A Year-End Wrap-up for VENTURA COUNTY:
--88 acres were saved in the Ventura River area
--While Ventura City Council considers more sprawl
--Feds and State agree to do their part to clean up Rocketdyne's mess in the Simi Hills
--Logging proposed at Frazier Mountain by feds
--Lockwood Valley mine shuts down
THE COASTAL PLAIN:
Lower Ventura River Parkway---
12/23/2010--The California Coastal Conservancy, in partnership with the Ventura Hillsides Conservancy, was awarded $1 million by the federal government to help acquire and permanently protect 52 acres of property in the upper Ventura River Estuary in the City of Ventura, California. The total project cost is $1,604,500.
WILL CITY OF VENTURA DEVELOP THE HILLS TO THE NORTH?
From Ventura citizens for hillside Preservation blog
10/12/2010--Despite stiff opposition, the Ventura City Council on Monday decided to include some 800 privately owned acres in the Cañada Larga area for possible annexation and open the largely undeveloped valley to large equestrian ranches or executive homes.
It was a narrow decision, with the council members splitting 4-3 in favor of adding the proposal to the city’s General Plan after more than two hours of public testimony, with a vast majority of speakers urging the council to avoid altering the picturesque canyon four miles north of town.
Ventura, CA (October 1, 2010). The Ventura Hillsides Conservancy will be the beneficiary of up to twenty-five acres of Ventura River bottomland to be held for conservation purposes. The final transfer of title is expected by year’s end. Through an April 28, 2010 judgment of Ventura County District Attorney Greg Totten, Mr. Shull Bonsall agreed to donate the acreage to the Conservancy. Bonsall was accused by California Department of Fish and Game of altering a part of the Ventura River watershed on his Cañada Larga property without a permit. Instead of paying civil penalties and admitting wrongdoing, he acceded to donating some of his nearby land to the Conservancy.
36 acres were saved:
12/28/2009--The Ojai Valley Land Conservancy is pleased to announce the permanent protection of 36 acres of ecologically important and stunningly beautiful land in Ojai. Long time Ojai residents generously entered into a land preservation agreement called a conservation easement with the Ojai Valley Land Conservancy.
THE LOS PADRES FOREST AREA:
Ozena Mine Shutting Down
Closure hailed by citizens group 'Stop The Trucks'
12/9/2010--The Ventura County Planning Division was informed in late November by Alliance Ready Mix, a Santa Maria concrete company that operates the Ozena mine in Lockwood Valley, that it was withdrawing its application for a new county permit. Considering Ozena no longer has a valid permit the mine is required to close, effective immediately.
Los Padres ForestWatch has been monitoring the mine since their attempt to expand in 2006 without preparing the neccessary environmental studies, and we also provided data and comments at a Santa Barbara County Planning Commission in support of 'Stop The Trucks' and putting an end to gravel truck traffic on Highway 33 - a National Forest Scenic Byway and State Scenic Highway.
Now that its permit is expired, the property owners must proceed with reclamation. They will remove all of the equipment and a trailer at the site, as well as return it to a condition where it can be used for agriculture again.
LOGGING OF FRAZIER MOUNTAIN?
Frazier Mountain Logging Proposal
On the Los Padres in northern Ventura County
12/9/2010--In September, the U.S. Forest Service announced a commercial logging project on Frazier Mountain. In addition to the timber sale, the project also includes removal of other vegetation totaling a combined 2,386 acres from the summit to a campground at the base of the mountain.
In response to the announcement, ForestWatch submitted comments urging forest officials to carefully evaluate all impacts from the project in an Environmental Impact Statement, and to consider other alternatives that do not rely on commercial logging. Frazier Mountain is one of the highest peaks in the Los Padres National Forest and contains large, old-growth trees as well as harbors a diverse array of plant and animal life, many of which are considered rare.
Map of the project
OTHER STUFF OF INTEREST IN THE FOREST AREA:
Lockwood Animal Rescue Center
Quatal canyon jeep trails
cowhead potrero aerial
photos of Quatal canyon cliffs
THE SANTA MONICA MOUNTAINS AND SIMI HILLS:
9/2010--ROCKETDYNE Santa Susana Cleanup Agreement
After decades of hard work by community activists and countless hours of meetings and negotiations with state and federal authorities, I'm thrilled to announce that a historic proposed settlement agreement has been reached to clean up the Santa Susana Field Lab (SSFL) by 2017. The plan would remove soil contaminated with carcinogenic dioxins, heavy metals and radioactive materials from the former nuclear research facility, considered one of the most contaminated sites in the United States.
The 2,849-acre field laboratory located in the Simi Hills, the site of America's first partial nuclear meltdown in July of 1959, has been the focus of a comprehensive environmental investigation and cleanup program, conducted by Boeing, the United States Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and overseen by the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC).
I want to thank the community members who fought tirelessly for this cleanup as well as Assemblywoman Julia Brownley, Cal-EPA Secretary Linda Adams, Governor Schwarzenegger, U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, my policy staff consultant Bill Craven who has worked on this issue for years, and many others at the Department of Toxics Substances Control for the years of work they have put into this clean-up. Special thanks go to U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer who has been very forceful on behalf of the public health protections that should be in place and who worked very hard with the federal agencies to make sure this agreement adhered to state law, which was authored by former District 23 Senator Sheila Kuehl.
These agreements in principle between the state, the U.S. Department of Energy and NASA must be finalized formally before they become effective. DTSC invites public review and comment until October 1, 2010. To access the proposed settlement, click here. It's now time for Boeing to clean up the land they own at SSFL.
Santa Susana Field Laboratory Agreements
thousand oaks lizard survey
Video on the search for the rumored Manson Family "Hideout CAVE and Waterfalls" Hidden Spahn Ranch Chatsworth California 11/27/09
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