. (San, Gaar-iel CamYGlnRead) and precseds soutf along the aamks of the San Gabriel River, flassirlg tlilr.ough the Santa ~e [lam Recreation Area ana the Whittier Narrows Recreation .¢.rea until reaching its end at Paclfle Coast Highway in l.lOng Beach, was.built 1mthe 19705, Additional stretches were added when ~_v?jl_a_~I~: __. _._ _. Length - 37 miles Parks and recreation areas: 15 directly accessed with numerous

.f~n_dJ~~_~~~~cn_t:

~'1"bli!===ll====lI'

.-

_~~~.e!~_~~th!~ .~~I_k_!~~_~i~!~n~~: _ Maintenance· The Los Angeles County Department of Public Works is responsible fQr.the rnalntenanca and operation ortne trail from state Highway 39 (Azusa) to Wardlow Road (LOf;lg Beach), the remaining length is maintained by Seal Beach and Long Beach. . ~~~
!!:

The San Gabriel River Trail

$700',000each year maintaining and upgracJ.i:figthe path, Winter said. Ana. with the formation of the Hig.hway 39- where the- road San @abriel & Lower Los Angeles descends 01:1tof the rugged San .Rivers & Mountains CONservancy, . Gabriel Mountains. there is hope more benches, inforIt's atmost idyJ.'lic here at the mative signs ami rest stops will be bilke path.'s beginning in Azusa, put in along the way. e¥en tn0l:lgn it'S: j,Rst a short dis1Jhere am three access points in tance from the IDtilllililgalil&0l!neli' Azusa, the start of fu,e path at the . human enr.J.1oa:diments that will mouth of Azusa canyon, at Lario , S00n become only too obvious. Par:k and at tine comer of Todd and But the trail that runs beside Sierra Madre aseaues. the river fer some 317 mjles to its The' trail is used by bicyclists, end at Seal Beach IS still geing hikers. in-line skaters and has an strong since its creation in the equestrian trail running. beside it. 197Cls, It is closed during storms that can Back then it wae seen as an pose flood hazards, alternative form of transpertation PiC0 Revera Mayor Garth for long-distance commuters, and it Gardner said his city, at the path's remains popular with those who halfway point, also put in Its own prefer) getting aI1GUoN.@ Los the trail thrOl[gh the city, on the oppoAngeles megalopolis en MO wheels site side oHhe river. "More p.eople use it than you instead of four. ' "We wanted to encourage peo- might e:lWect," lie said "And we ple to use it, because tt want to make sure there extends such a long disis aiR'ali\ea where, there . tance aRa there are busl- THE PATHS can be hiking and bicynesses and, schools along cli.ng without interferthe route, " said Bill Winter, a ciVil ence from vehicles and a chance to engineer with the Los Angeles' observe nature." Oounty Department- of Public Like the urban areas it passes, Work-s. the path has seen its snare of pr00; "And R10Stcities are very recaplems. , tive to the bike trails. Some, such Ell®:ing the last decade, police as Lakewood, have created biNe rel!lorted an: increase iN crime on lanes that access tl'ie path." bike J1Iatl'rs 0ugh0U.t Los Angeles w T0day, the river mike path has , and Orange counties, including along the San, Gabriel River Trail, access points at ill major streets as it passes through Azusa, 'Irwindale, The trail goes through some highBaldwin Park .. Industry, El Monte, crime areas. Graffiti is 'common but graffiti South El Monte, Pico Rivera; removal is 'also aggressive, 'There Whittier, Santa Fe Springs, Norwalk, Bellflower, Cerritos, have been comiplaints of bike thefts Long Beach ami Seal Beach, and verbal harassment, so pathway FiEte'en parks and recreation travelers are encouraged to use the trail willi: [Wmparu.0Rs . areas' a150 can be' accessed off the winding path, a;nd numereus othHomeless people can be seen ers are within walking distance. huddled on tlie banks in underThe- Los Angeles County passes er wide spots on the trail Department of Public Works is where there are. trees and vegetaresponsible for maintenance and tion. operation of the trail from Azusa to But fer the most part, police say Wardlow Road in ]L0M Beach. The only a handful of Grimes are repertremaining length is maintained by ed and cyclists have more to fear Seal Beach and'Leng Beach. from animals on the loose or holes Public Works spends about in the paved path, 0

down the San Gabriel River ~ ~ 1Tail from its start just off

wo silent

cyclists

glide

Staff graphIc

MANUEl: AMAYA

34

AUGUST

27,

'.!COO

OF HORSE tRAitS
Rider» exercise their steeds alc:n:jtg tJhe banks
By Karen Rubin

A HAMLET
S!offWliler

lj'J ~
T ·l:

Red Hat Lane in Pellissier Village, inston Churcb.ill once whose convenience store has pay said: "There is nothing telephones next to a hitching post like the (!lUtsideof a horse "Horses have been here since 1940. f01'the inside of a man." All you do is wal:k around and And that's something that Jose smell. them." . Ft0res, :whose wehl-muscled pinto Bounded by Peck N0ad to the stood one recent S1illtlay tied to a northeast, the San Gabriel River to tree in front 0f his Pellisster PJace home in Industry, Will testify to. the southeast, SiWh@1'1 Road to the. southwest and Durfee Road to the SteppiBg in place, Iegs prancing northwest, the area boasts five high, ilie 6-y;ear-old horse 100ks like large commercial stables, each an athlete III peak condition, a fact with 60 to 100 horses. It stretches Flores takes constant pleasure ill. into Whittier, Pica Rivera and Welcome to horse eountry, a nearly parallel . world to the S0Uth El Monte. "Once you get into the driveway buslling Valley where a hitching you. are in a d,ifferent land," said P0St is as cemraon as a mailbox Anne Andrews, owner of Rawhide and trucks hauling hay to sackStables & Ponies at 12622 Rush St. yard stalls are as important as fillin South El Monte, "it's our own ing the car with gas. little world down here. It's nothing On any given day, scores of but ropers and wranglers. I raised workers wash down these animals my kids in this clean dirt." weighing more than half a ton, A seasoned hersewomau, clean stalls. rake aisles or feed Andrew's says she ami her family them alfalfa cubes. Here horsemen in Stetson hats . are the largest breeders of the . Arnerican Shetland ponies tend to well-conditioned 0.11 the West Ceast, which 'I'ennessee wailmrs, quarare distinguished by blaek ter horses, Morgans, and white markings 0N rv1iss0.ari'fOKtrotters, pinStaff photo by GREG ANDERSEN their seats. t0S, PiraIDians and Shetland ponies. EG1~lestrianscross tine San Gabriel River rlorti;) of the Pomona (60) Freeway. At tl11e WhiUier Na\tFows. Rid'ells e*er,cise their steeds Equestrian Genter, adults and chilo aleng the muddied and cobbled nants of sand mining by the U.S, either breaking the animal or dren alike learn the spe):d of horsebanks of the San Gabriel River's training their steeds for riding and Army Corp of Engineers behind back riding. Those who stable their Lario Trail, jumping. the Whittier Narrows Equestrian animals here are a close B1.U1ch of "You can ride for three hours . "It relieves, stress," said Raul Center. riders. and never cross the street," said "The horse trails are badly narM~'amontes, who was riding his "You should see the tears Evelyn Stafford, a veteran horsehorse Goldie. "It gives YQU. peace of rowed," Stafford said, adding dirt around here when Y0U have to put woman and coordinator for Corral bikes tear up the ground and spook mfc·lnd.You focus on riding, not a horse down," Stafford said. Three of the Equestrian Trails Inc" wo k." the horses. "This terrifies the horsThis 20-acre site with almost 100 a nonprofit organization that start01'1 the northern stretches of the es and puts the riders at jeopardy." horses and almost 200 miles of ed in 1944 protecting the county's San Gabriel River the public can Still, horsemen like Luis trails is in a bucolic setting near horse and hik<il!lg trails, tal~e riding. lessons at the Rainbow Gonzalez skil!lfully wade Lady, a the Whittier Narrows Recreation This hamlet of horse trails, stab'londe Ar abia.n, a:CT0SS the San C~1yon Rauch 01'1. San Gabriel and Natural Areas. Duri1'1g the bles, backyard stalls, wranglers Canyon Road in Azusa. Seasoned Gabriel River. The truck driver summer, riders can travel across and skilled horsemen - trained in riders learn to jump there next to from La Puente parks his big rig the shallow river and through the the eharro, or Mexican rodeo - is novice horseman. after work and saddles up for a tail clusters of bamboo that grow in the hub of horse .countrv, surleisurely ride. ;But horse enthusiasts say their rounded by 400 miles of horse and 'pools every winter. way of life is being threatened. "This is how we get the stress Meanwhile, on any given day at bike trials, Bridal trails shrink as paved out of us," he said, "We are out of Horseman Park on Peck Road, "We have three-horse garages bicycle trails expand, while big the city with the fresh air and trainers run horses in a large ring here," said one merchant along holes and boulders are the remwater, relaxing." 0

AUGUST 27,

2000

35

1

-;

The East Fork of the San Gabriel Rivet beckons visitors into its cool waters. Brothers Estaban, 12, and Ismael Brado, 9, play 0rl_the river.

Staff photo by JOSH ESTEY

Staff photo by KE.ITH BIRMINGHAM

Staff photo by LEO JARZOMB

To cool off, crowds gather in the East Fork of the San Gabriel River near the Cow Canyon Bridge.

Erik Gunderson trains at the Triple B Ranch in South EI Monte for the World Junior Shotgun Champiqnships.

36

Aucusr 27. 2000

Staff photo bylKEITH BIRMINGHAM

EricScholte (j)f Artesiatakes misfirst bungee jumg offthe Bridgeto Nowmere. he I!lridge', T located about 20 milesfromAzusa,makes a great jumping-offpointforfun on the riv.er .
......

s a lO-year-old, Fritz Schmitt I and his friends spent their • Saturdays OIl the West Fork of the San Gabriel River. They would hike to favorite fishing holes and then down to the _Rincon RIDlget' Station to call their . parents to ceme pieR them l.!lp. . Tw,elilty-e"ighlt-:y.ears later, the West Ecirk still c0Illiinues to draw visits from the Arcadia resident. And. Schmitt isn't the only Southern Californian to make repeated trips to the scenic canyon. The river's allure draws up to 50,000 Southern Californians each weekend. "People come hundreds of miles to get herre, and it's right in our back y,ru;a," said baG~acker Brian Gladhill of Monrovia. .PeQple 1:ieatl for.the Carlyon and its miles downstream to camp.fish, hike, picnic, swim, ride bicycles, horses and motor vehicles, shoot at targets, hunt, view wildlife, bungee jump and play golf, soccer, baseball

,l'

By Keith Lair
StalfWlilel

There is a world of fun for eoeryone along the ricer
and softball. , Cl~b considers itself defender's of "It's essential tQ'la,t tFiere is the West Fork, especially tlre Wild recreational space in urban Trout section, where only catchsprawl," said Patrick Reynolds, a and-release fishing is allowed. landscape architect associate with Author John Robinson says the the Los Angeles County Parks and area's more than 50 trails are some of the hardest, most rugged and Recreation Department. The river may cut through the beautiful in the state. The Pacific middle of the L.A. basin, but its Crest Tf-ail- which stretches from heart is at its headwathe Mexican border to the Ganadian borters, in the Angeles THE RECREATION der - runs along the National Ferest, - California Trout northern edge of th.e executive director Jim Edmondson watershed, The area is also home and Department of Fish and Game to the San Gabriel and Sheep senior fisheries biologist Dwayne Mountain wilderness areas, where Maxwell have caned the area's no motorized vehicles or machinhigh country the best trout fishing ery are permitted. "It's the most rugged and beautiin the state. The Pasadena Casting

ful country in the world," Pasadena outdoersman Loren Lutz said. "It's a beautiful landscape," said Jerry Sirski, the forest's San Gabriel River Ranger District recreation officer. "You have yearround water and a lot of access to it. There are a lot of pools and sandy areas to use, ['here [S no other body of water like this that can accommodate a lot of people like this area does." Hikers can view deer, Nelson bighorn sheep, black bear, mountain lions, coyotes, squirrels, rabbits, rattlesnakes, red-tailed hawks, dove, quaal, blue jay, owls, and other small game.
On a busy weekend, the canyon

can become so jammed that the road will be closed after 4,000 cars have entered it. And leaving the canyon does not mean Southern Californians sudPlease turn to RECREATION /38

AUGUST 27.

2000

37

.....

HU RE(REAnO~
Continued from page 37

den1y are at a loss for recreational activities. F1sh am.dGame regWarly stocks tF01:l.t and (:;a1fisJi.n lakes at i Santa !We '!Qam Reelaeation Area, Peek R0ad Park, Whlttier NaFl'oWS Recreatien and Natural Areas and. Downey Wilderness Park. TliJe lakes also have bass and sunfish. "CDhere's not a w1l0Te10t to do in tire imler ci!t\y," said. Ja:ekie K0urass is, the departm'eHt's Fishing iill the City specialist. "(fie lakes are) a place for peeple to go to. (Ghl,l.d.reIol llike or go can fishing. It's hlle 0.WWIDt:tUfltty g@ to outdeers.elese to mmrre." Wihile herseback riael!'S haze the option €If ricllilg on hundreds ef trails, Gydists can partake in ilie bike trail that runs 37 miles from Azusa to the ocean. Shooters can dream 0f QIlMffiwicJ.01'Y wlllle 1;akg , ing aim at clay targets; there are six goll[ eourses Nearby; weekend athletes warticipate ill team spans at d.0zehs of parks; and .hikers can meander along: the river's banks. A 100K at various recreational
1

am

RiehardHaggstrom 1;]€JI&s a fish retrieve& from the San GabrielRiver James l'iaggstromtakes a swim.

opportunities:

BUNGEE JUMPING "Five-fo ur-tbree-t we-one, bungeel" Bungee Paiuerica.! president Ron Jones screams. In the Narrows section on the East Fork is a cement two-ear-lane bridge. The nearest road may be five miles away, but the Bridge to Nowhere is a star attraction. Bungee America! has a 99"year eon. tract to send hikers bungee jumping 10 stories below. "I get such an incredible rush," said Brett Beck of Placentia, making his fourth trip to the bridge to bungee jump recent~y. "I've gone sky diving and. whitewater ratting, 1 get more 'of a high jumping here than anywhere else." "You can go bungee jumping anywhere, but Joloncan't do that from an¥ bridge," Beck said. "By coming here, you make a whole day of it." Bungee jumpers have made multiple jumps off the bridge one of only two in the country that allows regular jumps - fer 1'l. years. "This is a historic bridge and it's beautiful here, too," Jones said. CAMPING / HIK!lNG There are more than 40 trails in the canyon's watershed and estab-

.:

.'

