Activism Activism Alerts Issues Links

Note:  Some groups, committees and task forces have
their own web site and are hyper linked and highlighted.

Priorities

 

Subcommittees

 

Victories

 

Key Local Priorities

Foothills of South Orange County  In partnership with other environmental organizations in South Orange County, we are opposing construction of yet another unnecessary toll road through pristine and wild canyons.  Our Friends of the Foothills coalition has succeeded beyond all expectations by delaying the project by 1 1/2 years.  We need to stop it completely.


Santa Ana Mountains Task Force   A group formed to protect the natural resources of the Santa Ana Mountains, mostly in the Cleveland National Forest in South Orange County.  These Mountains face threats such as a plan to build a superhighway through or even under these mountains.  Also, a plan to build a huge reservoir and hydroelectric plant in these mountains.  It is important to stop these destructive plans.

 

Light Rail  Activists are actively supporting two Light Rail lines now being considered:  1. Exposition - west of downtown Los Angeles to Culver City and Santa Monica, with an opportunity for parks and a bikeway along the line.  2. Orange County CenterLine - from Fullerton to Irvine, past many popular destinations in Orange County.


Port Task Force   The Sierra Club Port Task Force is committed to an environmental vision of for the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. We see a future port network with no air pollution, no water pollution, minimal noise and light pollution and no viewshed pollution. We look forward to our Ports being friendly to wildlife and human recreation also. We meet the first Sunday of each month at 4 PM. E-mail Gordon LaBedz at labedz@aol.com for locations.

 

LAX Expansion  (Sierra Club California)

 

Ballona Wetlands  Home to a tidal creek, thousands of killfish, birds and unique plants, this area is targeted for a mega-development which would destroy this coastal open space and create even more gridlock on the 405 Freeway and Lincoln Boulevard. The Angeles Chapter, together with other concerned citizens, has a vision of a fully restored and protected Ballona Wetlands Ecosystem.


 

Santa Monica Mountains Task Force   A group formed to protect the natural resources of the Santa Monica Mountains.
Tonner Canyon  Our new San Gabriel Valley Task Force is already providing leadership in the struggle to protect this beautiful and critical area from unwarranted development.  Tonner Canyon is a strategic part of the Puente-Chino Hills Wildlife Corridor.  Without protection of this link in the corridor, the Puente-Chino Hills Wildlife Corridor will be broken and local wild animals will suffer. 


San Gabriel River

 

LA River

 

San Mateo Creek

 

Santa Clara River

 

Conservation Committee Subcommittees

Air Quality, Global Warming, and Energy
Ancient Forest Task Force
Ballona Wetlands Task Force
Bicycle Advisory
Coastal Protection
Conservation Grants
Crystal Cove State Park
Dana Point Headlands Preservation
Endangered Species/Wildlife Task Force
Environmental Justice Roundtable
Friends of the Foothills
Legal Advisory
Marine Protected Areas - Sea Otters Campaign
LA River Task Force
Public Lands
Santa Ana River Estuary and Bluffs Task Force
San Gabriel Valley Conservation Task Force
Santa Monica Mountains Task Force
Santa Susana Mountains Task Force
Sierra Stewards
Sustainable Populations and Development
Transportation
Urban Environment and Parks
Wetlands

2001/2002 Local Victories

(Not including several State propositions favorable to the environment, open space and parks that passed, which the Angeles Chapter took very active roles in campaigning for but which the Chapter cannot claim primary victor.)

Coal Canyon Added to Chino Hills State Park  A 1,500 home housing development was stopped in favor of more protected land in the Puente-Chino Hills Wildlife Corridor.  The additional 649 acres protects a critical link for wildlife to travel from the Santa Ana mountains into Chino Hills State Park and beyond.  The Angeles Chapter was instrumental in forming the necessary alliances which made this purchase of land a reality.


Victory at Bolsa Chica  The hard-won campaign, resulting in a much more responsible vision for this sensitive area near Huntington Beach, has given rise to a new agency, the "Southern California Wetlands Recovery Project."  The Angeles Chapter helped coordinate this effort, protecting habitat for raptors, coyotes, and other species.


