Vulcan Mining in Azusa

Fish Canyon Falls

This is one of those stories that doesn't directly affect Rosemead or the cities immediately around us, but it does indirectly affect all of us.

A company called Vulcan has been operating a gravel mine in Azusa's Fish Canyon for over a decade. As a result, easy hiking access to this scenic canyon has been limited. It's not impossible to get to this canyon without entering Vulcan's land, but it is a whole lot more difficult. A five mile walk to some beautiful waterfalls has been turned into a 10 mile slog, with the need to traverse over a 1,200 foot ridge both coming and going to the falls.

The current mining operation is huge. Here's a shot looking down (to the south) at Vulcan's current operation:

Fish Canyon Mining

To put that shot in perspective, note the section near the center of the shot. What looks like a bridge is actually a conveyor system to transport rock to trucks. A little above this conveyor, several large trucks are parked. Each truck is probably 40 or 50 feet long. Despite their size, they're invisible at the scale of the picture above.

Below is a blow-up of the middle of the picture above:

Blow-up of trucks

Vulcan has applied to Azusa for permission to shift their mining from the east to the west, towards the border with Duarte. Duarte opposes this proposal.

Regardless of the other impacts of this change, it would almost certain reduce access to Fish Canyon even further. Hikers who already need to detour west of the current operation would need to walk perhaps an additional mile or more to get around the new mining area.

The current hike is already extremely steep and difficult. Adding an additional mile to this hike would make it even more exclusive.

Folks interested in learning more can read the Duarte information linked above, or this page, created by opponents of the proposal. Vulcan's position is presented here.

Over the next few months, several opportunities for public comment will be available. Watch your local news for them.

fish canyon2.jpg114.74 KB
trucks2.jpg114.58 KB
upper middle lower.jpg80.84 KB