Staff photo by JOSH ESlEY

Staff photo by KEITH BIRMINGHAM

Lookingdown from the East Forkfuridge into the bed of the San GabrielRiver,a feur-wheeldrivevehicle crosses in the designated off,roadvehicle area. lished camps can be found along' paths or at established drjve-up sites like Follows Camp on tne East Fork or Crystal Lake, upthelN0rth Fork. Campers ill the two wNdyrness areas need fire permits, but day hikers do not need permits to enter the areas, Fellows Camp and Crystal Lake are fee ,camwgrdiU1:J.cis, Follows operating on private land and Crystal Lake operated, by a state concessionaire. "The area has the most beautiful high country," said Robinson, whese pocket book "Trails of the Angeles National Forest" is considered. a bible for area hikers. "It's also the most rugged area in Southern California. Y0U have the deepest gorge in Southern California (East Fork), one of the prettiest waterfalls (Fish Canyon) and an area with a lot ofwilcllife."

RiverRidgegolfcourse in Pice Riverahas a backdrop of tne WhittierNarrowsDam and the San GabrielRiveralong with a bike path that runs from the San Ga~rielMountains to the beach. Peter Amayaof West 80vir:la swingsawayon the course as Alan 'Alexanderof Norwalkrides his bike past the course. Robinson, who lives ill Orange County, says he prefers the upper reaches of the canyon, like MOWlt Hawkins, Mount IsliW and Mount Baden-Powell, because of their hlgh-country beauty. But many hikers find beauty in the lower portions of the canyon, tOG. "There' is nofhmg like hails like this," said Canyon Country resident James Gerbus, who takes out-0f-toym friends to the Bridge to Nowhere. Gerbus convinced his brother, B0'b, who was vistting from Omaha, Neb., to stay an extra dav just to hike the canyon, "I do a lot of hiking in the Angeles National Forest and these are just great trails," said another hiker, Jeff Streicher of Redondo the East Fork trail at least twice a week. "It's an absolutely gorgeous area," he said. "It is the essenee for coming here." . CYCLING Cycling may be just as popular as hiking along the river, Traditional cyclists can ride the 37 miles of trail between Seal Beach and the canyon's mouth, others continue up Highway ,39 and even .more take the six-mile paved road up the West Fork to Cegswell Dam. Some take to the dirttrails, "A short ride gets you out of the city," Glendora's Brian Bushatz said of his mountain bike forays. And then, others ride right on the dirt practically ill the city, at
Please turn to RECREATION /39

Beaeh.

Bungee America!'s

Jones is on

38

AUGUST 27.2000

-_._---

THE RE(REAnON
Continued from page 38

l:y·fished the lived iN Redb "With the whn Mve here, Nauam(i)ut that they have a pla~e to fish. It's impDrt.a"nt to keep tl'ie Willdmout willili and for the habitat to me ill goed shape." EQUESTRIAN The river became a Pasadena Casting Club and Cal Trou:t cause besause of a previeus UIDiegI:I1ated Moenlight trips are Not uneomr.elease of ¥later fUom Cogswell, men wh e Puente l[ojjjS meets "It's an extremely imp0rtan,t the Fiver . "E~ues~riaiJ3l: areas e !ilisa~- resonree for today and tomonew," peaFin:g ri'g<h:t and ~ i: so ni's' said Arcadia's Sehmitt, a board extreme1y imP(i)ttan:t to places member of the Pasadena Casting to ride," said Azusa's 'J(i)bR FeNton, CJub. "It's a wuderful watershed president of the Me1il!Nted aNd it's somethiNg T w.ant to etentually enjoy with my children." Assistance Unit for the Whittier The East Fork is just as valuable Narrows area. as the West Fork, anglers also say. Trails frem Whittier Narrows to It's the only Southern California Schabarum Park in Hacienda Heights, horse pnperty in stream without a dam at its source. We DFG's Mam,ell calls the upper Avocado Heights and llie Village, separate bike and equestrian trails reaches of the fork the best fl~sh[ng m the state. along the river and the conver"If yeu hike down from gence of two tributaries, Walnut Wrightwood, it's one of the most and San Jose creeks, makethe area mggeci.parts of the country and the a vital equestrian center with more fishing is alssolutel:Y fabulous," than 100 miles of wails. "TheFe are great places to ride . Pasadena's Lutz said. "Anglers have action an day here," :Blenton said. "Everybody long," DiCroce said of the fork. loves to come here at night." Down river, anglers have a shot Sherry Martin of the Whittier at hatchery-raised trout. Anglers Narrows E!!IJuestrian Genter says afso nave a ebanse te catch hatchthat witlliN f,iw:emdn.1!lt~s,she can ery-raised caffish and go for bass be away from the maclHen:ingfreeway noise and hustle and bustle of and sunfish. "You can ride your bike' (@ the the Valley. lakes) and fish," Fish and Game's "I train a M of horses and do a . lot of circle riding," slhe said. Kourassis said. "When w~ were children, we would ride our bikes "Getting en the trans beats circle to go fishing and recr-eate all day riding. 'Phe trails are beautiful." long."
FISHING

Some plwn:e n~l;mbers reereationai act'ivities lor
BO'ATI~G Santa Fe Dam Reueation Area, Irwindale (626) 334=1065 BUNGEE JUMPING BungeejAmerica! (310) 322-8892 QMPI'G~HIKING Angele~ Nalional Forest, San Gabriel River Ranger Distrid, Glendora (626') 335-1-251 , Cabfornia Canine Hikers (626) 798.3912 Crystal Lake, Son Gabriel ~anyon NorthJFork [62&]910-1149 Follows (amp, San Gabriel Canyon ~offforK (626)91 0~1144 REI, Arcadia (626') 447-1062 REI, SoUDimas (909) 592-2095 $ierra (Jub, Angeles Chapter, (213) 3:07-4287 ~pOri (hal!!t, Glendora (626) 33S-3344 Sporl @alet, LaCanada (818) 790-,9800 Whinier Narrows Na·ture Center (626) 575-552·3 CYCLING Covina 'rde dub, (ovino (626) 39 -3294 Foothill Cy;de Club (626) 4~B,22B5 Glendora Sthwinn, GI~ndoro (626) 963-2312 . . Hacienda Bikes, Hacienda Heights (626) 383-6106 Incyclel San Diinas (909) 592-2181 REI, Arcadia (626) 4~7-1062 ~EI, Son Dimas (909) 592-2095 Sport Qhalet, Glendora
{626133S-3344

FISHING . HPRSES ~ystal Lake, San Gabriel Canyon North ForR (626) 910-1149 Deplirtmenf of Fish ana Game (562,) 590-ml Depgrtment of ~i5h and ~e, Fishing in the City (562) 590-4824 EI Fishing Club Fly Fishers (Jub,of Orange (ountY, (714) 5"78-0422 Glendora Rod and Reel (llub, Glendora [626)~03-0763 LiA:. e'OllDly Fis~ and Game (om mission (213) 683-8730 Pasadena Casting Club (626'1356-7406 San Gabriel Valle,y Fly Fishers, South 8rMonte (626) 963-41~9 Santo Fe Dam~Recrealion Area, Irwindale (626) 334-1065 Sport Chalet, Glendora (626) 335-334~ Sport (halet, La Canada (BI8) 790-9800 Turners Outdoorsman, Rosa dena (626) 578·0155 Turners Outdoo~sman, West~ovino . [626) 917·8368 Whinier Narrows Recreation Area, ·South B Monle . (626) 515·5525 GOLF COURSES Artadia Par 3 Course (626) 443-9367 Azusa Greens; Azusa (626) 969-1727 . ealifornia Country CI~b, Whinier (626) 333~571 River Ridge, Pica Rivero (562) 692-9933 Rancho Duarte, Duarte [6261 357-9981 Whittier NOfl'OW5,

(626)5

,259

Trout, bass, catfish, bluegill, and carp are fish caught in the canyon and four downrieer lakes, Santa Fe Dam, Peak Road Park, Legg and Downey Wilderness. Fish and , Game seasonally stocks trout in all these waters and catfish in the lakes. For the f.irst four miles below Cogswell on the West Fork, anglers must practice catch-ana-release fishing only. The area's wild trout section ~ one of only two in Southern California -is a pet project of the. Pasadena Casting Club. calls the stream a Southern California heritage. "To go to a wild trout stream that is catch-and-release and it's not seven hours away, it's two minutes," said DiCroce, who frequent-

HUNTING.

MOTOR SPORTS Armeles National Forest Off·Road Vehicle Area (626) 910-1235 Irwindale Speedway, Irwindale (62613'58-1100 SHOOTING Burro Canyon Shooting Park, Son Gabriel River East Fork (626) 910-1344 . San Gabriel Valley Gun (Iub, Duarte (626) 358-9906 ~ll:9rt (halet, Glendora (62m 335·334'4 Sport Chalet, La Canada (81 HI 790-9800 Triple B QaySi South EIMonle
(6~61579-520l

California Trout's Nick ;EliOroce

Mountain [ion depredation has certainly hud: wildlife counts; but the upper reaches of the canyon still hold some game, hunters say. "You have to get UJil in the high country and back by the desert," Covina deer hunter Bob Odell said. "There. ma.y not be quantity, but there is qmility." Bill Rivas Jr. practically grew up in the canyon, convineing his father to take him hunting from their Hacienda Heights home. . "It's veIWrugged and mit many

people can g€t 1J.Pthere, wh"ich

means there can be a lot of deer," said the Vancouver, Wash., resident who has a nationally SYNdicated hunting television show. Please turn to RECREATION!40

(81 B) 790·9800 WhittierNarrows BMX FasTra&, South 8 Monte (626) 575-5521

Spon ¢'talet, ta canada

South fI Montg

(626) 2B8-1044

Pasadena (626]578·0155 Turner's Ouldoorsman, West ~Qvina (626) 917-8368

Turn@r/~Outdoorsmlln,

<.'

AUG us. 21.

2000

39

:P; a riv::n;:

edge

-

-----------------1

Staffi photo by GREG'ANDERSEti

S.C. SungcifAlhambrafishes the San GabrielRivernorth ofthe Pomona (60) Freeway.Rshir>lg ailowelil is alongthe riverunless signsare posted tellingpeople otherwise. SHfl@TING ales through the 160 acres of sand and mud. behind San Gabriel Dam. More organized racing is downTwo Olympians, Pasadena's Continuedfrompage 39 . '. s,t're1lm a ~ IMlt ·a'cli. Irwindate Josh Lakatos and El Melil.te's Rim iehoiie, tIi'a'tlJ. .at 'iJ.1riple (Clays in B "I hunted there exclllsively for' S]lee~waw:~" .;_~- . . Hi.,yeaJ;s with a bow. It's rea11l.y. '1:he and . -mile }!)v;als S0l!1.th Ell Monte. "It's definitely the premi:e'F rugged. Bur when you get in there, effers a Satur.d~y m racmg PFOrange in. the U.S.,"skeet shooter hunting carr be excellent The avergram where drivers from thsoughKen Vail of. Covma said. "It's fabuage guy may not veer t00 far eff the (Jut Southe??- California ~ompete. lous that we haee this here." roads and it's not as good there" In addition, there IS a Race . Training Center for those interestBruce Barsotti bought Triple B ed in learning how to race, there a yea! ago. He says by the end of MOTOR SPOR'FS are go-kart practices and this .we year he expects -the facility to month, the Speedway win sta.rt .have fired more clay targets than If it's off-reading or racing, bulldlng an eighth-mile drag strip. any other range in the nation. there's opportunity in the national "Our goal is to make nhis a "From one to 10, this place is a forest and on a former Irwindsle motsr sports complex," track gen- 10," said Barsotti; who moved from landfill. Sacramento to the San Gabriel One of three national forest off- eral manager Bob DeFazio said. DeFazio and track employees Valley when he purchased the highway vehicle areas is at the have discussed an off-road :r;acing facility. East-Fork bridge. venue and a jet-skiing area irmearShooters say that the park faciliAbout 500 off-road enthusiasts by gravel pits. ties keep homes at a distance and each busy weekend day take their . "We're almost a natural.for nearby freeways make for easy motorcycles, three- and four-wheel that," he said. accessibility; it is less than 15 miles ATVs and four-wheel drive vehi.

THE R(CREATION

t!l1lf-

.

from downtown L.A. Burro Canyon flows into the East Fork, but more importantly to sfi.00liel1S., nati0]).aJl f0'rest 1ras the estab1ished tfi.e area as one 0t' ,jfte: tw;(i) ranges in the for-est. Sh-irltgyjIs' ma~ be 'the olilly firearms aiV:ailillJle for use at Triple B and the San Gabriel Gun Club in Duarte, but everything but automatic firearms and sawed-off shotguns may be used at Burre Canyon. "Anything that is legal to own," concessionaire Joe Cavanaugh said. The range is also home to law enfercement training. Agencies Likethe area's open space. "We have an advantage (over the other facilities) because we're different. You don't get any clubmember types," Cavanaugh said. "You can shoot practically anything." D

40

AUGUST

27.

2000

Staff'photn

by KEITH BIRMINGHAM

Lookililg down the East Fmk of the Sam GaQriel Riv.er, families car:nP.ill mesignatIja areas.

the Bridge tro Nowhere.

Ron Jones, Plre~ident of Bungee America!, cQngratulates Jamie Rktarz of !DQwney after she il'lame her firstjl:Jmp' off

Staff photo, by JOSH ESlEY

Elvia Rosales and Ernestl;) Wong, carryingthe ice chest, head toward thelrcer after-a day swimming, fiShing and picnieking along the San Gabriel River in SOl:!th EI Monte.

