By Lois M. Shade, Special to Beacon Media
Congresswoman Judy Chu’s Wild & Scenic River legislation is on the table in D.C. for discussion and implementation.
When Chu asked San Gabriel Valley cities through Council of Governments to support the National Recreation Area legislation, she also requested support for Wild & Scenic River legislation and the Wilderness Act she was proposing for the Angeles and San Bernardino Mountains. The COG took no action on the Wild & Scenic and Wilderness pieces, but NRA has been introduced as HR 4858 with co-sponsors, Congressmen Adam Schiff and Tony Cardenas, both California democrats.
Using this link you can view the map and areas impacted by NRA legislation:http://www.arcgis.com/home/webmap/viewer.html?webmap=f436ba28fc404349a92de1f893c9f1f5&extent=-118.9557,33.7512,-116.9274,34.7163
To achieve Wild & Scenic River designation, Congress or Secretary of Interior, must find that river, or section(s) of river, contribute significantly to the environment with extraordinary scenic, geologic, historic, and cultural resources, fish and wildlife to be preserved, and recreational opportunities.
US Fish & Wildlife defines the 3 categories in Wild & Scenic as
- Wild – inaccessible except by trail, with primitive watersheds and shorelines;
- Scenic – shorelines or watersheds still primitive, undeveloped, but accessible in places by roads;
- Recreational – sections of rivers accessible by road, may have some development along shorelines, may have undergone diversion in the past.
Congresswoman Chu’s Wild & Scenic Rivers legislation assigns Secretary of Agriculture/Forest Service to oversee:
1. East Fork, San Gabriel River –
a. 10 mile segment from Prairie Fork / Vincent Gulch to 100 yards upstream of Heaton Flats trailhead – wild river
b. 2.7 mile segment from 100 yards upstream of Heaton Flats to 100 yards upstream of confluence with Williams Canyon – recreational river
2. North Fork, San Gabriel River –
a. 4.3 mile segment from confluence with Cloudburst Canyon to .25 miles upstream of confluence with West Fork – recreational river
3. West Fork, San Gabriel River –
a. 6.7 mile segment from .25 miles downstream of source near Red Box Gap with confluence of unnamed tributary ¼ mile downstream of power lines – recreational river
b. 1.6 mile segment from ¼ mile downstream of power lines to confluence with Bobcat Canyon – wild river
4. San Antonio Creek –
a. 1-mile segment of the creek from its source to San Antonio Falls – wild river – Exception: Secretary of Agriculture MAY permit continued operation of historic San Antonio ski hut
5. Middle Fork Lytle Creek –
a. 4.3 mile segment from source to Cucamonga Peak – wild river
b. 1.2 mile segment from an area with only meets & bounds description – recreational river
6. Little Rock Creek –
a. 10.3 mile segment from source on Mt. Williamson to 100 yards upstream of confluence with South Fork Little Rock Creek – wild river
b. 6.6 mile segment from 100 yards upstream of confluence with South Fork Little Rock Creek to confluence with Santiago Canyon – recreational river
c. 1 mile segment of Cooper Canyon Creek from .25 miles downstream of Highway 2 to 100 yards downstream of Cooper Canyon Camp Ground – scenic river
d. 1.3 mile segment of Cooper Canyon Creek from 100 yards downstream of Cooper Canyon Camp Ground to confluence with Little Rock Creek – wild river
e. 1 mile segment of Buckhorn Creek from 100 yards downstream of the Buckhorn Camp Ground to confluence with Cooper Canyon Creek – wild river
Department of Agriculture/National Forest Service (NFS) is proposing to amend its policy on ground water management and is taking comments before August 4th deadline. Both Congressman Tom McClintock and Congresswoman Grace Napolitano were present at hearings before Natural Resources’ subcommittee on Water and Power.
Recently Congressman Tom McClintock initiated HR 934 which adjusted boundaries of Wild & Scenic Merced River to provide critically needed water to the San Joaquin Valley. Wild & Scenic River designations are not absolute and Congress can adjust Wild & Scenic River boundaries, especially if it serves a greater good. As required by House Rule XIII regarding costs, it was stated there are no unfunded mandates and would impose no costs on state, local or tribal governments.