FOWNNA to Make Presentation at Sierra Club Meeting Wed.

(Please note that FOWNNA has not been endorsed by SOC. This is a personal blog post, and opinions are mine, alone.)

The Friends of Whittier Narrows Natural Area have been having meetings at the nature center on Durfee at Sundays, 1pm.

They are also going to make a presentation at Sierra Club on Wednesday at 7:30. The location is 3435 Wilshire. Early arrival is recommended.

I guess it's "so far, so good" for them. Right now, they're trying to make some documentation about the project public. There are several different parts to the project, but only one part, the Center and its surrounding area to the northeast, is up on the Discovery Center Authority site. There's a whole other aspect to the project, called the Lario Creek Stream Corridor Enhancement Planning Project that involves re-routing a ditch so it runs through the trees. (See )

I'm not entirely clear on this, but a web search seems to indicate that the creek project was part of a different EIR from 2005. That it's now separate seems, on the surface, contrived, because the two areas are contiguous, and the goal of the development there is to unify the Center and the river more, and bring water elements into the preserve.

Also, there's the larger issue of "preservation" versus "restoration" or "enhancement". It's a somewhat difficult thing to parse these words, because some of these areas to preserve were once used for farming or other non-natural uses. And, on the other side, there's biological restoration, but, there's also some blatant development that's probably masquerading as restoration.

(Think of the "natural habitats" they build in zoos. They look natural, and convince some people, but they are really fake. People tend to think that "taking action" with the right intent will improve things, when, in fact, sometimes, you need to do nothing, or undo the damage, or abolish the project.)

For example, there's a "native plant nursery" proposed. Why can't that be located outside of the project area, in, like, a normal location for nurseries? I'm getting into the whole native plant thing myself, but, the fact that such a project would be "cool" and advance the larger goals of restoring the ecosystem, doesn't necessarily make it right in all situations.

Anyway, FOWNNA is fighting an uphill battle, but one that's going to put pressure on the water districts to consider some of the implications of restoration versus enhancement, versus preservation.

There's also a meta-political thing happening here, where people are expecting greater transparency about projects. They have internet and easy access to documents, and expect projects to supply all their information on the web.

(BTW, I still haven't drafted and sent my letter. Too busy. Too tired. Like now, I just passed out while writing this.)


The outcome of the meeting is that Sierra is postponing its endorsement until they see the EIR.