from the Santa Clarita Valley Sierra Club
a group of the Angeles Chapter
http://angeles.sierraclub.org/scg Spring 2007
Top 10 Reasons
Santa Clarita Should Be A Cool City
CEMEX, One More Time
By Sandra Cattell 10. Santa Clarita can be part of a national initiative -- the Cool Cities campaign – which
is supported by the Sierra Club and comprised of local communities across the coun-
The Sierra Club is a member try that are taking the lead against global warming.
of the coalition against the
proposed 69 million ton CE- 9. By signing the U.S. Mayorʼs Climate Protection Agreement, Santa Clarita can join
MEX mine. Located just east in this campaign, which includes other cities as diverse
of the City of Santa Clarita, as Seattle, WA; Billings, MT; Atlanta, GA; St. Louis Hikes in Your Own
the mine site is adjacent to MO; and closer to home, Los Angeles and Thousand Back Yard
the Santa Clara River, near Oaks. Mary Ellen Dittemore
see CEMEX - page 4 8. As a Cool City, Santa Clarita will commit itself to re-
I recently visited Old Glory
ducing the Cityʼs carbon dioxide emissions to 7% be- at Pico Canyon Park. You
Sierra Club Group low 1990 levels by 2012. remember Old Glory, the
21827 Parvin Drive 7. Santa Clarita can switch to the use of alternative fuels 400-year-old tree that the
Saugus, CA 91350 and low CO2-emission technologies in its ﬂeet of city developers wanted to cut
vehicles. down. It is blossoming again
6. Santa Clarita can modernize city buildings with green, this year.
Published A walking path sur-
March rounds the park, offering
June 5. Santa Clarita can establish energy efﬁcient street wheel chair accessible pic-
September lighting. nic tables and rest rooms.
December 4. Santa Clarita can encourage the use of public transit, But the great part is the
Monthly Meeting bicycles, and even walking, as alternatives to the cur- walking path into the small
rent high CO2-emission transportation options. canyon. You can follow the
dirt road, walking past sev-
2nd Thursday 3. Santa Clarita can promote the use of renewable energy, eral large oaks and crossing
of each month such as solar energy, in municipal buildings, local a small creek. The path nar-
(except Aug. & Dec.) businesses, and homes. rows and you can hike in
Time: 7:30 p.m.
2. Santa Clarita can secure our water supply. By acting the creek bed. Go as far as
Episcopal Church now to curb global warming, future declines in pre- you like - there’s a lot to see.
24901 Orchard Village Rd., cipitation that may affect local aquifers and the Sierra I saw many birds including
Valencia Nevada runoff can be minimized. a towhee and a phainope-
Meeting Room: pla. Pico Canyon Park is in
Lounge on upper level.
1. Being a Cool City is good for the bottom line. For ex- Stevenson Ranch on
Enter on E. side facing ample, by switching from incandescent light bulbs Pico Canyon Road
Rite Aid/Kragen parking to ﬂuorescent light bulbs, the City can save over (W. Lyons Ave.)
lot (opposite main church $4.00 in utility costs per bulb per year. just west of
entrance). Read more about the Cool Cities campaign at www. Stevenson
Visitors welcome! coolcities.us or call Dave Morrow at 661-254-5345. Ranch Park-
For information: If you think Santa Clarita is ready to be COOL, call way. Stop by
Henry 284-5613 our city council members at 661-255-4395. and explore.
Chair We had a good turnout for December’s Holiday Brunch. The
convivial crowd tested their elbows by hoisting mimosas
After three years of dedicated service, Dave Morrow stepped and toasting everything green. Everyone brought delicious
down as chair of our Group. Dave continues to serve on the dishes to share, and no one went away who wasn’t patting
management team. Thanks, Dave, for your leadership. their tummies. When no one was looking, several stalwarts
It is an honor and a privilege for me to again serve our decorated the Christmas, tree making it shimmer and shine.
group of SCV greenies, and I will do my best to justify your What a great way to hang with friends, relax and tell stories.
Events like this make me proud to be a part of SCV’s Sierra
faith in me.
Club Group; we couldn’t ask for better people!
