Update: 2.5 million support national monuments

 

From Politico:

MONUMENT COMMENTS FLOOD IN: The comment period on Interior’s review of nearly two dozen national monuments closed Monday and environmentalists and public lands advocates are boasting of millions submitted comments in support of keeping the monuments exactly as they are. The Center for Biological Diversity said a survey of “dozens” of organizations found 2.5 million comments in favor of the monuments, while the Center for Western Priorities released an analysis claiming a random sample of 1,000 comments showed 98 percent in favor of existing monuments. Many organizations appear to have submitted comments on each individual national monument under review, such as the Sierra Club’s here. More than 200 outdoor business leaders asked Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to “maintain the national treasures Presidents of both parties have protected” and “defend the integrity of the monument-making process.”

See you on the river, Jim Burns

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Action Opportunity: Comment deadline Monday, July 10, to say ‘hands off our national monuments’

I received this email from Jessica Strickland, Trout Unlimited’s Field Coordination here in California:

I’m sure you’ve heard of the Monument issue that’s going on and how San Gabriel NM is one of the ones under review.  TU has a huge campaign out right now.  We are working hard to protect the National Monuments being reviewed by the Executive Order to analyze all monuments designated after 1996.  There are six here in California under review, and we’ve been told the most at risk are Giant Sequoia and Cascade-Siskiyou National Monuments.  Giant Sequoia is being reviewed to decreased by 2/3’s in size, which would remove the current protections for many waterways (Upper Kings River, Tule River, and the headwaters of the North Fork Kern River).”

Trout Unlimited has a couple things going on:

National campaign form letter that’s sent to the Dept of the Interior found here: http://www.tu.org/action-center?vvsrc=%2fcampaigns%2f52695%2frespond

OR you can send your comment directly to the DOI here:

https://www.regulations.gov/comment?D=DOI-2017-0002-0001

*****

wrote about the efforts by TU and other conservation organizations back in May and asked readers  to write a letter. Here’s our last chance to voice an opinion. Check out this strong letter that appeared today as inspiration for your own letter.

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Re “Trump can topple national monuments,” Los Angeles Times Opinion, July 6

I’m a scientist and not a lawyer, so I won’t argue the legal claims made by attorneys from a conservative think tank. But the real “magical thinking” is to believe President Trump’s claims that he’s acting in the public interest by opening up dozens of national monuments for “review.”

Nothing could be further from the truth. This is a blatant attempt to industrialize these magnificent places, with the oil, gas, private water and logging industries as the beneficiaries.

The public is not calling for clear cutting in Giant Sequoia National Monument. It has not asked for drilling or fracking in Carrizo Plain or pumping underground water from underneath Mojave Trails. National monuments in California and other states enjoy devoted, widespread local support.

Ileene Anderson is public lands director and senior scientist at the Center for Biological Diversity in Los Angeles.

See you on the river, Jim Burns

 

Politicians and river advocates make it official: $100 million coming to LA River revitalization

California Senate President Pro Tempore Kevin de Leon, at the podium, confers with Irma Munoz, of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, before the beginning of today’s press conference in Marsh Park. Sen. Robert Hertzberg, left, Congressman-elect Jimmy Gomez holding his daughter, center, and Sen. Henry Stern all took turns to laud $100 million in new state budget funding to restore and revitalize the Los Angeles River. Although restoration details remained sketchy, the focus will be on creating parks and open spaces along its banks for the city’s most disadvantaged communities. (Jim Burns)

 

Press Release: Legislature passes $100 million in funding for LA River

Update: Below is a joint press release from Friends of the LA River and River LA, two advocacy groups. Here is a news story for a better perspective on what this money could mean, if Gov. Brown signs off on the funding. 

See you on the river, Jim Burns

 

 

Friends of the LA River and River LA congratulate California Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon and Senate President Pro-Tem Kevin de León for their leadership and support for the Los Angeles River. Today, $100 million in Prop 1 funding passed the legislature and is on its way to the governor.

“We want one great 51-mile river and greenway,” said River LA‘s Executive Director Omar Brownson. “Having Pro-Tem de León and Speaker Rendon lead the way to bring together the various local agencies and stakeholders, along with the financial resources to make a difference is huge. There are 2,100 acres of land within the flood control channel that we want to unlock for increased public benefit. This investment is key to moving this vision forward.”

This is a momentous occasion that demonstrates the state’s commitment to partner with Southern California in transforming this vital resource to truly serve the needs of our region. These leaders, along with Mark Stanley and Joe Edmiston, Executive Directors of the Rivers and Mountains and the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancies respectively, are helping to empower the community to create a healthy, more accessible, and vibrant public resources for all.

“This is a historic moment for the Los Angeles River,” said Marissa Christiansen, Executive Director of Friends of the Los Angeles River. “Pro-Tem de León and Speaker Rendon have demonstrated the type of unified, collaborative leadership that will ultimately lead to a thriving natural resource for all Angelenos. This funding comes at a pivotal moment in the river’s history and will truly make a meaningful impact in its progress forward. As we say, River restoration ‘takes a Friend.’ Today, we are thrilled to have a Friend in both these leaders.”

Friends of the LA River and River LA are working together towards the revitalization of the Los Angeles River. For almost a century, management of the river has been singular in focus: to protect the residents of the river basin from rare but potentially devastating floods. Now, the region is looking to transform this river of concrete into a healthy, resilient resource for all.

Support a longer bridge over Trancas Creek for habitat restoration

trancas us to bridge 1.23.17

The existing bridge condition in January. Built in 1927 and supporting more than 22,000 vehicles a day, the bridge is now rated as “scour critical,” which means sediment is undermining its structure.  Alternative 3 would expand the bridge to the east into the green bank. (Courtesy Rosi Dagit)

 

Dear Fish Friends,

We have an amazing opportunity to have Caltrans repair the existing bridge over Trancas Creek with one that could actually support eventual lagoon restoration, development of a permanent ADA accessible trail from Zuma Beach to connect with upstream NPS trails and the Market complex, provide increased access for southern steelhead trout and habitat for endangered tidewater gobies.

One of the few proven ways to help recover steelhead is to provide them the habitat they need. Restoring Trancas lagoon requires a longer span bridge to be most effective. Here is a chance to make the great habitat upstream in Trancas Creek available for spawning again.

The Alternatives being considered include:

Alternative 1 No project – the existing bridge (84-foot span)  remains until it fails, which given the scour and tilt issues is inevitable.

Alternative 2 Short Bridge (120-foot span) essentially has the same scour and hydrologic problems as the existing bridge, and would require elevating the road bed 2.5 feet above current grade, with ramping along both north and southbound PCH to meet flood control standards, requires retaining walls and would effectively preclude any substantive restoration of the lagoon footprint.

Alternative 3 Long Bridge (240-foot span) provides the opportunity to not only build a bridge that would have a longer life span at the current road elevation, but also provide the opportunity for lagoon restoration and a safe trail connecting the beach upstream under PCH.

To review the documents, check out:

http://www.dot.ca.gov/d7/env-docs/docs/Trancas%20Creek%20Bridge%20Replacement%20Project%20Draft%20ISEA.pdf

Please send your letter by 5 June to: ron.kosinski@dot.ca.gov

Ron Kosinski, Deputy District Director

Caltrans District 7

Division of Environmental Planning

100 S. Main Street MS-16A

Los Angeles, CA 90012

Every letter helps!

Short and sweet will work.

Many thanks,

Rosi

Rosi Dagit is a Senior Conservation Biologist for the Resource Conservation District of the Santa Monica Mountains.