Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Requiem for the Trees

A few minutes ago every tree was excited, bowing to the roaring storm, waving, swirling, tossing their branches in glorious enthusiasm like worship. But though to the outer ear these trees are now silent, their songs never cease.

--John Muir

This morning, our neighbors in Arcadia will lose a natural treasure. Barring a last minute miracle, the 11 acre grove of century old oak trees known as the Arcadia Woodlands will be razed today to make room for 250,000 cubic yards of Santa Anita dam sediment. The area is the only remaining example of the flatland woodlands that once thrived within the alluvial fans exiting the San Gabriel Mountains. You can read about it here, here, and here. You can see video of exactly what will be destroyed here.

I'd like to think that wisdom, thoughtfulness and true stewardship will prevail, but we all know how these things turn out.

26 comments:

Judy Williams said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Judy Williams said...

Oh I'm so sad. Trees are so magical to me. They offer oxygen, not to mention beauty, shade and a beautiful silhouette even without leaves.

I'm sorry to hear that "progress" has blindsided a local treasure.

Mister Earl said...

Don't worry, it will be back just like that in 120 years.

Dixie Jane said...

Often some situations remind me of a song. In this cas:

You've gotta have heart
Miles 'n miles 'n miles of heart
Oh, it's fine to be a genius of course
But keep that old horse
Before the cart
First you've gotta have heart

I guess it will take more than, "heart." It makes me so sad

San Diego Farmgirl said...

This is why I no longer sign petitions and have lost faith in the democratic process. The voice of the people is almost always ignored. Has it always been this way? Maybe I was too idealistic when I was younger and didn't notice. Poor trees. Poor South Pas legacy. =(

Green Guy said...

Farmgirl, it is actually in Arcadia, not South Pas. South Pas has always protected its trees.

This is abominable. It was a profit driven decision and just wait until trucks are driving in refuse to dump in Arcadia. The city government there totally dropped the ball.

TheChieftess said...

very, very sad...

Anonymous said...

It really does seem like the county just doesn't care about what is destroyed. Are their seats permanent? Don't they care about public opinion?

Anonymous said...

I am surprised this isn't bigger news. Sad indeed.

Michelle

bertN said...

SAD!

altadenahiker said...

Fighting the good fight; sometimes that's the only, unsatisfying, reward. Thank you for posting this, Laurie.

Petrea said...

Thanks, Laurie.

How weird is that? We're supposed to be running this county bureaucracy (of/by/for), but sometimes it forgets who's in charge.

Whom to unelect this time around?

Shanna said...

I am really upset.

Mister Earl said...

Is this going to be a dirt dump, or a garbage dump?

Laurie said...

Hi all, and welcome new commenters.

I'm having a difficult time processing my fury over what has happened in Arcadia. It really seems to me that so many powers-that-be not only have very little wisdom in their positions, but have almost no respect for the opinions of the people they serve.

ANY time a natural space is destroyed, it is something to be concerned about. As a mom, I would like my daughter to grow up in a world that still has wilderness. Yes, that includes wild spaces within our cities. I understand that sometimes safety concerns trump preservation but I do not see any indicators that this is the case here. I also did not see any concerned, thoughtful discussion from officials about the senseless destruction of historical landmarks. Yes, that's what legacy trees are.

In a region where ordinary people have to get permit to even TRIM their trees, the fact that public agencies can destroy woodlands at random for mere convenience is a tragic commentary on our democracy.

I'm about to shoot my mouth off, so I'll stop. For now.

Thanks for the comments, everyone.

alex said...

when I was an undergrad at Berkeley, my apartment was three blocks away from an oak grove that was slated to be (and has since been) demo-ed. a tree sit ensued that persisted after I graduated (for almost 4 years).

granted, that oak grove at Berkeley is now being replaced by a state of the art athletic complex, involved less then 20 trees, and the university planted three new saplings in the adjacent Tilden Park for each tree that was leveled.

here in the sgv, they've just leveled a whole basin, and the 'compromise' is to turn the oaks into wood chips. meanwhile, local residents have to get a permit just to trim their trees (i've heard Arcadia does have strict regulations on trees for property owners).

dbdubya said...

There was no profit motive involved in this action. The County needed a place to dump silt from their debris basins to protect the homes below canyons. That's a letigimate need, but it seems there must have been some better alternatives than destroying this woodland. I don't know where, but this is truly a shame.

Mister Earl said...

This is a new one. I never heard of a government body that ignored the express will of its constituents.

dbdubya said...

Your memory is failing you, Mr. Earl.

annielizabeth said...

The whole thing is evil. To kill off that much life to replace it with rocks, silt and plain dirt is completely irresponsible. There were other solutions to the problem but the LA county works dept. wanted to play with a new conveyor belt to haul the debris on the other side of the dam and the trees were in the way. It has been noted that there was enough area adjacent to the trees to put the existing debris and that the trees didn't have to die. Arcadia is gonna regret it's future mess because they didn't do anything to create an alternative plan of action and fight for the lives of the trees and all the living creatures of that woodland area. Shame on them all.

Anonymous said...

Can a housing tract of McMansions be far behind with revenue for the city of Arcadia?? HA!

Anonymous said...

I wonder if a pay dump isn't the real motive? At least, eventually.

This and your previous post are such wise, eloquent statements about the Arcadia wood lands. I wish you and the other bloggers joined in the cause could have brought reason to the people in control. It is shameful. Now, one of the idiots is recommending an oak grove the site. Dummy, you just bulldozed an oak grove!!!!!

Laurie said...

Thank you, everyone. This whole event has made me more determined to pay attention to what is happening to our wild spaces, and to do my part to speak out for their protection. Los Angeles has already lost so many treasures. It is up to all of us to look out for what is left.

Petrea said...

The same county entity will begin silt removal at Hahamongna Watershed Park this fall. We should be vigilant.

Petrea said...

Star-News article about this subject yesterday:
http://www.pasadenastarnews.com/news/ci_17106438

Green Guy said...

I want to keep my eye on this, too.