We elected committee chairs for the year: Vice-chair, Say “New Year’s Calorie Burner” and you speak of a now
Ray Lorme; Secretary, Ken Kerner; Treasurer, Melinda Ar- classic hike originally initiated by Ray and Gerry Lorme.
redondo; Chapter Delegate, Lynne Plambeck; Alternate Each January 1 at high noon a caravan of eager hikers winds
Delegate, Isaac Lieberman; Conservation, Lynne Plambeck; its way up Los Pinetos trail to enjoy views from the top.
Hospitality, Sydell Stokes; Membership, Henry Schultz/San- With the good work of the county, the damage incurred in
dra Cattell; Newsletter, Carla Swift; Outings, Ray Lorme; the previous year has been ﬁxed and the trail is in relatively
Political, Isaac Lieberman; Program and Publicity, Sandra good shape. That was good news for the over 30 hikers who
Cattell; Webmaster, Louise Schultz; Wilderness/Wildlands/ enjoyed a most pleasant day -- no fog at the top, just good
Open Space, Sandra Cattell. Many thanks to these tireless views of the east end of the San Fernando Valley.
volunteers for their time and efforts. In the burned areas along the trail we marveled at how
In the November, Melinda Arredondo, Lynne Plambeck nature responds to adversity. Some areas are already renew-
ing, although the heavily burned chaparral will take years to
and I were reelected to 2-year terms on SC Group’s ex-
return to their former splendor.
com. Ray Lorme, Sydell Stokes, Isaac Lieberman and Dave Since I hadn’t hiked the Sawmill trail from Lower Shake
Morrow round out the seven voting ex-com members. I was to Upper Shake campground for some years, I decided to
also elected to an at-large seat on the chapter ex-com, and check it out a week before the scheduled hike. Driving up
I will report back later this year on my experiences there. Lake Hughes Road, everything seemed okay, but turning
Dave and Lynne organized a Newhall Ranch letter-writ- west onto Elizabeth Lake Road, ice started to cover the sur-
ing project at our January meeting. Our thanks to Lynne who face. As I hiked snow appeared, getting thicker as I pro-
organized a trip to the January hearing in LA. These efforts ceeded up the streambed. Carefully negotiating the frozen
helped win an extension for response to the EIR. stream, I reached Upper Shake and took a break among
Another important issue is the City’s current attempt to the snow-covered Black Oaks, Digger Pines and Big Cone
get an Open Space Assessment District to the voters in the Douglas Spruce. The sun warmed the open campground al-
ﬁrst half of the year. As of this writing we have not seen a draft though the temperature was only in the high 30s. I located
the trail and headed toward the Paciﬁc Crest Trail past snow
of the proposed measure, so there is precious little time to
drifts more than six inches deep. It looked like a “doable”
do the outreach needed to get it passed by property owners. hike if there was no further wet weather.
Our April speaker will address this issue. It is important that On the morning of the Sawmill hike, we met at Towsley
a “good” measure be put forward, to ensure open space is Canyon dressed for Arctic conditions, since temperatures
the focus with strong oversight and limited duration. The had been in the teens over night. Multiple layers, gloves and
voters will reject a poorly crafted measure as it represents a head protection warmed the resourceful coterie of hikers on
tax, and people will want to know what they’re paying for. what promised to be a sunny day. Off we went, and there
The measure’s language must be clear and unambiguous or was no snow to be found – everything had melted in just
it will go down hard and will be difﬁcult to bring back for a one week. We reached the PCT where it hits Lake Hughes
third try. A “citizens committee” headed by Laurene Weste Road and were joined by the Mike and Jill hiking team. The
is tasked with putting the pieces together. temperature was balmy – in the forties -- and layers were
Marsha McLean spoke at our February annual “Mayor’s quickly shed. Our lunch stop afforded great views, then we
hiked the twisty-turny trail until we reached a meadow
Meeting,” covering a wide range of topics with a focus on
with black oaks. As we left the Meadow and looked south-
environmental issues. Marsha stayed late to answer many west we could see the whole upper end of Fish Canyon. Our
questions. We most heartily thank Marsha for her efforts. Fish Canyon stream hike barely touched the huge drainage
Ray Lorme’s outings planning meeting drew an overﬂow we could now see from our lofty perch.