Newhall Ranch  This development was cited in the Wall Street Journal as the poster child for urban sprawl.  Our successful lawsuit stopped the proposed development in its tracks and also set an important legal precedent.

 

Sierra Club Defends Good Government in Malibu  A Los Angeles Superior Court judge ruled in favor of Sierra Club and required the Malibu City Council to conduct a new hearing for a variance for houses on the beach that exceeded height allowances, following democratic procedures as outlined by Robert's Rules of Order and the Ralph E. Brown Act.  Both the Mayor of Malibu, Joan House, and City Council member Ken Kearsley were barred by the Judge from participating in future hearings on this issue due to conflicts of interest and prior voting on the issue.

 

Ballona Wetlands  After more than a decade of Sierra Club activism to protect the Ballona Wetlands, a long-awaited announcement that Playa Vista developers would sell 193 acres of their land to the public was greeted with enthusiasm. This 193 acres was previously planned for development and includes environmentally sensitive habitat areas, including coastal wetlands and habitat for the endangered Belding's Savannah Sparrow.  Land owners gave an option to purchase these lands in the summer of 2001 to Trust for Public Land.

In 2001 State Controller Kathleen Connell declined to grant Playa Vista developers an extension on their ten year old option to purchase back 73 acres of state land at Ballona.  She asked them for a check instead, which they could not afford to give, so the public now has the first 73 acres of land at Ballona they can now access.  Sierra Club joined Wetlands Action Network, Ballona Wetlands Land Trust, Ballona Valley Preservation League, Santa Monica Baykeeper and Ballona Ecosystem Education Project as the State Controller and Actor Ed Begley, Jr., took down the developer's fence and 55 private property signs on the perimeter of the land in March, and they formed a new collaborative
"Ballona Wetlands Stewards" which invites the community to participate in clean-ups restoration work on the land each month.

The 193 acres now for sale, combined with 73 acres of already owned state land equals 166 acres of land that was previously planned for development.  Add that to the 240 acres of land already protected by a legal settlement with another environmental group, and if the developer does not get too greedy and want too high of a price, the public will now enjoy 506 acres of land at Ballona.  Sierra Club activists continue to work to protect more land at Ballona, with a goal of 1,087 acres in their sights.

Sierra Club filed a lawsuit against the California Coastal Commission for approving road construction on wetlands areas at Ballona.  A special plant, the Seaside Heliotrope, is at the heart of
protection of the wetlands in this litigation that could provide a significantly precedential issue throughout the state of California.

 

The Proposed Verdugo Mountains housing development  "Oakmont View V" has been defeated largely as a result of Angeles Chapter activists.  This proposed development on the north slope of the Verdugo Mountains threatened what Scenic America has called one of ten "Last Chance Landscapes."  More than 2,300 mature, native trees would have been destroyed, and an important blue line stream would have been buried.

 

Los Angeles Community College Green Buildings  The LA Community College District has voted and committed to building 40-50 certified "green buildings" over the next 5-7 years as a result of campaigning by the Angeles Chapter and the Coalition for Clean Air.  This is a very important environmental victory from many perspectives:

Buildings use 60% of electricity and generate about 1/3 of global warming emissions in the U.S. They also use significant amounts of wood products and water, often are built with materials containing toxic chemicals, and generate significant amounts of construction waste.

Moreover, Green Building -- an effort to minimize those adverse environmental impacts -- is a relatively new phenomenon, and like other start-up ventures needs to be nurtured and pushed along in order to become in demand. As of the year 2000, for example, only 12 certified green buildings had been constructed nationwide. Currently there are only 3 or 4 constructed in the greater Los Angeles area.

 

The Proposed Crystal Cove State Park Private Resort  Chapter activists worked to prevent construction of a private resort in Crystal Cove State Park, an important step in protecting public access to all of our state parks.

 

Exposition line and East Side line light rail victories were driven primarily by the Chapter's Transportation Committee activists.  Other lines are currently being pursued.

 



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