Heeter Avina, recreation service leader for the Los Angeles emwnty Parks and Recreation Department, takes a drives thmugt;) the Whittier Narmws Nature Center, pulling a loarn of hay and -Cub Scouts from Pack 243 of Pico Rivera.

AUGUS-T

27. :2000

41

~

~~

ii riv:::'n

:e edge

-~~---------------I

"In our effort to get the 'liver

ou: to see,

we've changed it. Ancl we changed the

di:ve1rsity (!)f the

wildlife that

lives in

the river. "
- Michllsllong
Wildlife biologist

Aswallowtail utterfly. b

Withan insect in its bill,a tinyhouse wren sits on a yucca leaf 01'1 the West Fork ofthe San GabrielRiver.

Staff photos by BERNARDO ALPS

AN ABUNDANCE OF WILDU-fEMammals, birds andfish thrive along the rinser
By Karen Rubin
Sta!fWrirer

The number of mammals along iant pines rise in a! forest coastal inland area," said Ray the Gobbled riverbanks, swampJiilsen, a Whittier Narrow:s. filled with maple, spruce and s l j elms. Rabbits skitter in. the wNcllife naturalist, "I don't mow of: lltlfe jungle aFldi aillY {\}Jilenpaee any other place that draws as many: tend to be of the small variety: same brush that eameuflage a flock squirrels, rabbits, moles, feral cats, birds as we do." of bushtits flittering between mice, coyotes, raccoons, skunks brown grasses. This unique swatch of lakes, A red-tailed hawk spirals to . lana and river is bounded by Peck and weasels. But construetron to expand perch atop a pine and then spreads Road to the northeast, the San Babriei River to the southeast, recreatienal facilities has had an its wll1gs, sailing to lower grounds. Sii]llhon Road to the impact on foed sources. A fat garter snake lies in a swamp The mule deer has disof reeds while rep HIes like the sidesouthwest and Durfee THE WILDUFE appeared and one rarely blotched lizard bake in the SWl. Road to the northwest. Naturalists say the sees any sightings of the 'Fhis is the surprising abundance of .wildlife supported by- the San wildlife is drawn from the coast gray fox, said Michael Long, a county wildlife bi010gist. ami the mountains, with the naturGabriel River the WhUtier "The highest disturbance has Narrows Recreation and Naturai al area well situated in between Areas. with plenty of water from the Rio been to animals," Long said. "The jack rabbit has disappeared A 277-acre habitat that thrives Hondo and the San Gabriel rivers. because they need wide open despite its proximity to a pair of Though it may not look !ilke bustling freeways, neighborhoods much, the wildlife and fish thrive spaces and. the red fox is rarely and factories, it's home to no less along the Fivers with their coffee- seem. The animals have slowly died colored currents and eddies where off. There's-net enough space fer than 296 species of birds, 230 types old tires and rusting shopping them." of plants and 24 kinds of animals. Still, the vast numbers of birds" "We have the highest number of carts are unceremoniously dumped. birds compared to any other and waterfowl has brought the ~

r~

at

area a national reputation . Warm dFY summers and mild, wet wtn.teES SUp.]ll0Fthe ebb and t flow of migrating birds who feed, mate and nest on shrubs, berries, trees and pJants_ The billd life is S0 varied that 'on any given day executives from back EJast stUl in their business suits have driven i;n to see the black phoebe, a member of the flycatcher family that is never seen on the East Coast, Jillson said. "It's our only year-round resident," 11e- aid. "It seems odd. The s bird is everywhere. It's a Beautiful bird, but we consider it a trash bird -like Spam. But to them it's a treasurer, something they don't see." ' Indeed, each bird is considered a treasure, from the daily sightings of the common house finch, a
Please turn to WllDUFE /43

42

AUGUST

27. 2000

THE WILDLIFE
Gontinued from page 42

mockingbird or a lilo"'V:e ~]lriNg to rare signtiNgs of the bard eagle, a Least Bell's vireo or aJ S:warnS(!)B'S hawk, On a recent Sunday, 111 WiJ.'d1ife lovers gathered around a naturalist for the weekly bird :walk that begins at 8 a.m, at the Whjttier Narrows Nature Genter, 'lThleevent attracted an assortment 0f f0lks: a retired lllffilber worker, a 'father, and his tw0 BOYS and a food lili0l(!)gist. Bird-watchers can. e~ect to' see between 35 and 40 species OR these three-mile strells tfu:at offer 1Jlip a mosaic of butterflies, snakes, fi:0gS and rabbits. One veteran lilirdwatcher saw 101 sl'Jeeies in one day, .JillsON said. The number (!)]b:IiI:ds so pleRtiis ful ana varied, it semetimes tskes the gr0UP almost an hom jNst to get eut of the parking lot where the bird-watching begins, Veteran bird-watcher Ed Barajas knows the territory, well, 'iDRFee days a week - he w:a]ks tiJrough the trails, Barajas, who records billa sight- ings and nestings, has spotted 150 species of birds, He helped with the recording 0f the spring nestings of 14 different species, including the Nuttall's woodpecker, Downey woodpecker-and the Allen's hummingbird, "The Allen's hummingbird has never nested here and now they are," Baraias said. "We Rave six males and thnee females," Barajas said he watched for five days as a pair of Lesser goldfmches built their nest. Attached to the .rough side 0f a large sycamore leaf, the nest - which is slightly larger than a th.im'Dle - is barely discernible even with a pair of binoculars, But Barajas' trained eye focuses quickly on details, "You use your eyes and ears." But the Whittier Narrows is certainly no): the only place where wildlife finds a home on the San Gabriel River, _ Up in the river's upper drainage area in the Angeles National Forest, where creeks feed the river, live the majestic bighorn sheep and mountain lions, And a little bit downstream OR the river's West Fork you can find black bears, gray foxes, bobcats, weasels, the-rarely seen rmg-talled cat and l;!lU!le deer, along with smaller neighbors like mice, kangaroo rats and gophers, Long said,

Birdwatching alonl the river
line f0110wimgis a list of the bires fOIl:lAeJ in the WHittier Narrows area.
{=(ommon p'"Permonent Resident F{=Foirly common WV=Winler Visilor U=Uncommon SV=Summe~ Visitor O=Occosionol M=Migronl R"Rare Vog=Vogrant , PV=Permonent Visilor
Acorn Woodpecker: R,WV Alien's Hummingbird: U,M ~merican Avocet: D,WV American Bfttern: U,WV American Coot: C,P American Crow: C,P American Goldfincll: C,P Anna's Humruingblrd: C,P IImerican Kestrl:l: FG,P American PipIt: FC_W American Redstart: Vag American Robin: U,WV American Tree Sparrow: Vag American White Pelican U,WV American Wigeon: C,WV Ash-throated Flycatchef( FC,M Baird'S Sandpiper: R,M Bala Eagle: R,WV Baltimore Ori.cle: Vag Baod-talled Rigeon: R, M Bank Swallow: R,M Sarn Owl: U.P Barn Swatlow: U,M Bell's Vireo: R,SV Belted Kingfisher: Fe,WV BewicR's Wren: U.P Blaok and White warbler: Vag Black-bellied Plover: R,WV Blackburnlan Waroler: Vag Black-chinned Hummingbird; U,SV, Black-crowned Night-lieron: C.WV Black-headed Grosbeal<: C,SV Black-legged Kittiwake: R,M Black-necked Stilt: C,M Black Phoebe: C,P Black Skimmer: Vag Black Swift: R,M Black Tern: R,M Black-throated Blue Warbler: Vag Black-throated Gray Warbler: U,M Black-throated Green Warbler: vag Black-throated Sparrow: Vag Blue-gray Gnateatcher: FC,WV Blue Grosbeak: U,SV Blue-winged Teal: R,WV Bobolink: Vag Bonaparte's Gull: U,WV Brant: R,M Brewer's Blackbird: C,P Brewer's Sparrow: Vag Broad .winged Hawk R,WV Brown-headed Cowbird: C,PV Brown Pelican: R,V Brown Creeper: R,W\Bufflehead: U,\IN Bullock's Oriole: C,SV Burrowing 01'11:R,WV Bushtit: C,P California Gull: C,IIN California Gilatcatcner: R,WV California California Callfomia Quail: U,P Thrasher: U,P Towhee C,P\! Killdeer: C,P lark Bunting: Vag lark Sparrow: R,M lawrence's GOldfinch: R,WV uazull Bunting: U,M least 'Bittern: R,SV ~east Sandpiper: i1J,WV lesse, Goldfinch: FC, P lesser Golden-Plover: Vag lesser Nighthawk: R,M lesser Scaup: O,WV lesser Yellowlegs: Lewis' Woodpecker: R,WV lincoln's Sparrow: U,WV loggerhead Shrike: U,P Lo~g-bjlled Curlew: R M long-billed !Dowitcher: C,WV long-eared 0101: R.WV MacGillivray's Warbler: O,M Magnolia Warbler: Vag Mallard,: C,P. Marbled God\vII: R,M Marsh Wren: U,WV Mew Gull: R,W Merlin: R,WV Mountain Bluebird: R,W:V Mountain ehlckad~e: 0, WV Mourning Dove: C,P Nashville Warbler: U,M Northern cardinal: FC,P Northern Harrier: U,WV Northern Mockingbird: C,P Northern Parula: Vag Nortnern Pintail: C,WV Northern Red-shafted Flicker: C,P Northern Rough-winged Swallow: C,M Northern snoveien (l,WV Northern Wateflhrush: 'Vag Nuttall'S Woodpecker: !:J,WV Northern YellOW-Shafted Flicker: R,WV 0ak TItmouse: RW Olive-sided Flycatcher: U,M Orange'Crowned Warbler: FC,M Orchard ortoie: Vag Osprey: U,WV Pacific loon: R,WV Paciflc-slqpe Flycatcher: U,M Palm Warbler: Vag Pied-bille~ Grebe: C ,P Pine Siskin: U,WV Pectoral Sandpiper: R, M Peregrine Falcon: R,IV! Phalnopepla: U,M Plumbeous Vireo: U,M.WV Prairie Falcon: R,W!, Prothonotary Warbler: Vag Purple Finch: U,WV Purple .Martin: R,M Red brestec N1erganser: ~,~W Red-breasted NUtilatch: R,M Red-breasted Sapsucker: R,WV Red Crossbill: Vag Redhead: U,WV Red-naped Sapsucker: R,WV Red-necked Phalarope: R_M Red Phalarope: R,M Red-shouldered Hawk: FC,P Red-lalled HaWk: C,P Red-lhroated loon: R,W Red-winged BlaCkbird: C',P Ring-billed Gull: C,WV Rlng·ncecked Pheasant: O,P Rock Dove: C,P Rock Wren: R,WV Rose-breasted Grosbeak: Vag Ross' Goose R;WV Rough-legged Hawk R,WV Ruby-crowned Kinglet C.WV Ruddy Cluck G,P

Great Blue Heron

g:g~:~~~~:sG:!IN
WV Gasplan ,err,: U,M,WV Cassin's Fincn: \!ag Cassin's Klngtilrd: FC,M C' eo: U,M I:1,WV : R,M Chipping Sparrow: R,M Cinoamon Teal: C,P Clapper Rail: Vag Clarl('s Grebe: O,WV clay-colored Sparrow: lIag Cliff Swalll\\'" C,SV Cornmon Goldeneye R,WV Ground-Dove: Vag loon: R,WV C Merganser: R,WV Common Tern: RfM Gammon Yellowthroat: C,P Common Moorhen: U,WV Gammon Poorwill: R,M Gammon R~ven: o,M (lammon Snipe: FC,WV eaop.r's Hawk: \:l,R Gosta's Hummingbird: U,M Dark-eyed Oregon Junco: UIWV Dark-eyed Slate-colored ~u1co: Vag Double-crested eormorant: C,WV -, Downy Woodpecker FC,WV Dunlin R,w\/' , Dusky Rycatcher: R,M Eared Grebe: U,WV Eastern Kingbird: V~g Eastern Phoebe: Vag Eurasian Wigeon: R,WV European Starling: C,P Ferruginous Hawk: R,WV Forsterts Tern: FC M,WV Fox Sparrow: U,WV Gaawall: U.WV Glaucous-v!inged 'Gull: R,wv, Golden-crowned Kinglet: R,WV GOlde.n.-crownec R M' Sparrow: 'IN Golden Eagle: Grasshopper Sparrow: R S Gray Flycatcher: R,WV Great Blue Herpn: C,P Great Egret: FC,WV Great Horned Owl: U,P Greater Pewee: Vag , Greater Roadrunner: R,P Greater Scaup: R,WV Greater White-fronted Goose: O,WV Greater Yellowiegs: U',WV Green Heron: U,P Great-tailed Grackle: R,WV· Green-tailed Towhee: R,WV Green-winged Teal: FC,WV Groove-billed Ani: Vag Hairy Woodpecker: R,WV Hammond's Flycatcher: R,M Harrl~' Sparrow: Vag Heermann's Gull: R,WV Herring' Gull: R,WV Hermit Thrush: FC,WV Hermit Warbler: U,M Hooded Merganser: R,WV Hooded Oriole: U,SV Horned Grebe: R,VN Homed lark: R,WV House f.inch: C PV House sparrow: FC,P House Wren: U,SV Hutton's Vireo: R, M

e.wv

Ruddy Turn.ton'. RIWV Rufous-crowned Sparrow: R,V Rufous Hummingbird: U,M Sabine's Gul!: Vag Sandhlll G~ane: Vag Savannah SParrow: U ,WV Say's Phoebe: ~C,WV Scissor-tailed F!~catcher: Vag Semlpalmated Plover: R,WV Sharp-shinned Hawk: FC,IIN Short-oilled Dowitcher R,WV Short-eared Owl: R,WV , Sora: U,WV Snowy Emet: C,WV Sn'ow Goose: O,WV Snowy Rlover: R,WV SOlitary SBndplper: R,M seng Sparrow: C,P' Spotted Clove: U,P Spottea Sandpiper: FC,P \ Spotted Towhee: C,PV Summer Tanager: R,M Swalnson's Hawk: R,M Swainton's Thrush: U,M Swamp Sp,arrow: Veg Tennessee Warbler: Vag lhayer's Gull: R,WV lownsBnd's Solitaire: R,W Townsend's Warbler: U,M Tree Swallow: U,M Tricolored Blackbird: R,SV Tropical ' ,M Tr WV Tu _, JurKeyVulture: U,M Va' Va CM V1rgi ., Vlrglnla's Warbler: Vag Warbling Vireo: 1:1,IV! Western Bluebird: R,WV Western Grebe: U.WV Western Gull: R,IIN Weslern I{lngbird: FC,M,SV Western Meadpwlark: U,'P Western Sandpiper: FC,M Weslern !lcreech-0wl: R,WV Western Scrub-Jay: C,P Weslern Tanager: 'FC_M Western WOOd-Pewee: U,M White-breasted Nuthatch: R,WV White-crovln.a Sparrow: C,WV Whlte-faced'lbis: R,M White-tailed Kite: U ,P White-throated Spa rrow: Vag Whlte.throated Swill: 1ll,IIN White-winged Dove: Vag Willet: RiWV Whlmbrel: R,M . Willow Flycatcher; R,M Wilson's Phalarope: R,M Wilson's Warbler: C,M Winter Wren: R,WV Wood Duck: O,WV Wood StorR: R M Wrenti(: R,V Yellow·lJllled Cuckoo: R,SV Yellow-head,ed Blackbird: U,M Yellow-bellied Sapsucker: vag Vellow-breasted Chat: U,SV Vellow-rumped Audubon's Warbler: C,WV Yellow-rumped Myrtle Warbler: R.WV Yellow Warbler: U,M Source; "'lBirds of WI,ittie.r Narrows Recreation Area, r Michael long

tV'