see Notes page 4 As we dropped down to Lake see Trail - page 5
Spring Schedule - Hikes, Meetings, and Fun
Thur, Mar 8 Monthly Meeting 7:30PM Sat, Apr 14 PCT Ramble Mojave-Tehachapi 8AM
Louise Schultz presents a slide show on last year’s fascinat- Ldrs: Mary Ellen Dittemore (254-8543), Henry Schultz
ing trip to Turkey. You will be delighted and surprised while (284-5613) See one of the largest wind farms in North
learning a bit about Turkey today and yesterday. Don’t miss America. Hike 5 mi through wildﬂowers and wind farm on
this opportunity! a little used section of the PCT. Be prepared for wind. Meet
8 am Cyn Country rideshare pt. Bring water, lunch, jacket,
Sat, Mar 10 Towsley Peak 9AM
lugsoles. Rain cancels.
Ldrs: Dave Morrow (254-5245), Henry Schultz (284-5613)
Moderately strenuous 6 mi, 1500’ gain in Towsley Cyn Park. Sun, Apr 29 Bear Divide To Walker Ranch 9AM
Explore rugged terrain and wonderful views of Santa Clarita A Wild Heritage Hike
Woodlands. Meet 9 am entrance to Ed Davis/Towsley Cyn Ldrs: Dave Morrow (254-5245), Henry Schultz (284-5613)
State Park (take I-5 to Calgrove exit, W to The Old Rd, S to Moderate 7 mi, 700’ gain/1500’ loss along ridge between
park entrance, park outside main gate). Rain cancels. San Fernando/Santa Clarita Valleys. Meet 9 am Walker Ranch
entrance to Placerita County Park (take 14 Fwy [Antelope Val-
Sun, Mar 18 Placerita Cyn Loop 9AM
ley Fwy], exit Placerita Cyn Rd, S to park, continue 1 3⁄4 mi
A Wild Heritage Hike
past main entrance to gated entrance of Walker Ranch—do
Ldrs: Matthew Lax (252-2393), Ray Lorme (296-0246)
not block gate). Bring water, lunch, lugsoles. Rain cancels.
Strenuous 8 mi loop, 1600’ gain in the western end of the
San Gabriel Mtns. Excellent views of Santa Clarita and San Wed, May 2 Mission Peak by Moonlight 7PM
Fernando Valleys and the proposed Santa Clarita Canyons Conditioning Hike
Wilderness Area. Meet 9 am Placerita Cyn Nature Center (take See Mar 28 for details.
I-5 to 14 Fwy [Antelope Valley Fwy], exit Placerita Cyn Rd, R
2 mi to park). Bring water, lunch, lugsoles. Rain cancels. Sat, May 5 Saddleback Butte 9AM
Ldrs: Mary Ellen Dittemore (254-8543), Henry Schultz (284-
Sun, Mar 25 Bouquet Cyn To Spunky Cyn 9AM 5613) Moderate 4 mi, 1000’ gain to the top of Saddleback
Ldrs: Ken Kerner (251-5156), Henry Schultz (284-5613) Butte for a 360 o view of the Antelope Valley, San Gabriel
Moderate 8 mi to Spunky Cyn along PCT, 1500’ gain with Mtns, Tehachapi Mtns and Mojave Desert. Very open. Meet
gorgeous views of Bouquet Reservoir; chance of wildﬂowers 9 am Cyn Country rideshare pt. Bring water, lunch, lugsoles.
or snow ﬂurries. Meet 9 am S end of San Fernando Rd exit Rain cancels.
off 14 Fwy (take I-5 N to 14 Fwy, exit San Fernando Rd, R to
end). Bring water, lunch, lugsoles, fsp. Serious rain cancels. Sun, May 6 Angeles Chapter Banquet 6PM
Brookside Country Club in Pasadena – Reception at 5PM, din-
Wed, Mar 28 Mission Peak by Moonlight 7PM ner at 6PM, $30 a person – RSVP to Sydell at 254 -6750.
