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Fwd: Critical Mtg Re: Hahamongna Annex Plan: Tree Removals - please act now!

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  • Branislav Kecman
    Hello tree and bike friends, happy New Year! Please spread the word about this issue and show up at the Pasadena City Council meeting on Feb. 1, 2010, at 7:30
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 15, 2010
      Hello tree and bike friends, happy New Year!

      Please spread the word about this issue and show up at the
      Pasadena City Council meeting on Feb. 1, 2010, at 7:30 PM.

      Sorry for the spam and the longish post, it's very important.

      Best regards,
      Branislav

      Begin forwarded message:

      > From: Gaboon <gaboon@...>
      > Date: January 15, 2010 9:55:38 AM PST
      > To: chaneytrail@yahoogroups.com
      > Subject: Critical Mtg Re: Hahamongna Annex Plan: Tree Removals -
      > please act now!
      >
      > * Available for cross post.
      >
      > Dear Neighbors & Friends,
      >
      > As many of you know, there has been a core group of local residents
      > in Altadena, Pasadena and La Canada Flintridge that have been watch-
      > dogging Pasadena's plans for wild Hahamongna Watershed Park (HWP)
      > for many years. Unfortunately, Pasadena is continuing its efforts to
      > convert this natural arroyo, critical wildlife corridor and
      > watershed into a conventional "city park," complete with soccer
      > fields (including night lights and poisons to maintain the grass
      > turf), a two-lane paved bikeway for high speed road bikes, a road to
      > a parking lot or structure (that keeps popping back into plans in
      > one form or another), and even (if one reads the master plan
      > carefully) an eventual fence and gate around the park that will
      > close at sunset, blocking a major access point into Angeles National
      > Forest. So much for your night rides and moonlight walks. Will large
      > wild animals be given gate keys?
      >
      > Over the holidays Pasadena's plans morphed again, to recommend
      > removal of 70 mature, non-native, non-invasive trees, which are part
      > of the original landscaping of the former Oak Grove Ranger Station.
      > These trees have shaded the Annex property and N. side trail for
      > decades. This is a change from several prior versions of the plan
      > where only a few trees were removed. What happened to the plan's
      > stated intent to protect mature trees? After the Station Fire, as
      > one Urban Forestry Advisory Committee member put it, "We need every
      > leaf." This would be no gradual, phased removal, but a wholesale
      > clear cut of trees, including 4 natives (oaks, as far as I can
      > tell). Trees of the same species continue onto adjacent JPL property
      > to the north and grow in neighborhoods on both sides of HWP. The
      > mature trees in the Annex pose no invasive threat; however, they do
      > provide important habitat for small wildlife and nest sites for
      > several bird species, especially after the devastating loss of
      > vegetation and trees in the Station Fire above the park. This is no
      > time to be removing large trees to build a retaining wall and road
      > corridor!
      >
      > This recent change highlights one of the major problems in following
      > what Pasadena intends to do in HWP... Versions of plans and changes
      > to master planning documents have been so numerous that it has
      > become very difficult and frustrating to track what is happening.
      > This is no way to conduct effective environmental planning with full
      > public input! How can the public and neighbors be expected to know
      > exactly what is going on and to participate? So many action alerts
      > cause "meeting fatigue" to set in. As public attendance wanes,
      > Pasadena hears no opposition; therefore, it proceeds to do what it
      > wishes.
      >
      > Please read Mary Barrie's excellent call to action below. Please
      > come to the 1 February City Council meeting to express your concern
      > about tree removals and bad planning. A poor turnout from the public
      > at that meeting, with only the "usual suspects" present, will not
      > send the needed message to the City Council that their park planners
      > have done a poor job and are ignoring the decisions of their own
      > citizen advisory committees. Come speak for Hahamongna Watershed
      > Park. Help preserve what is there now for future generations... of
      > both children and the wildlife that call HWP home.
      >
      > HWP is the connecting hub for 4 regional trail systems. It stands
      > between Altadena and access from our trails to the La Canada
      > Flintridge trail network, as well as to USFS trails north into the
      > upper Arroyo Seco.
      >
      > Mary's warning says it best:
      > I would make one suggestion to those of you who love Hahamongna and
      > have been involved at one time or another in the over 20 year fight
      > to save it. Now is the time to get back in the game before the
      > chainsaws and the bulldozers start firing up. When that happens,
      > there will be howls of protest and disbelief, but by then it will be
      > way too late.
      >
      > Respectfully,
      > Lori
      >
      > - - -
      >
      > Begin forwarded message:
      >
      > From: meb787@...
      > Date: January 15, 2010 8:49:46 AM PST
      > To: act@..., eti@...
      > Subject: [ACT] Hahamongna Annex Plan - act now!
      >
      > Friends,
      > At long last it looks like the Hahamongna Annex Plan is finally
      > going to the Pasadena City Council. The hearing is scheduled for
      > Monday, February 1, 2010 at 7:30 pm in the City Council Chambers in
      > City Hall, 100 N. Garfield St.
      >