I

The West Fork also is one of onlyflve wild-trout streams in Southern California, and one of only tW(!)in Los Angeles QOlimty.
But they are not aoing so well,

the riverbed that fish feed on, "Tije wholesale bulldezing of the riv:er bed has completely modifled a1lld changed the river- channel," :bong s.aid_ "It changes

.l

-

Staff

graphic

by LANCE H, MARBURGER

I

Staff

photo

by WALT MANCINI

real} beating," he said. "There is hardly anything left" Fish kiMs result from contaminatlsn and dams that contml the waters and leave many on jarched ground, Bulldszers used for fiooq eontrol scrub out.nutrients frOID

"(_[;1he nanve fish are taking a

rainbOr trout, channel catfish and

tion." Even fires in the San Gabne s and along the West Fork, choke the fish, covering their spawning beds with silt and ash, At the loWer elevations of Whittier Narro~s, folks still fish for salmon,

whole lflow and strips tRe vegeta-

the

black and brown bullheads, Carp, flathead mdnnow, mosquitoflsh, and largemouth Bass are just a few of the types 0f fisll in the
lNg, Long said,

lakes, with 1;lreg):'eensun fish and

the bluegill added t8 wromote

mh·

--..2'

wildlife that lives in the riv_er_"0

Still, human activity has forever altered life around the river, "In our effort to get the river 0Ut to sea, we've changed it," llJm.g said, "and we changed the diversity of the
'1

AUGUSl

21, :!'OOO

43

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- - - --

-

-

I ---~---- - ~- -_ .. -- ---

--

~--.-------- - - - - - -

-- -

-'--

-- ----

--

-- -.---~-.- - -- -

-

-,-

,

-

The Balacio.s family enjo.ys

a meal

next to. ine San Gabriel River in the Angeles National Forest, The East Fo.rk is nicknamed B?rbecue Alley.

armen Lopez and her family returned one recent week~~ end afternoon to the same picnic spot along-the San Gabriel River they have enjoyed fer more than two years. They have yet to tire of their choice, even though their Covina home is probably net much farther away from some other popular recreation destinations in the San Gabriel Valley. "This is totally different from our home, that's why we spend the day here," Lopez said."It's calm, there's not a lot of people." Up here In the San Gabriel Canyon, the Lopez family is far from alene, especially during those weekend days of summer. For generations, Latino families have whiled ..away weekends enjoying the river in its natural state while barbecuing and relaxing. The East Fork has even earned the nickname, Barbecue Alley. Azusa City Clerk AdolFJh Solis, 69, used to come up here six decades ago as a child. ' "I used to love to go up there and sit, it was almost euphoric - I guess now they call it meditation or some darn thing," he said. "Every spring there was a thaw,

Forest Service is under a state order to clean it up. ' Farther south on the Valley's plain, Jorge Menjlvar and his family go to another popular river spot, Marrano Beach - a small strip of the river banked with sand in the Bosque del Rio. Hondo Natural Area near Whittier -Narrows. "I prefer a river than park or beach. It has small paths, trees, By Fiona Williams there aren't too many people. It's Slo!fWtilcr like living as a farmer," said Compton resident Menjivar. "I want my kids to. learn how to it was freezing, but I would. love to the mountains because of cultural .go swimming though I nearly froze reasons, but also because the price . live in the countryside, learn how to walk here - it's different than in to death. We used to swim naked, is right the city," Menjivar said. though not now because of all the "You'll see Latino families out The Bosque has been used since people up there." there kicking a ball around, A lot of the 1930s. It was renovated and Though it's not so quiet in the these families can't drive to the canyen anymore, people still come cleaned up in 1997 and now has a beach. TIley can't afford the parkvisitor center and bike trails. for its attractions: clear mg. It's the closest County Supervisor Gloria running water, canyon refreshing spot around Molina helped restore the Bosque walls that climb toward i. THE FAMILIES here," said Sam and has happy memories of going the sky and a feeling of Pedroza, spokesman for there as a child. freedom that just can't be had in the Upper San Gabriel Valley "This river was our community's the-city. Municipal Water District. beach, a place we could go enjoy the According to a Publid Policy "On the weekend you'll see company of family and friends," she Institute survey on Califo~ans and .Latinss enjoying (the river) more said. '1 am hopeful that people who than any culture." the environment released ill June, used to enjoy this beautiful place are Latinos tend to be more concerned But with use, some say overuse, returning and sharing good times about state environmental problems comes problems, The canyon road and memories with their children than the general populatiorn can become jammed with cars and Some say Latinos enjoy going to. the litter problem Is so bad the and grandchildren." 0

LOVING TRADITION
Generarions of Latinos find solace along the ricer

44

AUGUST

27. 2000

__ I

-

I

The Ocean. Begins at YDu'r Front Ptoor
What we do in our daily lives impacts thesurroundingenvircamment, a'Sfar as 50 miles away! Urban run®ff is a siqnifleant centrlbutor to ocean [llollutilpn. Debris in stfeet g.l::Jtters, atch basins, afld storm Gifa:ins€afl make its wa'8j to the c beach untreated. Dia you knew that plasti8 bottles and disposable diapers can take up to 450 years to break down (bio-degrade) in the environment, and a· styrofoam cup can last up to 50 years? Local rivers, beaches, and coastal waters are important recreational, environmental, and economic reseurces. You can make a difference in protecting and irnprovinq these local water resources by tollowinq these simple steps:
Practice these good habits:

• Place waste in its proper place to keep trash and household chemicals out of the gutter or storm drain.
S

Enjoy recreational activities such as: jogging, bikim§, wind surfing, volleyball, fishing, and sandcastle builGlinQl.

Recreation

Use household hazardous waste collections For more information call (800) 98-TOXIC.

centers and used oil recycling

programs.

Ii II II

Sweep up debris on driveways and sidewalks instead of hosing them into the street. Clean up after your pets. Avoid runoff from over-watering Use herbicides, pesticides lawns. friendly options.

and fertilizers sparingly or select environmentally

~et

involved in some of these local events: Seal Beach Sandcastle Contest - September 9, 1'0 a.m. to 5p.rn. Proceeds benefit "Save Our Seals" campaign For more information call (562) 799~0179 or www.sealbeachchamber.com California Coastal Cleanup Day - September 16 For more information caliSurfrider at (800) 743-SURF or www.surfrider.org Inner-Coastal and Watershed Cleanup - September 1·6 For more information call Trails4AII (714) 834-3136 or www.trails4all.org Seal Beach Chamber of Commerce San Gabriel Riverbed Cleanup November 4, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more intorrnation call (562) 799-0179 or www.sealbeachchamber.com

Enjoy a leisurely stroll down the pier or Main Street. Dine at local restaurants and cafes. Shop at many unique steres,

Business

--.

Friends of the San Gabriel River - Water Quality and the Watershed Seminar For more information call (562) 908-6449 or www.sanqabrielriver.orq

Supporting with

900& environmental

practices cammunitiej

residents

of inland and coastal

And Fun
SEAL BEACH CHAMBER

BUSINESS ASSOCIATION

&.

Enjoy a relaxing day at the oeaeh.

1be

SAN GABRIEL ~.

1-

WAGING A WAR ON TRASH
Forest Service .and others are in a battle with PublicEnemy Nos 1
long with deer, hundreds of I. species of birds and a host of .. small animals, San Gabriel River visitors can find tons of trash, including thousands of empty beer bottles, graffiti and even discarded sofas. "You will find all kinds of things in there," said Terri Grant, supervising civil engineer for the COURty's Department of Public Works. "People find SOlRe interesting things. I've seen shopp,imlg carts, and furniture's not t00 UmJOIDReynolds' agency cleans the 800"We do not have the money to mire the personnel to take care of acre Whittier Narrows Recreation it," he said. "It just overwhelms the and Natural Areas. He said the resources we have." 20,000-30,000 people who visit the Those resources amount to a pair park each weekend leave behind of rangers who patrol the r\:ve1', "monumental trash." "It takes us three, four days to assisted by such volunteer efforts as get it ready for tme next weekend," the canYON cleanup. "Unfortunately, we need an effort me said, dolefully. "It's cyclical. It's like that every week," Sirski said. a weekly thing that we're constantRangers rarely are able to cite ly 011 top of." litterbi.gs, who face a $50 fiiine, Reynolds said more maintebecause they have to catch the per- nance staffers and trash containers would be a big beost to fighting the son in tha act. mon." . The litter problem disgusts litter problem. You might say that trash along Sirski said he would like to see Rosemead Mayer Margaret Clark, more forest rangers patrolling the the river is Public Enemy No. 1. a board member of the new San Barret Wetherby of the AzusaGabriel & Lower Los Angeles area, more portable toilets for visibased Public Lands for the People Rivers & Mountains Conservancy, tors to use, and more trash bins coordinated the 22n(ii' armual and sjgns le<tting peopre know Clark wants programs educatOperation Super Canyon ing children aboHtl the where to dump their gwmage. Sweep in JUne. Hundreds dangers of littering to be "Our hope is change behavior of THE TRASH of volunteers picked up 3 users and provide more presence instituted at schools, and tons of garbage along 15 an increase in the numi.n river areas, and (have) more miles Qf the liver and forest land, ber 'of school field trips to the river. places where they cam take their including thousands of peunds of "As children learn to appreeiate trash. That combined, we can lick metal, he said. nature, then they will be less apt to this," SirskJ said. Wetherby, whose nonprofit orgagraffiti and trash it," she said. The problem is so severe that nization tries to preserve public But Patrick Reynolds, a landthe East Fork is under a Los Angeles Regional Water Quality access to public .Iands, blames the scape architect with the county's problem on weekend picnickers. Control Board order to get the Department of Parks and "These are the people that have trash cleaned up. T11at order is Recreation, said youths aren't the net been. educated 01'1 hew to taRe meant to eliminate all trash by problem. . care of their land," he said. "They "The young kids have these 2003. don't have a clue about how to treat great education programs about The Forest Service has applied their forest." the environment," he said. for a grant through the federal Jerry Sil7ski, the forest's San "They're the ones that kind of . Envirenmental Protection Agency Gabriel River Ranger District drag the parents and the older 011es to help fund programs to meet the recreation officer, said much of the along to make them lila what they order. frustration in dealing with the traditionally have mit done. The Mark Acuna, a retired professor trash is financial. younger kids are the hope here " and a Tongva Indian, said he and
, f_.'·

,I'

By Dave Melelldi
Storr Wriler '

A signon the fence at Santa re Dam in Irwindaleeminds us all of the need to be responsibleeltzens. r

Staff photo by

nM BERGER

. Staff photo tiy JAMES KU

Trashcollectinginthe North Fork of tile San GabrielRiver. others have been saddened by the pollution, development and degradation of the river. "y0U dom't respect the river or eonsider it R living thing when you dump shopping carts and used condoms in it," Acuna said. "Once rivers are gone, you don't make a new river." But there are some other efforts under way. For the past five years, summer Forest Service volunteers known as the Eco-team, have passed around extra trash bags and educate people about littering and water quality. "As long as I've been with the program, I've noticed the river is cleaner . . . It's just drilling in the message about being clean. When (visitors) see us coming up, it motivates them to clean," Eco-team member Claudia Ayala said. staff Writers Fiona Williams and

Phil Drake contributed f1J this

wry. 0

46

AUGUST 27,

2000

Rene MarC!1l:Jez f Azusa, West Fork stream coordinator for the Fishenes o Resource Volunteer Corps, sandblasts graffiti off rocks.

TACKLING A DEMON
Volunteers spend seeekends cleaning ttp alonB the rioet bank»
, Sure if's a dirty job, but somebody has to do it. Super Canyon Sweep 2000 plueked 3 tons of garbage from along 15 miles 0f the river, Abeut 275 velamteers fanned out in teams along the forks. The event is sponsored by Public Lands f01' the People, an organizatien dedicated to pr;eserving public access of publie lands. Not only do the volunteers pick up trash, they remeve graffiti as well. The sweep is-one 0f many efforts to keep the river clean. Offieials said over the past three years, forest crews have hauled 0Ut 40;000pourrds of litter. The problem is so . THE ClEANUP severe that the East Fork is under a Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board order to get the trash cleaned up. That erder is meant toeliminate all trash my 2003. Banet Wetherby, of the 'Azusa-based Public Lands for the People, coorditl;qJgg.,.the _?2rld @JluaR O]lerati011 Super Canyon

On June lOr Operation

Debra Wehrly, a recreation aaVlser TOr

Adventure County Park
il"l Whittier, Melps coliect bottles al0ng the West PorK. Wehrly was one of 300 volunteers participating in "Operation Super .

