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Army Corps of Engineers Destroys Sepulveda Wildlife Habitat
January 24, 2013 -
A photo of the same area shown in the photo below before to the Army Corps of Engineers bulldozed the area.
On December 10, 2012, the Army Corps of Engineers bulldozed 43 acres of wildlife habitat and filled in a pond in the Sepulveda Basin Recreation Area, just west of Interstate 405 and south of Burbank Blvd.
According to State Senator Fran Pavley, residents and recreational users were shocked to find acres of natural habitat stripped of vegetation upon return from the holidays without any formal notification of the work.
PHOTOS BY MATHEW TEKULSKY
The southern reserve after the Army Corps of Engineers bulldozed the Sepulveda Basin Recreation Area wildlife habitat on December 10. Residents and recreational users were shocked to find acres of natural habitat stripped of vegetation upon return from the holidays without any formal notification of the work.
When I walked the site on Wednesday [Jan. 2, 2013], I was stunned by the sight of acres and acres stripped bare of all plant life, and dead trees and broken branches piled up and littering the site, a sight more reminiscent of the aftermath of a hurricane than what the Corps has labeled a vegetation management plan.
On Jan. 4, the Senator sent a letter to the Army Corps of Engineers requiring answers about the lack of any process to inform the public and receive their input before starting work, and about the Corps short-circuiting a formal review of the environmental impacts by simply declaring that there would be none.
Pot Hole Pond before the devastating actions by the Army Corp of Engineers in December 2012.
"The Sepulveda Basin Recreation Area is one of the environmental gems of the 27th Senate District, bounded by the L.A. River which will soon be restored to something very special for the entire region, she said.
As of press time, Malcolm Maclachlan, Pavleys Communications Director said they had not received any written response to her letter.
On Jan. 16, the L.A. Times reported that the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board has directed the Army Corps to provide information by Feb. 11 about its decision to eliminate woodlands and potentially foul the Los Angeles River with sediment,
The sight of Pot Hole pond after what the Corps has labeled a ‘vegetation management plan.’ Sen. Pavley is investigating but summed up the situation by stating, "It seems clear that something has gone very badly wrong."
adding that the corps did not notify them prior to destroying the wetlands.
According to the L.A. Times, there is now a request before Corps officials in the Pentagon to revoke the 2010 [vegetation management] plan and replace it with a new project designed to return the area to a diverse native habitat that supports wildlife and fulfills the public's need for a natural outdoor experience in the middle of the city."
It is a sad irony that this work was quietly done during the holiday season, and only discovered by members of the Audubon Society as they were conducting their annual Christmas bird count. It seems clear that something has gone very badly wrong," said Pavley.