Ldrs: Gaylon Rodin (262-0568), Henry Schultz (284-5613) Thur, May 10 Monthly Meeting 7:30PM
Moderate 5 mi, 1200’ gain to view San Fernando Valley. Kreigh Hampel of Burbank Recycling will discuss MRFs (Ma-
Meet 7 pm trailhead (take 405 Fwy to 118 Fwy W, exit terial Recovery Facilities) and recycling. This is an important
Balboa N, 2 mi to Sesnon, W 1 mi to Neon Way, R to end and interesting part of environmental preservation.
of street). Bring water, lugsoles. Rain cancels. Sat, May 19 Arbor Day 10AM-2PM
Sun, Apr 1 April Fool’s Day 9AM Enjoy the City’s Arbor Day Festivities at Central Park from
Los Padres Wildﬂower Hike 10-2. Don’t forget to visit our booth.
Ldrs: Matthew Lax (252-2393), Ray Lorme (296-0246) Sun, May 20 East Cyn Scramble 9AM
Moderate 5 mi, 1200’ gain in Los Padres National Forest. Ldrs: Henry Schultz (284-5613), Gerry Lorme (296-0246)
View the extent of the Day Fire and hopefully the resulting Moderate 6 mi, 1400’ gain adventure hike through lush
wildﬂowers. Meet 9 am entrance to Ed Davis/Towsley Cyn vegetation in Santa Clarita Woodlands, half of ﬁre road,
State Park (take I-5 N, exit Calgrove, W to The Old Rd, S to half on use trail. Meet 9 am entrance to Ed Davis/Towsley
park entrance, park outside main gate). Bring water, lunch, Cyn Park (take I-5 to Calgrove exit, W to The Old Rd, S to
lugsoles. Rain cancels. park entrance—park outside main gate). Bring water, lunch,
Thur, Apr 12 Monthly Meeting 7:30PM long pants, lugsoles. Rain cancels.
Come hear a speaker on the City’s effort to mount another Wed, May 30 Mission Peak by Moonlight 7PM
open space assessment district. Get the latest news and Conditioning Hike
provide your input and questions as well. See Mar 28 for details. --continued on page 4
Spring Schedule - continued from 3 CEMEX - continued from page 1
the Paciﬁc Crest Trail, and next door to the approximately
Sun, Jun 3 Placerita Cyn Streamside Hike 9AM 240,000 residents of Santa Clarita and Aqua Dulce.
Ldrs: Gaylon Rodin (262-0568), Geraldine Lorme (296-0246)
An open letter to CEMEX
Easy 4 mi, 300’ gain along shady streamside trail in Placerita
Cyn State Park from Walker Ranch to nature center. Meet 9 Dear CEMEX,
am Walker Ranch entrance in Placerita County Park (take I am glad CEMEX and the City of Santa Clarita de-
I-5 Fwy N to 14 Fwy [Antelope Valley Fwy], exit Placerita clared a “truce” for the year. I understand the time will be
Cyn Rd, S to park, continue 1 3⁄4 mi past main entrance used to come to an amiable solution to our concerns re-
to gated entrance of Walker Ranch—do not block gate). garding air pollution, water use, water pollution, and traf-
Bring water, lunch, lugsoles. Rain cancels. ﬁc. I applaud this effort. As a resident of the SCV, I was a
recipient of your “CEMEX CARES” literature. In response
Thur, Jun 14 Monthly Meeting 7:30PM to this mail, here are some ways you can truly show you
Jill Bays from the Transition Habitat Conservancy will talk care. 1. Reduce the scope of the mining project to historic
about transition habitat wildlife on the boundary between levels. Don’t wait for legislation, or a court order. Just do it.
the San Gabriels and the Mohave Desert. This should be 2. Reduce trafﬁc and air pollution by using rail-haul, pref-
a very interesting presentation and a lot will be altogether erably at night. Our freeways are already impacted. 1200
new to us. additional truck trips per day does not represent caring.