(818) 957-6431,or e-mail BHWetherby@aol.eom.

inform~tion call Wetherby at (~1~) fay· ~b1·1J~b,
0

cleanup can PuBlic LaDas for ee Feop!e:-~or won;

I

canyon sweep-

AUGUST

2 7. 2000

47

-,

..

".

A WHOLE
A dijjerefli pttrsoBulity comes out at. night
By Rodney Tanaka
SlalfWriler

NEW Llff

1 ~ ngel Quintero casts his flsB., I. ing line into the water as • sunlight fades into darkness. The fish. are [umping and. the mosquitoes are buzzing, making the evening a perfect time to troll for fish in the San Gabriel River. At hight, the' rrver takes on a whole new life. Although power lines cross overhead and freeway traffic echoes nearby, the 32-year-old El Monte resident has escaped to a dif ferent world. He watches birds while sitting om the riverbank, and occasionally a ;turtle p0}S its head up. The river allows hiID tID relax amid nature. "While concentrating on t1\~ river, you forget everything else," he said. "Instead of watching TV or . sitting in a room, you can come here and watch the fish jump. You forget about the city, for a little while at least." Quintero came to the river from. Thienes A venue in South EI Monte, but night activities are found up and down the banks, Nighttime on the river al'lows city dwellers to escape the daily grind by fishing, riding horseback, camping and enjoying the natural surroundings. David Jallo, natural areas supervisor at Whittier Narrows, said coyotes, foxes and great horned owls all visit after d·ark. Also, nine species of bats are active along the river at night, reducing

.oppressive. I've been out

here on the trails at night, and it's kind of serene beeauseof the fact that there aee less people, less noise. The quietness of it all is very nice." The Whittier Narrows r:s.:!ature Center is closed at n~ghit, but people l!lse the equestrian and bicycle trails that run through its grounds, he said, GerSON Barboza, 35, whose back yard 011 Pa:l1kWayDrive opens onto the river, said he rides his young stallion, Bxcallbur, as late as ill p.m, The horse needs daily exercise in order to keep him calm and controlled. Barboza usuafly rides for two or three hours but is not worried about problems along the way" despite running into drunken men stumbling along. I'm reaay to take off," fie said. "I've riot had a baa experience. " Althnugh building a campfi1;e is illegal, many families still enjoy camping along the banks, especially during long weekends. Some choose established campsites, SUGh as at the Santa Fe Dam open to Scouting troops and other groups by, reservation - and Follows Camp

"If anything happens,

THE N!GHTCRAWLERS

the number of mosquitoes and
other insects. People also find the river appealing at night "With hot summers, I think it's defInitely more pleasant to go hiking in the evening," Jallo said. "Daytime temperatures could be

in the Angeles National Forest.

Others pick their own sites, as evidenced on a recent long. weekend. Campers found choice spots along the river off East Fork Road in the forest, with tents pitched near the water. Desiree Kline, 18, recently spent

Iweekf!lltl with her friends, who Follows Camp with her family. June from EI Rancho "(The river) soothes you at night in Piso m1ver:a. They . when you're sleeping." a bridge that offered Norwalk resident Alice Garcia access to the river, and said she has camped along the d swimming, barbecuing -rhler for 40 years, before Follows roastmg marshmallows. Camp existed, Her family reserved Near.by Follows Camp beoked Ii spots and eX!pected40 to 50 peeof its 200 campsites, literally a J;lleto visit during the weekend. She wakes up in the morning to throw fromthe river, dur, weekend this year. the sound of the river, thinking it's 9 am. when it's only 6:30. of being down ther.e in "This is the best place to come getting flustered with and relax, enjoy yoursell and forget that goes on down about time," she said. "If anyone has you come here to relax," a watch, we tell them to take it off." 0 Grace Martinez, visiting

48·

AUGUSl

27. ·2000

AV
U
he San Gabrial River spans 58 miles from its head, deep in the upper reaches of ilie Ang.eles. Na!.tionall F(!)rest,t0 its mmlth neat L0ngBeactl. Blitili W;OU WMiLt to understand N0W the river (\l.,ueI'lcJ1es' a tl:'f:irsty Valley olsome 1.4 mffii.on. restdents and their businesses go ]),0 :(avme~' than a narrow, weed- '8!Frd 'liitterstrewn let on Scott Plass in Bald:win. Park.

Y KEY WELL
money, . It can cost $100 per q_c;:tefe0t or less to pump, treat ana deliver an aC11M0(itt 0I grourrd water to the acre-font

to Valley water supply
Northern Califernia by the Meh'0polifan WateF District Am. acre-feet is roughly equivalent t(!)a football Rela covered footdeep with water - about 325,000 or two average families over a year.
Please turn to WORK/50

surface water here supplies close to 90 percent of tl'ie ValleY's needs. Ami it does so for a lot less

tap. Compare that to the $450 perfrom cost of water imlilorte,d the C010rado River or

gallons - an amount considered adequate to satisfy the lileeQS of one

WORK hang,illg their c;:lellfies out to .cliry, is a :wa:ter well marked ,up Thy gmrfiti and surrounded by a rNsted cnalin-itn.k fence. 'Dhol!l.g.hit may not 100k like much, it's importance is denoted by its name: the iKeY' Well. Indeed, it's a key to understanding a complex wateruel[·very system that has evolved 8MeF nearly 200 years, start1ng :with a s·imnle ditch dug i.FJ. 182'1 by the fathers (i)f the Mission. San Gabriel. Since then cr,eWts have lali.ci miles of p!iReHne, dug s]meading basins out 0f the. earth, suNR seeres of wells, allM bUilt five lafgedams - mostly to capture an estimated 65 billioR gallons of water pNoduced in an 'ayerag~ yew bY'tbJ.eriverand its watershed. The Hey Well tellS all siln:ml¥ my its wery- eXlistenee - t,hat g!)olmd water,not suf.face w.mter is t'he . Vai[1ey:~s £)Fimary ddn1Rhlg water S0l!lIiCe - and eMen more f0rthQSe whe can read its l'll!l.Illeric tale. Though lme river has, served as an imp@litant sUlifaee-water supply since the 1800s, mest of its flow is lmaergrQtmtl and absorbetl. by the earth, where it lies ~n the 167square-mile mail) San' Gabri.el Basin, aquifer. The Key Well reaches hundreds of feet down the pGrOl1S, ahluvial soil of the Valley, where 1t serves as a hydrological dipstiek, measuring the water table's depth, and fum; its volume. 'Each foot of well water is the equivalent, basinwide, of 2.6 billion gallons. "If Y,OU understand that well,
you understand how the basin

neighb(ilrr.liJ.00d,where r:~si'- . dents· aI\e' still comf0lita:9le

There,

amid a ~vorking-class .

nu

--

.

Staff'p~oto'by

RICK SFORZA

ltl, from Stetson Engineers of West C[wina, downloads infQrtnation from a datalogger every three heurs froma sou~ctljngdevice in the key well ante his laptop. The key well, by homes on aresil!iential Street in Baldwin Park, is used to determine the level of the
-sql!lare-l'9ile

main

San Gabriel Basin aqtlifer_

'.~

AUGUST

27,2000

49

t

THE WORI(
Continued from page 49

_,
,

Mewever, costs have risen as produeets have had to close d0zellS of wells and treat some rematnng': water more intensely as the result of contamination by industries and businesses. That contamination caused portions 0f the basin to be added in, . 1984. to the nationrs Superfund list of most polluted Elites. But members of the San Gabriel Basin Water Committee, commonly referred to as the Cemmittee of Nine, a designatlen referrihg to its nine origlna] members, don't have to worry about that. They have a guaranteed take of all surface waters diverted from the river at San Gabriel Dam viaa tunnel ana lllipi:ng riltl!lg oat 0f the side IDfSan Gabri'eE Cany.on star.tt~ ing m 1895. . The waters are collected at the bottom of the canyon and distributed via pipeline to the existing five members of the committes, im:c.ludtng; tW0 water coml'1an~es Azusa controls, Monr0wia NU~3ery and a division of the Caiif~.:rniaAmerican Water C0. that serves Bradbury and IDuarte. "It's some of the most ]!lristine waiter anywhere," said IDa::viid! :IDe Jesus, general manager of the Covina Irrtgating Co., a water wholesaler and the committee's fifth member, WhlCR owns nearly 30 percent of the cemmibtee's share, the single lwgest portion. "We take it very qmiekly out of the canyon before it has a chance to build up any centammaats;" But with 1.4 million people in the Valley and millinns more in the coastal plain relying ~n the river ami its Via tershed,. it ta'kes il1iIOl!1e than just surface, diversions and wells to keep the Valley from goiNg thirsty. Without human Interventlon, the San Gabriel River wonIT'drage with f1(Dod waters aH.er winter storms, but nearly dry up i[o1 '1frie semi-aria region's rainless summers, as it did fer eons. But the billions. of doliars of fiID0a centrel BlUed water c0Rserv:atien ])rojeets im]}0sem.01\1 'Valley the landscape prevent that, all(Dw~ng lush summertime lawns to fleurish without drying up the tap. In 1934 Cogswell Dam was built . on the West F0rk 0f the river in San Gabriel Canyon, fellowed in quiok succession by Morris Dam in 1935 and San Gabriel Dam in 1939, the latter two just a few miles north of Azusa.

I

"It's ~ike a l1iee;Jjladdy:. t's I t:1ld idea, but the]te ha>ve been adManees in it," said Oliv.er Gala1\1g~a ei..vU engineer w.itl'i: rhe Los Angeles County Pu.blie,W0rks De:martment.· "We can eonserw:e about 80 peFI cent of the water produced l!Iy the meuntains, and tl:ie more we C0nserve, it keeps water rates dewn," What. water is not captured tliere, is seat to Santa Fe, where the Army C0rpsiln a conperative arrangement w;ith Public Works, b.01ds maok w:ai1ien f0F adcliiti0.nalli spreading downriver as long as it d0es not Interfere with the dam's PFimwy t::i00d-c(!)l:ltrol uties. d There's another rubber dam Mal" V;alley fJolil'l'erv.aFd. Wi11el1e . water' is c(jlle~ted in a 7S,acnB pool, . uS'ing the soft-bottomed river tID perc01ate the water int0 tlie soil. More water. is sent down to the Whittier Narrows Dam, which again the A,rmy' Cerps opelJia;tes B0.0J!lerative1ywi'th J!lub1ie W:0r:kst(D Bill spreading gr0illlds on and off the river to- Florence Avenue in D0Wl11ey. But even with all these effnrts, more must be done to supply that !last U) percent to 20 percent 0f the Valley's annual water needs, which are elose to 100billion gallons. TW;0 separate water agencies, the Upper San Gabrtel Valley Municipal Water DistriGt and the

an

S"lm G:ab.rie'l Vaile¥. Munidl1lal Watev JQlJstrict, were formed by cities about 40 years ago to import water to the Valley. TIre Upper District, the larger of the twb, sapplies lrnllorted water dir:ectlw to some local purveyors, but most of the water it imports is released into the river via a pipeline with an outlet directly below Morris Bam. . Water producers Wb0 use more . than their a1lottecl sb.ar.e IDfwater each yew must bl!l!y, dnip0m:easupplies to make up f@F[t, 'llie water spread into the gF0und like storm water and credtted to each preducer, The San Gabriel ~T:'aneydistrict, cprnp@sed.(Df Alhamhra, Azusa, M0ID.tere¥ Fwk and SHerlia Madre, performs a similar ,firnGtio1\1or its f members via another pipeline with ,separate outlets. In additiON, south of the Whittier Narr(i)wsJ sewage treated at tW0 reclairr):ed water plaJ.'lfS IDJ!leratedby the LIDsAngeles (Bounty Sanitation Districts is released into the river, Where it is spread into the-ground. The Upper District is seeking to 'pipe abeut 3.3 billton gallons of reclainred water annlJwtly to just south of the Santa Fe Bam, where it wonld be released into the river to percolate into the groundState health officials have yet to approve 1:1I.e!lrIDject. ] 0 .

50

AUGUST

27,

2000

REALLY PtUGGED
Edison and

IN
SlcffWrilar

other businesses flouPish along
the river
BV Virginia .McCrum
he battle between CiVil.iz~tion and nature is alive and well along !!he San Gabriel River, and finding a balance is key to man), area business owners, chambers of commerce executives and community development lead-

Staff photofby JOSH ESTEY

U

A view of the San Gabriel Valley from one of Vulcan Materials Co. 's CalMat

ricinlnlrn,r'''

sorting maehlnes in IIwindale.

\

_ "1,
I.

cial sporting goods center, many officials think developing Irwindale's quarries could bring people to the San Gabriel River. U.S. Forest Service futurist Gecrge Duffy said developing the quarries ceuld be 25-50 years away, but his eyes still1igliit Ull wl'lem he talks abeut the opportunities. "Try to JD,icture a situation where an around the sides of one <ill these quarries is a specialty shopping center for recreation activities," Duffy said. "Somebody could go to a mountain bike shop, get a mountain bike, go right out the front door and find a series of mountain bike trails that went around the quarry area." Irwindale is home to 17 mining pits, and siN are still active. Perhaps the jewel when offleials talk long-term development is the 47ID-acreHanson Aggregates pit at Live Oak AVel1Ue and the San Gabriel River (605) Freeway. It includes a large lake formed by the river and ground water just

''J ~

THE HOLE P (lURE
hether it's lakefront hotels and restaurants, a regional park or commer-

ers,

What do you do with clos
ouarrtesi ~
By Da'l~ Melendi
~toff Vlriter

.