      > And what a plan it is!
      >
      > TREE REMOVALS
      >
      > Seventy non-native trees are slated to be removed from the Annex in
      > the name of "habitat restoration." Not surprisingly, thirty-three
      > of the trees to be cut down are located in the formerly proposed
      > road corridor. (Remember that road? It was to be cut across the
      > Annex to provide access to a 1200 space JPL parking garage, which
      > was removed from the 2003 Hahamongna Master Plan after strong
      > community opposition.)
      >
      > The non-natives include majestic Italian stone pines, liquid ambers,
      > Chinese elms, California peppers and others too numerous to
      > mention. These trees will be cut down despite the fact that the
      > Annex is a landscaped area which was planted by the Forest Service,
      > LA County Fire and Rose Bowl Riders many decades ago. These mature
      > trees are an integral part of the history and uniqueness of the
      > property just as the same species are in the Central Arroyo where no
      > one is trying to cut them down. The trees serve a variety of
      > wildlife. Cooper's hawks, a species of concern, have raised their
      > young in their branches and western gray squirrels, driven from
      > higher elevations by the Station Fire, have taken refuge in them -
      > not to mention the human generations who have enjoyed their beauty
      > and shade.
      >
      > This drastic proposal wasn't always in the Annex documents. An
      > earlier version says that "it is the city's intent to align the
      > trails in a manner that preserves as many existing trees as
      > reasonably possible... city estimates that the number of trees that
      > would be impacted... in the range of 7 - 19 trees." Why the
      > complete about face - is the plan now to do a Colorado Blvd-style
      > chainsaw massacre on the trees in the corridor and just be done with
      > it?
      >
      > BIKES ONLY
      >
      > The latest proposal from staff, put forth only AFTER the documents
      > had been seen by the advisory groups, is that the northern bikeway
      > will be for "bikes only". Obviously that isn't going to work since
      > JPL employees walk on that trail to get from the lab into the park.
      > So staff's answer is a trail/bikeway which is almost 40 feet at its
      > widest!
      >
      > Now you may have noticed that elsewhere in Hahamongna down by the
      > Flint Wash Bridge, horses, bikes and pedestrians all share a 12 foot
      > hard surface path with a 4 foot shoulder. This is what is also
      > proposed for the three other new segments of the bikeway in
      > Hahamongna - a hard surface path and an immediately adjacent soft
      > surface trail - no buffers or barriers. Why do you think it is only
      > in the formerly proposed roadway corridor that an ultra-deluxe
      > "meandering" greenway with buffers and vegetation is necessary and
      > everywhere else in the park the bikeway/trail is shared use and not
      > more than 20 feet wide?
      >
      > DON'T BLAME THE CITIZEN COMMISSIONS
      >
      > The Planning Commission, the Design Commission, the Transportation
      > Advisory Commission and the Hahamongna Watershed Park Advisory
      > Committee all supported nothing wider than a 10 foot path for
      > bicyclists and hikers in the northern corridor . The Transportation
      > Advisory Commission went so far as to say that it should be designed
      > in such a manner that it could never become a road. They all tried
      > their best with what were incredibly confusing documents. There
      > were four different versions of the Plan in the space of seven
      > months and the Plan seen by one Commission wasn't necessarily the
      > same plan seen by the next. The Final Draft even had material that
      > was not seen by any of the advisory groups whose purpose is to
      > advise the City Council. The documents they approved will not be
      > the documents before the Council.
      >
      > In the final Plan, the trail portion of the greenway seems to have
      > been removed until you take a close look. The trail was taken out
      > of the Exhibits and the Land Use section of the Plan where the
      > casual reader would expect to find it but it is still included in
      > the Mobility section. So is it in the Plan or not? If it is not in
      > the Plan, then why is it being studied in the Initial Study?
      > Questions such as these abound.
      >
      > Lest you think I am anti-trail, nothing could be further from the
      > truth. What I am anti is a corridor which will be as wide as
      > Foothill Boulevard once the trees are cut down. The Annex, and all
      > of Hahamongna, is a rustic, peaceful place that should remain that
      > way for future generations which is what the community has been
      > saying for over 20 years. I've been accused of being against
      > progress. If "progress" is bulldozing and asphalting over this
      > little green corner of the world that has miraculously escaped it
      > thus far, I'll admit to the charge gladly.
      >
      > Enough on what has been quite an amazing process which will take
      > much more than an email to document properly (a case study for a
      > class on CEQA perhaps).
      >
      > I would make one suggestion to those of you who love Hahamongna and
      > have been involved at one time or another in the over 20 year fight
      > to save it. Now is the time to get back in the game before the
      > chainsaws and the bulldozers start firing up. When that happens,
      > there will be howls of protest and disbelief, but by then it will be
      > way too late.
      >
      > It's up to you. You have my email.
      > Mary Barrie
      > Friends of Hahamongna
      > meb787@...
      >



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