Threatening increased local trafﬁc from increased mining
Sat, Jun 16 Mt Gleason Evening Hike 3:30PM in the nearby Antelope Valley to make up the deﬁcit from
Wild Heritage Hike reduced mining in the SCV also does not sound very car-
Ldrs: Dave Morrow (254-5245), Henry Schultz (284-5613) ing. The train tracks that pass by the proposed mine site
Moderate 6 mi, 1000’ gain along PCT through mixed to Los Angeles also extend to the Antelope Valley. Studies
conifer forest. Dinner at summit and back to trailhead by show this can also be a cost saving measure, as well as an
dark. Meet 3:30 pm Cyn Country rideshare pt. Bring wa- environment saving one. 3. Don’t add to our already high
ter, dinner, side dish or dessert to share, utensils, lugsoles, air pollution levels. The ﬁne dust from aggregate mining
ﬂashlight, fsp. that can be seen as a delicate patina on cars is very harm-
ful in the lungs of people. When children at the nearby
Sun, Jun 24 Vasquez Rocks Ramble 9AM elementary school cannot play outside because of an air
Ldrs: Henry Schultz (284-5613), Gaylon Rodin (262-0568) pollution alert, will you cease mining? When there is a
Easy 4 mi stroll among rocks carved by wind and rain, high wind advisory, negating dust control measures, will
once a hideout for the infamous outlaw Tiburcio Vasquez. you temporarily cease mining? When you violate ANY air
Meet 9 am entrance to Vasquez County Park (take 14 Fwy quality regulation, will you STOP mining? Please let me
[Antelope Valley Fwy], exit Agua Dulce Rd, follow signs to know. I like to breathe. 4. Don’t pollute our river. Use wa-
park, park on street). Bring water, snack, lugsoles. ter wisely. By the way, WHERE is your water coming from?
Water is a scarce commodity here. If there is a drought and
Wed, Jun 27 Mission Peak byMoonlight 7PM local citizens must curtail their water usage, will you stop
Conditioning Hike all water use? Please remember, aggregate is a commod-
ity. This is the Santa Clarita Valley, and the health and well
See Mar 28 for details.
being of people and the environment are more important
than a commodity.
Notes - continued from 2
crowd of hike leaders. The camaraderie and the ambience provided by hosts Ray and Geraldine makes planning outings
fun and productive. A great set of hikes are lined up by a great group of hike leaders: Ray, Gerrie, Mary Ellen Dittemore,
Gaylon Rodin, Melinda Arredondo, Ed Benison, Matthew Lax, Ken Kerner, Dave Morrow, Donica Wood, Mary Patterson
and Henry Schultz.
May 19 from 10-2 is the 18th annual Arbor Day event. Visit our table, talk to our volunteers, share ideas and get the
latest environmental information.
Besides Newhall Ranch and Open Space, other issues demand attention. The proposed Tejon Ranch Project threatens
great impacts. Larger than Newhall Ranch, it involves a tremendous open space component. It will impact Santa Clarita
and Rte 5. To stay up to date or get involved, call me at 284-5613 or email email@example.com. The time to get started is
Finally, my thanks to Carla Swift for the hard work and creative skill she puts into each issue of the Canyon Connection.
An Open Space Assessment District for SCV? Taking the Bus
Henry Schultz excerpt from the Southern Sierran
by Katherine Squires, SC Group Member and Teacher
As we go to press we await a draft of a proposed Santa Clar-
ita Open Space Assessment District. Open space is precious Last month members of SCOPE, the Audubon Society, and
to Sierra Clubbers, and it was disappointing to see the 2005 others boarded the Sierra Club bus to attend the LA County
measure defeated by a 40-60 margin among Planning Commission hearing on the pro-
voting property holders in the city. posed Newhall Ranch development.