-THE Q'UARRIES , .
'

west of the San Gabriel River that

is visible from the freeway. Use that quarry for imagined s stores seilliBg canoes or kayaks. allow customers to test ' before they buy them. "Yeu could really create a new concept in outdoor ,ri'>~'rb~ii'i a1 marketing," Duffy said. But Hanson and the city looking to try something unusual. They are trying to

atilt a deal to put lakefront hotels and restaurants at the quarry, not exactly a small dream either. "For Irwindale, it's an exceptional opportunity if there can be development around the water," said interim City Manager Joe Guzzetta."Water is such a valued commodity and valued asset. "Typicalry, the cilevelopment around rivers 0]' lakes or streams more highly increases properfy values, aesfheties and the ability of the city to attract nigh-quality development." Guzzetta thinks the lakes could be used for boating, recreation and as a backdrop to hotels and shops. There could be a beach if buildings were placed overlooking the water. Dave Hummel, Southwest Division president of Hanson Paolflc, sai« develol!lment Gould 0CCur while mining continued and a deal with the city is expected "sooner rather than later." Jock Scott is vice president of Vulcan Materrals Ce.ts CalMat Division, which owns a 334-acre pit on Los Angeles Street just east of Please turn to QUARRIESf 52

Rosemead-based Southern California Edison has the greatest presence all the river as it owns 370 acres of riverfront property in the San Gabriel Valley and Whittier areas and leases its land to about 50 businesses. "SCE is a prominent landowner in the San Gabriel River corridor," said Robert Reid, SOE water and waste programs manager. "Through OUT involvement in organizations considering the future of the river, -we are hoping to help develop win-win solutions that will serve the interests of preserving green space and our duty to leaseholders, customers and shareholders." Reid represents SCE as an alternate member of the San Gabriel and Los Angeles Watershed Couneil board of directors. SCE 0W11S land in every city, except Azusa, along a 19-mile stretch south of San Gabriel Canyon, said Rick Greenwood, licensing manager of Southern California Edison Corporate Real Estate. The limited areas SCE uses but does nof own are pretty much , Please turn to BUSINESS / 52

AUGUST 27,

2000

51

Continued from page 51

"

the 605 Frieewa;y, VUlcan, wilieR exyects to mine sand arrdgravel there up to 30 nmre years, is 100l5ing ahead to !perhaps eonverting its Cillilarryinto a park when 1t has been fNNy depleted, given the l?isiling vaiue of open space, Scott said. B01il Griego, frwi!n&!ale's etty:
\,-"

.

,~.

THE BUSINESS
Continued from page 51

the land, too, Greenwood said. PIesgid the the most common usages are herticulture and ag.ri-

vacant, unless the owners are using

es ana the-duck farm -'- W00illana Fanms Inc, - in Industry. "We actually bought that property from them, and as part of the pmchase, there was an agreement that they would remain there," Greenwood said. A few horse stables, golf sourses, storage facilittes, landscapers and many nurseries also lease SCE prope:rrty along the ri¥er. The majOl1ity (i)fbusinesses leasing land' from utility companies and agencies along the river are surface businesses, which on1y use topsail or ean be easily relocated SUGhas Norse stables - and de not require much foundation work. SQE said it does not restrict construGtion., as long as its operations aren't obstrueted and are permitted by law, whether zoning or permit regulatiens. @J1\ee,nw!lJ0druid Ed,is(!m puts s lDu:siorresses on tfue prolle~ty: to ~ed!liIce mali1iL,te,rraNce expenses, such as dearing w.eeds and other fiilil1isances,.and j,t generates revenues so Edison can offset its rates. Nursery wholesaler GaJllo's Nursery, which has been in business 16 years, leases about 12 acres , fFom'SCE at its South EI Monte head'qlilat1:ers. "We'Fe pr:etty happy here, and we'll staiY as ~0ng as they'll let us, but if the rents get t00 mgh, w.e'll Mave to meve," said the mmse!,¥'s manager, Gustav0 Gal'lo, the nephew of ewner Ramon Gallo, Large plots of land and good weather attracted the company to the' region, said Gallo, adding the nursery uses city water instead of river water-to nurture its plants. "The San Gabriel Valley is the best for growing plants," Gallo said.

0Il! tile watershed G0undJ., has tl[e culture. Thet'e are also green'h(iJUs- w;0l\\ked!lileb.d.rrd 'SBenes' IDIil ~fr,re

Steve Conrev, SeE medda relatiens manager, conflrrned that SCE leasing nates are OR the' rise as IlrOR,eFty vallues go u.p iWiith tJ:;J.e i.N€L1easeliftruc:R t,raif4.c e'Ileat"ing ma10r ithOt0Nghfar;es i:m ill rea. ~n atiltlftiioN fo as p ,

fume 0f t1J.eSan 'G'a:brieIRive:r by sUJ!?]!l~g a $2-1,000 grant te the San Gall:iJr-iel !Mo.ll!n,taiJrrs Regitma[ . Conservancy to finance "Reconnecting the San Gabriel Valley River," a ~al P01y Pomona study. A couple of SCE employees, in their roles as city eeuneil members, also serve on the San Gabriel &: Lower Los .Amgeles Ri;ver-s, & MOUNtains O:mservan:cy. Ibowd 0f directors: They are Lara Blakely of Menrovta and Hector de la T(i)rre of SouthGate. Edison does not have t-he monopoly when it comes to doing business along the river. Several cities Rave plugged into promoting commerce there as well. Irwindale, which has about 1,190 residents and is primarily industrial, has more than 150 businesses ar:JjaceIltto the San @aID!liel. The buslnesses :wa,r:9: ll s'i-te, i tncludtng some manor cOfp0rafe facilti,ties SUclil as t'ne f0:rmer Hughes Distribution <GeNter and the San Gabriel Valley Corporate Center, which houses Lucent Technologies and the San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnessaip. Ifhere also are rock qUaFFies, the Irwindale Speedway and a manmade lake a,t the Hanson Aggregates wet mining site. .Other businesses iNduiile Mille]' [Brewing C0., Gran.c1view Nursery, Nu.-Way Live Oak Landfill and CalSoil, a green-waste recycling C0mpany, to name a few. Irwindale officials envision the city's future with more developments aleng the freeway, which parallels the river, and recreational uses, said JoAnn Camperi, executive director of the Irwindale

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AUGUST 27,

2000

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THE BIITH OF A NOIION
San Gabrice'l consieriJUtNfJ}' irs a '1'esult of comfJllrlftomise
Westside, ana for us (iljaek then) hen Sen. Hilda Solis the San Gabrie] Valley was some heard that colleague Tom Hayaen was crafting leg- place in the beonies." [slation that woUld help bring the N.ot one to l1e easily deterred, Los Angeles River back to lli'e, her Solis tried again in Janu.ary ]999, immediate thougb.t turned toward this time imtr0du0ing her own !leg· i1tss4ster w:a,te:rway, tl!l:e S'alll isla.tti0r.l to create a San Gabriel Ga:bl'ie:l. River conservancy, witb. 1'10 powers Still clear in her memory were of cendemnation or authority over the magical summer days of her citY zoning laws. chNtlh:moa when her father would Still it wasn't easy. take her to play in the clear waters But, nine months later, after a of the river's tributaries in San series of rewrites and intense lastGabriel Canyon. minute negotiations, SoMs' bill and Time had come, she decided, to a second companion bm by preserve what had been untouched Assemblywoman Sally Newice, Dby development and to restore Artesia, passed the Leg'islatme, what could be reclaimed fFOInman. creatiNg the San Gabriel & Lower "We used to have picnics with Los Angeles Riv,ers &, Mou.ntaQ,1'1S our family. We used to go to the Conservancy. , Solis also got $,700,000 to start it creek and sit in the water. We would make our little swimming up, and $15 million included f0r pools there," the El Monte lana acquisition and other capital Democrat recalled. "It was so natprojects in a state parks bond that urak It's something I grew up with, later was approved l1ystate voters. and what our future generations "We are now, in fact, the largest should have." urban conservancy in the state of AS it turned out, Solis didn't get California," Solis said. '''The will of very, far two years ago with that the people helped see this BirSt a:ttempt,w:hicll weuld have through." 0F,ea Domn ifu0S fimgeles Bu t the Thl0UthfNJ of a alI,Hi @atu:'ie] Rivers name refleets llie aIliilU0US BOARD compromises that W8.Il!tC0lil!Seli'~aln:cy under the aluspJioes of tbe Santa into it. McnM.Ga Mountains Conservancy. From its original conception as [t ran inte a phalanx of opposia river conservancy, the legislation ti0n IT0liIl local interests suspictous was expanded to include the mounof the Malibu-based Santa Manica tains that comprise part 0f the conservancy, despite Solis' assurriver's watershed, . ances her interests were in the San ANd with the Rio Honde River Gabriel Valley. ' branching off to the Los Angeles L0CM environmentalests saw it River - hydrologically conneettng as aWes,tside l!J0w,er grab, San it to the San Gabriel - the lower, Ga:br.iel 'Valley, cities WJilmea ozer porti0lil of the Los Angeles' Riiver the oOllserMa,riey's power to consouth of V.ernon also was included, demn private !land! and down river, Those compromises didn't cities feared flood control would be please everyone, including Azusa giv.en snort shrift. Mayor Cristina Madrid, who ques"It was not based in the San tions how effective the conservanGabriel Va!lley ami that bothered cy can M without powers of emius a 10t," said Rosemead Mayor nent domain. Margwet Clark, "I gFew up on the Those powers give government

~ l'.,'.
T·'

By Laurence Darmiento
SlaffWriler

Sen. l1ilda Solis; 0-~1 Monte, remembers Pllaying along 1hlerive~ as a child. She t'ews the riverber:Jjust south of the Santa Fe Dam Recreatlon Area.

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"They had to do wfiat they had do to g~t it passed, but w~~. are e creating powerless entities? ust because they're fashionable?" said Madrid; whose spearheaded ~n Azusa drive to preserve and prove the GUy's riverfront pr.oprty. "Our city just formed a little J mt powers authority for helipter (patrols) and it has eminent domain. Here we have an entity 1lhatneeds to have the power to create a land bank. They need to pay ~air market value, not hold-out, xtoJrtion prices." Clark, who ultimately was PW0inted to one ef two seats representing Valley cities on the new d0lilservancy, disagrees. She likes ~he fmal product.· I "You get a much better project hen you have a buy-in from all e stakeholders. Eminent domain eans you can go and buy properfrom an unwilling seller," she aid. But by far the biggest .conflicts, nd compromises, revolved around 0 axes: upper v.s.. lOW. er river, nd local vs, state control, the ugaboo of California politics. Havice wrote.up her bill shortly" after Sells introduced hers, but if Solis was dFiv.en by environmental doncerns, Havice made no bones thout hers: protecting and enhanci, g flood control, while adding erne nice urban parks m the

~ f condemnation. .

geneies authority to buy land at it market value under the threat

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process. . "I've lived in this a~ea long enough to know that the river does flood into the sweets. Ana befere it v.:as controlled, there were people killed and there was prQpeNty damage done," Havice said. Havtee's 11i:Nwr0te her concerns into law, spe€iffiical1y;limiting the conservancy's authority over floed control projects. But it was the 10ctU c(;mtF@l issue in the end that almost torpedoed the conservancy. Lecal 0:t:ficia1ls wanted ·a majority of seats on IDe board, but Gov. Gray Davis, citing the state largess, said that was a deal-breaker. A few days before a September legislative deadline last y,ear, a deal was brokeretl. l1y State Resourees Ser::]';etaryMary Nicllels that satistied all patties: a majority of the 13 member board would be appointed out of the Sacramento, but four ot,: those would have to be drawn locally. . . The conservancy conducted its inaugural meeting in February, and was advised by veterans of other state conservancies that in order to accomplish anything the sptrlt 0f compromise would have to pFev;ail. Nichols, who as a statutorv board member is serving as the conservancy's chairwoman, said she has been pleasantly surprised that that spirit has appeared to prevail so fat'. Please turn to BOARD /55

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AUGUST 27,

2000

THE BOARD
laying out itsprierities. That is Hkel~ when the fi'll'st "1 was fearing that the real battles will be fought. upper and lower river pe0ple AE:gle,who served as a state would have such e: Miiew.s parck ranger and administrator that .there wo e arm for years, said SITethinks- that wrestling on who woUld go first in the end, sound environmenwith projects," she said. "It tal criteria rather than politics hasn't just been civil. It's been will dominate the s.elel1:tion of cooperative. " projects. Nichols liJ..()t~d that in the "I believe that when we conservancy's first major deeidevelop. this open space plan sion, choosing an executive there will be a weMliol:lgM,out director, unanimi,ty was set of criteria to took at the reached tn Ma:ry Angle who needs of the area," said Angle, had pFevi(i)usiy l:ed Hie'Sav.ewIto started w0rk in June. The-Redwo0ds"!fueag:t:l.e. "I think it's impertant when Also, G0Thg Beach you dt) w:atershe'[[ manageCnuncilman Fnank 'Colonna ment, you want to promote and Monrovia Councilw(i)rnah diversity. ¥ou have. to look at Lara Bl<rkel;Ywere sonsensus the whole thing. I believe that choices to share ~tJ.eagency's we can all work together to vice chairmanship, she said. up with But, the COBSeDVanCjii still come be good a single plan that is will for' both waterin its infancy, Before it can sheds." . even spend a d·i.me of the Staff Writer Micliae1 Dean . $15 milllon, it must develop an Clarffic?ntributed to this story. D open-space and parkway plan
Continued from page 54

Be a part o·f th'e process. Be a part of the 50iutioll~ Be a part of tfae future, c.~ i~.~ $IDmd W~~d~ ~~mg
.~ay
Aglll"~:

1~pm

~~~~~ 25, 2S00 1£30,.
. At the tos Angefes 'COUAty Depurtm:eR~ o·f Puhfi~ Wor-ks Heudquar1'er's 900 S.. Prem81'11t Ave..in A~h8mbra

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For more information call (626) 458-4330

or visit us at our website
http':lIdpw.co.la.ca.us/plnfsgrmp

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2000

County

pia/lit C!~If1,~~f}~d&;y 2.tJiO~

(OURSE

"The world is go.ing to pass by," Green saitl' of tbie Rivet Plan Gomm:ittee. "Phis will be left behlitd in the Jacqueline Lam brrch ts, the of Friends of the San is alsn coneerned L"'~~U.u"~L''' l'e.pe~atin;gtile .. is mistakes made in Los

San Gabliiel River Masler Plan S.teer:ing
Sen Gabriel & Lower Los Angeles, Rive~s & Mountains Conservancy Sierra Club Trust for Public. land Upper San Gabriel Valley MiJnid~DI Water District U.S. Army Corps of Engineers lns Angeles . District U.S. Forest Service Vulcan Materials/CalMat DiviSion
Pi"qjeEt Team Membef5

Los Angeles (ounty Dept. of Public Wl1rks tos Angeles (ounty Dept. of Parks Dnd Recreation Los Angeles Coun.1y,Dept. of Regional Planning Notional Rark Ser.vice - Rivers, Trail, and Conservation Assislame Rrogram .

Note: There are 45 members Qn.lthe committee; some agencies have double representation.
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AUGUST 27.

2000

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imli,]ferep.ce that pervades the region abeut i,ts own natural resources," the report states. "Second, regional preservation efforts must bUiltlconsensus." Cal P0Jy'S 600 Studio, where the San Gabriel ffiver study was completed, is the CUlmination of the school's laadseape' architecture master's degree program. Students' are hired by organizations to (!l0i1!J.. f)lete a studY, a process that runs from September to Jiune sf their
final year.

vatton efforts mast overcome the

"First and foremost, my preser-

Jeff OlSON is one of four landscape architecture professors who oversee the projects. While the work benefits the client, he believes the hands-on educational experience students gain through completing the study is invaluable. Conservancv officials are now l(iJ(i)k:i.lil.g fer ways to implement the

the repert, Adding signage, trees and bike Photo'ijy RICHARD WI shelters to the bike path are top priorities, said Ami Croissant, the Members of the Cal Poly Pomona 606 Studio are, from left, Kristina Barker, Phil Kiburn Sung, Doug Delgado, Jay Brown, Jeff conservaney's founder .. Stevens, Jeffrey Olson, and Joan Woodward. Brown, Delgado, Stevens and Sung are the others are IDrofessors. Edison International is also getting involved in planning for the river's future by Bethinking how it's utili.ty corridor C0uJ.t'l more be .compatible with the stut'l¥'s reeom· mendations. Meanwhile, Caltrans officials are contemplating the creation of tunnels for animal research along the San gabriel River (605) Freeway corrlder as a way to restore their habitat as welL The conservancy also has been By Michael DeaD Clark contacted by a student at Colorado SlaflWriler State University Wh0 wants to foeus her doctoral dissestatlon on section ef the river ifi;omthe Azusa applying phytoremediatien hen they look at the fering from urban development. , Valley's leg of the San "The main thing we were Can~on to the Whittier Nm:Fows. using plants to collect toxic materi. Gabriel River, members to do is ,see if we C0u.1<t .\'L\J"~ta!'IP lIloraise the pno:fIleIDF !llver., als from the gnound - along the ilih.e of the San Gabriel :M!ounlta.ins regioria.l wrrdHfe tl:i1eepo])1t uggests that rscsgnlzr s Safol abriel Rive17. G RegioNaiC0EServaneysee a w,llder· stutief1t Jay Brown. arne gateways be. dev,eI<-lped where 'rhe most important thing now, vancy) wants to develop ness resource that, strangely it runsthrough cities. "AlS0parks however, is finding the money, and it's still possible." enough, need to be both protected ceuld be expanded and Improved. the agencies that distribute that and popularized. In the report, "Reconnecting And while the report calls the money, to pay for it ali, Croissant . The river, as they see it, is being SaN.~abrie~ Valley," BrOWN bike path a strength, it also says said. hiS partners Douglas Delgado; degraded not S0 much from that "unfortunately, the path pro"There is plenty of money out overuse, as neglect. vides no amenities, no signage and there, it's just a matter c.f having Stevens and Kibum Sung, ""_"':I;!"~'I't So, to generate some ideas on the San Gabriel River as "the almost no shade - except fer the greups go eut and get it," "he said. , how to overcome that, the group bone IDfhe watershed" that t oecasienal freeway overpass." "fie missing piece is the lobbying commissioned four master's stu- neets more readily to all the mID remedy that, it recommends effort to bring in those funds." 0 dents in Cal Pol:yPonrcna's natural features iN eNhanced bike stO]lSwifE racks, laiNdsca,pe archi teeture (LASS area."is also col\tsi!fel7e seatililg,shade and water, Plus, ;v;en· department to cIDmplete a It d0lJSeould sell pnoduets to people GET WITH THE PLAN the best chance [01' at the stops, Better sigtls also could study eosttrrg more tRan large, uninterrupted be added to the trail to alert users $30,000. To order a copy of me to attractions and their location. The result is a plan that would natural corridor ill the Valley. "Reconnecting the San Gabriel To dID this, however, will. take ail The river has a bike add amenities like shade trees and Valley," send L request to: a concerted effort on the part of all benches to the river's banks to stretching its entire SGMRC, P.O. Box ssa Glendora, CA the agencies that control the river make it more user-friendly while many other recreational 91740, er fax it to SGMRC to agree on a course of action and taking care to protect the indige- tions could be improved at (626)' 335·1771. follow through with the work to nous plants and wildlife, many of more people. As such, they carry it out, Brown said. which the report concludes are suf- focus their study on the

improvement plans centadned in

A PIAN

Cal Poly class comp.. ",.,;~ ~ for improo

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AUGUST' 27.

2000

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he San GaBriel River is far from the only _ regienal ~ ~ waterway: clrawiI:J.g attention these da¥s. Just 'west of the Valley, environmentalists are ~ to change the - perception of Los A-ngeles Riyer as little more than a concrete drainage ditch. They envision a ribbon. of aqua ¥later sliding past grassy baii.ks in urban communities from mountains to sea. "The Los Angeles River is an incredible oppolitIDlitY to connect disparate cemmunifies with a C0mmon thread," is mow Eill eorcoran of the Sierra Club's Angeles Chapter puts it. Corcoran was ameng river enthusiasts who lQbbied f0r money to reolaim urban land along the river for a .series of "packet parks" that will one day dot the river's path from Tujunga Wash to Long Beach, if all goes as planned; A master plan for improving the

the

L6s Angeles River began evolving in the eal!ly 1990s, when city pub1ic works and parks offioials sat down with the G0illltM.o dstermme hQW t to carve out more green spaces for urban neiglib(!)rhe0ds. The idea! was to THE L.A. rec'laiiffi some of the shuttered factories aAeng the Fi,veEbaJilkand to make them illito parks, said Belinda Faustine, chief deputy director of the Santa Monqca Meuntains C0nservancy.

Efforrts ta Fehabilitate the niver began in earnest in 1986, witlfu the forrnati0R of Friends of the 10s ~geres Rd;v.ep. . The efforts get a big boost this year fnom state lawmakers and GOM. Gray Da¥is, who approved .$130 million for parks along the river, including a 61-acre former railroad facility: near downtown called Taylor Yard. The legislation, sponsored by Assemblyman Antonio Villa'I1he heart of the river restoraraigosa, D·Los Angeles, also desigtion effort is the Los Angeles River nates the river as a state park Center and Garden, an unexpected gneen oasis in an asphalt.b01iU1d. the Las Angeles River Pai'kway. Championed by Vfllaraigosa industrial distrlet that was once and ap~lmved by voter-s in March, home to the Lawry's PF@positi0lilil:2 ~rol/lides $2.lJ billion iF00ds' bottling plant. RIVER Tfie lovely, haoien- _ to build and imllrove urban pru;ks thr0Ughout the state. da-style River Center Plans are alSo under way for a in the Elysian VaUey showcases ihlKe-arrdLbikemailthat weuld follow the nearby ll-rnile stretch Qf river' the river's 51-rnile course, sa,id between the ArraY0 Seco and Burbank where native plants and- ,Jw.ilileeiil Bul.laitd,director of the LOs ~geles River @mte17 Gwdens. 0 &. animals still thrive.

--~--~----~.I~-----------.SaR. Gabriel River from the ocean to the forest, with homes and businesses kept 1,000feet from the water's edge. The river, allowed to naturally flood during the rainy season, is part of a network ef park land stretching throughout Los Angeles County. Sound far-fetched? It .eould have happeBed. This was the vision of the renpwNed design firms of the Dimsted Brothers and Harland Bartholomew and Associates in 193!i1. .. Of course, reality hasn't been S0 'lillie;]t 1l1Ci'IJ; 0f an integra ted ser-ies .6f. ]atk!s and recreation areas for thE; Los :Angeles region has been replaeed ,w-ith limited green space, COlIcret'e levies and urban developments up to the river's edge. . lin the bte ~920s, a c0mm,utee spun from the LQS Angeles Chamber of Commerce hired hlle nrms to lillaroJ. nd design parks.' a 'beaches ana other open ll'"E!creation areas. ' Cn:amber elite and powerful locals- such as movie mogul Mary Pickford believed time was slipping away, for comprehensive and ambitieus landscape planning, said
kind.

D

rnagine traseling along the

A Los! _OPPORTUNITY
70 years ago, a ambitious plan

for river pr.ese1jv. adon stalled
By Ro~~.eyTanaka
51 Wriler

for public use. 'I'ctal cost to lmy and develop the entire system of parks and recreation areas as recommended ill the plan was estimated at $224 nll]lion. . 'I1he planners believed the San Gabdel and L0s Angeles rivers Gould be part of an attractive landscape sy:stem featuring al!l sorts of trees and vegetation, walking and bridle paths, buffeting parks, and even roads. The Olmsted-Bartholomew plan, originally set for a print run 0f several thousand. was N[!,Smany natural charms reduced to less than 200 THE DREAM copies. There was fear and outdoor- a.ppoI'tuni. ties. These assets, the , such a system would report stated, we on tfle v.e17geof require establishing a parks beaed liI!isappea~ing, out could be. easily with broad jurisdkti0lTI.,.he said. . preserved by con.c?ried action. . ,"There's a feellrlg the creatien of The plan was caIDwrehensiv:e:,. a s0{:!histicated parks plan would Incorporating baby parks and ath'Create a jurisdictional body that letic fields all the way up to a parkwoNld have at least as much power waty system, integrating into one as they do," Deverell said, of the fluid system l'lf protection of lands chamber. "They kill it."
c

Caltech professor and Pasadena resident William Deverell. Deverell co-wrote the book "Eden B-y Design: The [930 Olmsted-Bartholomew Plan for the Los Angeles Region," which ana~y:zesand 17epFintsthe plan. "'['he cemmittee tord G)1msfea and Bartholomew to tl:Jj]jk big and plan big, ana they did exactly that;" Deverell said. "It's a compRehensive and rather remarkable plan for the whole county and then some." 'Fhe pian, "Parks, Playgrounds and Beaches for the Los Angeles Region," neted the area

The plan called for open space an either side Qf the riverbank, allowing natura1 floodmg to occur, said Patrick Reynolds, Los Angeles County Parks and Recreatton Department landscape architect. But now the San Gabriel River rushes to the sea between largely concrete embankments instead of floeding out to plains. , "The plan was probably idealistic in some of its vision, but as a master plan it was a great, workable approach. to preserving that habitat and the waterways' natural courses," he said. The plan presents tao many ehaQllen-ges 10 be impiemente:d teday and parts of it are dated, but there's no reason wnw .even now some sort of similar comprehensive plan .shouidn't go forward, Deverell said. But he still bemoans what could have been. . ''Ifs pejgE.ant t@ read it and realize it nev.:erreally had! a chance. It's not perfect, and 1wouldn't refer to tlie landscape as an architectural bible, but tes a quality, Report of great artibifi0n, absolutely," he said. 0

. TO KNOW MORE
Eden by Design Bv Greg Hise and William Deverell
114 pages. UniversiIY al California Press.I.osAngeies,
(A

"It's poignant to read it (the plan} and realwe it neve really had a chance."

- William Deverell, Co-nulhor "Eden By Design"

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The Department of Fish and Game stocks the river every two weeks between December and May. The fish are trucked from Fillmore, where they. grow from fry to abeuta half peund in a ;year'. They are placed into the river at spo.ts alrimg each fOlilk by DFG emp10yees w:tJ.en THE STOCKING the water c(!md.Jitions are close to ideal " Anglers ravol' using a dough bait formula to catch the fis:tJ.;similar to what they are fed at the hatehery, Money to run the hatchery comes from state sport fishing license fees, which anglers must pay before tlley go fishing. 0

TH.E FISH TAL.E

JOSH ESTEY

Larry Glenn throws some rainbow trout into the East F.orkof the San Gabriel River, stocks the riverevery two weeks during the Southern Californiaplanting season

is a fish and Wildlifetechnician for the Iilepartment 0f Fish and Game. The department from December through May.

. Aui;~ST 21, 2000

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ETHAN ,COUSINS.
, Water-waysplay .big r.ole in ~'Verall' scheme ()f~ the
,Sout/hland
By Juliet (hung
forrespondent