The ﬁrst measure had serious drawbacks: The biodiesel bus left Santa Clarita,
no termination date, built in cost of living in- maneuvered through several trafﬁc jams,
creases, no clear plan for use of the money, and and arrived in downtown Los Angeles two
no oversight fund administrators. Since an as- hours later, reminding us why strongly
sessment is a tax and people will be voting to believe the Newhall Ranch project is not
“smart growth.” The proposed develop-
tax themselves, they will want all four issues
ment will bring 357,000 additional car
clearly addressed or they will vote NO and trips a day onto our freeways and surface
rightfully so. streets and increase air pollution, which is
We hope several things will be clearly delineated in already some of the worst in the nation. As a local teacher,
the new measure. First, the main focus must be acquisition it is not uncommon for me to have asthmatic students who
of open space. “Open space” must be deﬁned with a map suffer from the effects of poor air quality.
showing eligible undeveloped properties. There must be cri- The proposed project lies along Hwy 126, west of In-
teria for ranking these properties as to their open space value. terstate 5 will encroach on the ﬂoodplain of the last major
There must be provisions to ensure that these open spaces wild river in Southern California and would permanently
are open space in perpetuity. Second, there transform the habitat of numerous endan-
must be a structure for providing oversight. gered species. A notable example is the Cali-
This could mean appointing district ofﬁcers, fornia condor (the United States most famous
endangered bird species). The endangered
which are separate from the City Council or
least Bell’s vireo, the endangered unarmored
a separate commission which provides in- threespine stickleback, the arroyo toad, and
put to the district ofﬁcers. the least tern also reside in the area.
A bond will probably be issued for the Besides concerns regarding air and water
initial life of the district, so 30 years is prob- quality, water supply and impact to endan-
ably the shortest term to be expected. I hope gered species, the proposed development is in
this will be the longest term as well. To le- an area prone to extreme tectonic activity (on
verage the money received, it will be necessary to have a the same rate as that which created the Himalayan Moun-
focused grant ﬁnder and writer who can get matching funds tains). The site is bordered on the south by layers of rock
from the panoply of funding sources which are available. that are actually upside down due to the intense pressure
A new open space measure must succeed for ours and and movement in that area. The site is prone to landslides.
our children’s beneﬁt. I know the Sierra Club will advocate Consider the horrifying aftermath of a major earthquake on
for a good measure. I will work just as hard to kill the mea- the people who could potentially reside in the proposed
sure if it is like the ﬁrst, providing just another source of un- 21,000 units.
controlled money for the city. The poll data shows it will not Everyone explained the impacts the proposed 21,000-
take as much work to kill it as to get buy-in and pass it. units will have on Santa Clarita and neighboring communi-
Open Space is extremely important at this point in the ties. It is vital that the Planning Commission understand the
SCV’s history because it is rapidly disappearing. If we don’t serious consequences any decision to approve this project
acquire open space in the next few years, it will be gone for in its present form would have on all of us.
good. Tell the City Council how you feel. We want a measure The LA trip was a success on several levels. The Plan-
that will work and that people will feel comfortable with. If ning Commission postponed project approval, asked for
this one fails, it will be difﬁcult to resurrect it for a third try. inclusion of a high school, and indicated it will continue to
Let’s get this one right. accept comment letters from environmental groups.
Although some people believe the Newhall Ranch
Trail - continued from page 2 project is a “done deal,” this is not the case. The citizens
Hughes Road, we found remnants of a sequence of graphite of communities which border the proposed development
mines. I believe these were worked in the 1920s; you can still have an opportunity to act. Submit written comments
still ﬁnd good chunks of graphite laden rocks. Graphite is to Attn. Susan Tae, Los Angeles County Regional Planning
very soft (Mohs hardness of 1) but resides in tough metamor- Dept., 320 W. Temple St., Los Angeles 90012.
phic rock. Another sign of toughness was how well Mike The Planning Commission heard and responded to the
and Jill’s dogs covered the whole distance with nary a yelp points made by concerned citizens. It was a great experi-
or fuss. Good doggies! Good hikers! See you on the trail! ence to achieve these positive results.
– Henry Schultz Page 5
SIERRA CLUB - SCV GROUP
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The Canyon Connection
Sierra Club • Santa Clarita Valley Group
21827 Parvin Drive Saugus, CA 91350
INSIDE THIS ISSUE
How To Be a COOL City .........................1
Open Letter to CEMEX ..........................1
In Your Own Backyard - Old Glory ........1
Spring Schedule ......................................3
The Newhall Project Bus ........................5
Open Space Assessment District .............5