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he head, waters of the .San G!lbriel and Los, Angeles ~ , ~ RlverS may be miles apart . and their COID'ses distinct, but a glance bacls iN time reveals the waterways were QID:ce ere than m

'Very i01:ilgagQ, the rivers' courses actually intertwaied bE?f@re untangling il'l one of the many shifts-prIDmpte61by the flood waters , that once dominatTHE OV~RALL ed their flow. , "Tlae FIvers' hav~ great historical simi]ariHes," said make Gmnpreel'lJ, authQlr @f "The Los Angeies R~ver: l~ [,jfe; Death anrl Possilrlle Rebirrtill." , ""'Ffue - ~bwer ]!laJtt @.f the Los Angeles River iIllSed: te be called. the' San Gabriel Niver liJefQFe shifted It 'its course In the UlOOs," said. ' he In UI54, t(!)IT(mti_al inter rain- .' w fall caused the San Gabriel River to splinter and the Rio Hondo Niver . was born.' . . Now, the Ni@ Hondo connects the two rivers, allowing water to flow dow:il1:sfFeam frmil'J.the SaN Gil!furielk@lllgh ~e Rio Hemd:@ and IDtQthe Los ~gles Riv.er. , 'I'he LO$ Angeles and San Gabriel Rivers are region streams, differing from rivers like the . Mississlppi by their varying nature, Gumprecht said. .. . Regicn streams change course often because their shallow, wide nature pn~venf$ their-carving out a channel._ Eastern rivers, 'on the other hand, flow @uer l\uici1rock, re €!eep a and narrow ana. flow y:ear-t'0\!l1l€l. The tWQ ~(i)ealrwers flow @:ver . land comprised 0]' alluvium, or the sand, dirt 1a'Fld gravel that washes Students of teacher Kathy Ashmore's at off mountains - the Sari Gabriels, I:lemel'1tary School il'1EI'Mohte listen to in this case - which arrows water about the rainbow trout theyaie about to to penetrate beneath the surface. 0

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iJit'sa l\lI'Qg]1am that teaches city kids a lillie semethlng about 'life. S'ttle:tel1l!ts Kar1ilily Ashmore's flftla- and sixtb-grade classes at ln iE~wm Elemenit~ ~eh0Q] in E~ Monte partk!i:wated this year in the Trout in the Classroem program Fishers Club of THE SMAll fRY sponsored by the Flystudents raise the OrangeCounty. Th~ rainbow trout eggs provided by the Mount Whitney Hatchery in mid-April 'and release them into the West Fork of the San Gabriel River in June. Ken Reed, who oversees the program for the fly flshers club, says. it's his hope that the program teaches kids about . proteeting the environment. His club did 60 Trout in the Classroom ~rog:rams last year . .Me said very few of the fish released last very leng in the river. "The (food-cham) pyramid is really small and their chances of survival areslim," he said. "The next biggest thing is going to eat them." L1

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Gayle Scott cared before it was fashi
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in at Monrovia, . Ajilassi0IT fOrnanlWe isw;n~1! has 15l~~Gayl~ 800ft reaches ,. ,n~or High ScheJQ[ J far ba:@k iJ.il1l her memory, kept Scott, 76, glose 10 the waters. Ir'.JormaJJ.yknown as "MFs. San ar Arcadia sehaels, , indeed as far as sne can Staff photo by JAMES KU ' She retired ilr the, go, silll. the river is there. GabrieliRiver,"she is oonsidesed Gayle Scott, also known as "Mrs. San Gabriel ,River, Mas 'The third child of a Boston by many locals to be one or the la " 19'70sand lived :i!l1 school owner and a ship builder original and most vocal spokespercadia before mevbeen crusading for preservation of the waterway. . I ' sons fer it. '' who settled 1."1. AZusa ii11914, she in in With her son, was born in 1'924 in a big yellow , G ergs Scott Piper, "She s~eaks from the heart," "It 'shenld be restored," scott house surrounded by citrus trees, said Ann Croissant, founder Qf the in Azusa, It- was tiqen t1\J.athe river t CN into herllie again. / said. "BYit how de we restore the three miles fnnE, the San Gabriel San Gabriel. Mountains Re~iolflal River. ' Conservancy. "Most people th:ink: scott hearrrflaID01itand foTI:owed beauty and na'fulirainess of it?" , Gl11@wlingupam@ug orange Sbe saim: ine understands the the river is a very uninteresting [p)r. posed developme:ro:t on the San . d:emamds @lil -the rlver.. sueh as tlile gF@Vles Citrlils Avenue, where @ID! IDQ@;y @twater, bmt Gayl~kn@ws ~ts G Nrie]. She emfuarked on a i!lerrock ((I;Ula<rries recreatien sites aad SQ) a] mission to st1lldy whateV'er fuist@r:y.[ futlily. \ilrlmili'e her illlwa-. .Aznsa :J?MiilliG University stands" it supports. , .eted ilie ri~@r, ffu'omover-develthe river was Scott's vering dedication to Although she now lives in Los really w<tll1'kiNg see to playgreund. As a ' op ent to n.egleCtto ehelliliical contAngeles, Scott said she will always something through child, she loved to be . ination. and her persistence alone with nature. Seott attended city council meet- ' care about the waters of her youth. Reading the waters of the future, for the good of everyone." Shewculd watch the water run in s and river safety councils and Azusa City Clerk Adolgh Solis she sees hope. . over reeks.' study its patterns and re .d everything from federal HI think one person can only practice tellihg which direction the has known Scott for more than 25 .gr und water reJilor1ls to environmake a iililiference if they listen to wind blew. m ntal studies on homes encroachvears. other pe@Jjlle. don't believe in hierI "The river was amazing and "She's very cemmitted to what in. the river. '--archies. We rreemJ a reund-table <lis"I feet it's not riglil!t for me te , beautiful," $c@1M: said. "m the 1940s, she be~ieves in and the environcussien afu.o·lJl[ibe future of the t h e kri.0w~edge and rl@t do <lRYVile had 2Q white horses at tlile , ment is N@. iJI en her list," h.esaMl. Seott graduatecli 'fiE@lTI the Ma];)gl th g abemt it," ,s1o.e aid. "M@stIy I river and we must remember net ' seheol my m@ther @wned. ['wofillcl s any one (')1 ns lffiows wilil'J:t e need w ride, myil@rse aad we woMlrl take SCCltt RaF.lc11.o Scheel in Azusa, a .deh't have tfue answers.' I just have to know," she said. the high road to the mouth er the privaJ!e IDearciing scheet for girls a t of questions." "We've got to see we all have. river, wfuere the gun club lis now in . that her mother owned on ilie corOne of them is figur:i!n.g out a something to give. Every one of us Duarte, and stop and look around. ve 1. fundamentalll[uestion about nerof Alasta and Citrus avenues. has a little part of the jigsaw puzzle Some people don't notice- nature. I ho to transform. the ri.ver back to She attended USC and earned a , degree in education before teachto put together," D was really lucky to." .its former state. .:

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By Anissa Vi~ente-Rivera '
,Staff Writer '

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e rived!r@m~, their 'beauti, Phil Drake -co1@1!'S asking something terrim Lan~e Mar.bgi'ger ly wrong like a eolorfill. stmset ruing ~glTh a smoggy. t_;)";skY. _~ Tim Ber.ge~ sun !pite tbe tremend0us . laurence Darmiento, . bstacles, rcissant s]1loke IDf the ,ejilSt@warm.river'r<llst0ratioN: ' Ron L.Wood 1& lll110reveiia Me w.aner flow. is eeessarv. The r€mova~ @fnonSan Gabriel Valley Newspaper Group ative grasses .thact €hoke outthe p,ublisher atural.flora (arunde, the. giant -Talmage Campbell eeds, ;for exarnplll!~. 13eUer $i~s ; iJ"ecting weowle t@ the w(,)ID:crerful EJcerulive ~dftor ike paths along the river. Mere Jim LawitI ature centers like the one created Managing edilot ecen'tily ill the.. Whitti@r NaFFows. etter use of iantds tllfltferne-aiflfu the igh-tensien wires thqt fo'hl.0wthe Contributing_ writers eeway and the river. . Bill Bell, Stephanie (ain, Nicole M. ~ampbell, Juliet The iliBt goos en, but at :!h@ t@])of , Chung, Micha~1 Dean Clark, William Dauber, l<atherine tl1l:el!istis B!wa];1€-' Drouin Keith, )\meli Esparza, .Andrew Faught, Rub¥ ness. - Gonzales, Roseli llano, Gina Keating, -Keith ~air, Right now, the Virginia McCrum, David Melendi, Debbie Pfeiffer~ new San Gabriel· Trunnell, Michelle Rester, Anissa Vi~ente-Rivera, Karen &; lLowetr· t@s Rubin; -Steve S~a~zillo, Jason Schaff, Mary SEhuben, . - Angeles Rivers & Andrew Sdmuelson, Michael Sprague, Usha Sutliff, Mountains Rodney Tanaka, Fiona Williams CGnserval'lcy is _ 'Photographers _ readying for the Bernarao ~Ips, (ire.!! Andersen, Keith Birminghqm, . task iFor them to Keith Durflinger, Josh Estey, Mid\ael Haering, leo' e successful, local people need to .Jerzomb, James Ku, Walt Mandni, Mike Mullen, et !involved, she said. Rick Sforza The flrst s~efl for pelil!Hica1 nvclvement is walking aim'lg the Graphi~ artiSts iver and seeing what we have. Manny Amaya, Susana Sanchez "We've gat to quit putting barriGop¥ chie.f rs around it," she said; Hteral1y Michael (oates d fig1i!'1;'atively."Those whe say eep it hidden' believe the myth Support staff at there is no111IDgworth savrng Gema Duome,-Isabel Gaspar, ere." __ -.loulse (j~iialva, Rat Rahel, _Debbie Seeber _ TIlat myth: is pef]le'firateft! aeroes estate. ._ ~~~~~ Croissant has heard the saickerWe would like to thank the fol, g in Northern California and em .1'\.'s west side, wh~r~weowTesee lowing people for their assisfan~e: .: he rivers and natural areas 'of Joe Blad<sfock, Ann Croissant"Margaret orthern California arid the $anta Clark, Arthur Dia1, Ron Fremont, Gary enica M())wtains as mere d€s@rv, Wildeb~and, David lidia, Jafqueline 'mg ef ]ill?ese!rVat~@n tfuJa[l:[ iWll!<li!l1d:rea habitat. Local folit'l1]_(;j_atiQID's lammichts, ~ichaFd liu, Roy Mu~phy, UPPO]ft the rain fosests in , .Denise Noble, Scott Scholes, - ashington and. in S~uth America ~ngela -Vasquez. !l1lSTeam li>l!lottiliitg th@w !t[HllneytGl IlJf . ork at home. "Look at what w€'ve got hefe. It worth saving, y@tno one.knows ,fblQl!l!f ne .Qlil.eares; aibol!l1t she it, e it," -'Want more? aid. Copies of this special report -"Public outrage is the most . ffective t001. W€ still live in. a . are available for $1 each. v. To or-der, mairyour requestto:
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PROJECT- EPlifORS

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. play Daske~b~, tll:l1i o one: ,~_~, n . much of either. '/ _. »« . H0W can we- g€lLth.e 1,11. ~illi6n . residents '011 ISWJl Gaitl1lie]- VaiNey· Eh@ STEVE SCAUZILLO to car€ about restQrhfg :llie riv.er? ---- --_--- ------ - -- -- Can such a dream - one that includes riverfrent greenbelts and red-t~iled 'hawk eliding The scrub epea 'space, bo.atiRg in the grass fQr :mer !l!lrey. "W8!wk!Rigll~ liIJP lrwindale p~ts, lawn. concerts and there!"0ne would shout. maybe even "a riverfront district,~' 'Our favorite bird, however, is a la San Ant6ruel or New Orleans __:_ _the great blue' heron, whose wing' - ever b€ morefigments ]foiliNg span as diswlay,eGl in fiight still ar®unQ the imaginatiol'ls QI local dreps US to our knees in awe. All is. environmentalists? evidence of God's creation, though We can't really say for-sure if- seen through the glass darkly, as antY' (j)f fuis wiilll come. true. But fue St PaUi wrete, . ,' hc;>p@@f sUleR a transformation can only begin when we - open our eyes and see the river-as t1: is right now. . Instead ofa place to drivs over; er a ]}la@e iIlreeway a is named after, let's pull up the oleander bushes that For a little closer l00k, last .screen the river from San Gablliel-m0nth 1 strolled thempJiler a;JClrtion CarrY0li1 te Long Beach -aN!d ~et betweem Duarte aliJi0:A:zl:lsa w!itll everyone in on the secret botanist anQ. plant physiQl(')gist It may sound cliche, but through Ann Crcissant . of Glendora. our ~cQm'tlill!lriities, a river many Croissant is an advocate Qf river ~s wough it..; . . restGrati@T1 a~d .she's The flrst order for a ID(')ving the. sta,kehGlld!community project is ers in that direetien.: getting ilrit square m the . ..' It was ...Ge0rge· face lily fu~ proli11 , orin-fuis ease, WlliteoJmro, f@u!!1di@r Glendora, 0f anunderutll asset we'·\?1@ disWft@ ea~le@_the p1ace where we -, missed like a last-place basketball stood "Boca Ne gra ," or black team. . . mouth, because the upper vegeta, . Because faith, comes ];jy, seeing, tton was s@deep as eomp:wed to the by hearing the S0U1lldsof w.ildlife tighter s&aded aill1uviuni that colors . and. by standing, on the river's clay the' river's books. bankswith your eyes dosed and. Native Americans drew life ima@1irlg what is yet unseeN. fr0ID the river tir€l1 ib>efQre was it .S@eililg what is ]lossilble is roeliev-. '_damme!lt ancil: contro!Lilied in the ing, 1930s. Croissa,nt F>IDirtts to the mule ' .'fat, or lfidianarrow plant, which the m(ft[ans used as- a- wa,ter~cli€a••• T@r. I've ID€el1l. goiJJg to the r-!iv€r and Evel'l! tQday, Witll Vulcan's minwriting about itm my columns 'for ing of iiliiemOllltatll at ne<mtJyFlsh _ more than [0 y~ars, and @:l!ll!'ing Cany(j)))lmdmiles of active COllJv.eythat bim€ 'tihe G@nce;pt f fa~fl;i!Flev€r er ib~lts 1\Fwferrmg rGl~k~o ensho came up, ing machines marring- th@ river My wife, Kanm, and my boys, view, some native plants still Matt and: ANdy, I').ow10 and Ill,got to thrive... ,.. . know tible ;miike[Jilaths,-Ute :fu@rses As we wa1ke!1ltr>wood il!terCalf. m -and riMers Wh0 cress tire river; the the parking lo(of nearby :Duarte -snowy egret who lives along the Steve Sea uz illo is· the park, we could Bee the willows ris- . banks near Whittier Nariows, the ,- ing from the river's middle. The dttorialivpinion page edttor of the woo~y scent that rises e>ff the stagtrees' cQlprs were like a pa~e from - an Gabriel Valley Newspaper· nant peels. roup. Write him at 1210 N Azusa a- New England. teur guide: torch Wh€n we ride our biCycles, Matt anyon Road:, . West Covina, CA., red, rust orange, mustard yellow. and Andy, always the .competitors, 1790, ar you eanemad him at But Croissant said the trees are disc tribune@?arthlink_llet_ 0 like to be the first ONe tG sight a tressed: lily a lack IDf water, lily too

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