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Laguna Niguel Regional Park Destruction

Tom Eastman
 

Good morning,

Yesterday morning I led a bird walk at Laguna Niguel Regional Park for the Laguna Canyon Foundation.  Much to my dismay, the prime riparian habitat below the dam spillway was completed obliterated with no trees or shrubs remaining but stumps cut near the ground and a stubble of grass and reeds.  What was once lush and alive with songbirds and the occasional rare vagrant was completely quiet except for a lone black phoebe in one of the remaining pepper trees.  No egrets or herons along the creek, and not even a duck.  One lone Canada Goose was foraging in the grass next to the nearby shade structure across the roadway.

Se you on the trail,

Tom Eastman
Costa Mesa

vicleipzig
 

Tom,
   I'll contact OC Parks and see what they have to say.  I know they'll had to remove a very large number of trees due to Shot-hole Borer, but SHB is no reason to remove willows and mulefat.
Vic

G. Victor Leipzig, Ph.D.
17461 Skyline Lane
Huntington Beach CA  92647
(714) 848-5394


-----Original Message-----
From: Tom Eastman <ocean2trail@...>
To: OrangeCountyBirding <OrangeCountyBirding@groups.io>
Sent: Mon, Sep 23, 2019 9:56 am
Subject: [OrangeCountyBirding] Laguna Niguel Regional Park Destruction

Good morning,

Yesterday morning I led a bird walk at Laguna Niguel Regional Park for the Laguna Canyon Foundation.  Much to my dismay, the prime riparian habitat below the dam spillway was completed obliterated with no trees or shrubs remaining but stumps cut near the ground and a stubble of grass and reeds.  What was once lush and alive with songbirds and the occasional rare vagrant was completely quiet except for a lone black phoebe in one of the remaining pepper trees.  No egrets or herons along the creek, and not even a duck.  One lone Canada Goose was foraging in the grass next to the nearby shade structure across the roadway.

Se you on the trail,

Tom Eastman
Costa Mesa

vicleipzig
 

Tom,
       I just spoke with the supervising park ranger for the region of OC Parks that includes Laguna Niguel Regional.  What I learned is that the vegetation removal there last week was not done by OC Parks but rather by OC Flood Control.  Flood Control has authority over the dam, the spillway, and the creek (Sulfur Creek) as parts of the overall flood control system.  OC Parks was not even warned in advance about the work.   So this was similar to the clearing that Flood Control did a few years ago in San Diego Creek.  OC Flood Control has easements all across the county over public property (such as parks) and even over private property and can clear vegetation as it sees fit.
Vic

G. Victor Leipzig, Ph.D.
17461 Skyline Lane
Huntington Beach CA  92647
(714) 848-5394


-----Original Message-----
From: Tom Eastman <ocean2trail@...>
To: OrangeCountyBirding <OrangeCountyBirding@groups.io>
Sent: Mon, Sep 23, 2019 9:56 am
Subject: [OrangeCountyBirding] Laguna Niguel Regional Park Destruction

Good morning,

Yesterday morning I led a bird walk at Laguna Niguel Regional Park for the Laguna Canyon Foundation.  Much to my dismay, the prime riparian habitat below the dam spillway was completed obliterated with no trees or shrubs remaining but stumps cut near the ground and a stubble of grass and reeds.  What was once lush and alive with songbirds and the occasional rare vagrant was completely quiet except for a lone black phoebe in one of the remaining pepper trees.  No egrets or herons along the creek, and not even a duck.  One lone Canada Goose was foraging in the grass next to the nearby shade structure across the roadway.

Se you on the trail,

Tom Eastman
Costa Mesa

Jeff Bray
 

For those interested in what the base of the dam looks like, pic linked below from this morning. Sad...  I had so many lifers at that location and it used to be one of the best spots in the park. I birded the area along the creek from Shelter 3 down to Shelters 1 and 2. There were birds, but mostly Munia, Orange-crowned Warblers and Song Sparrows. Depressing. 


On Tue, Sep 24, 2019 at 12:15 PM vicleipzig via Groups.Io <vicleipzig=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:
Tom,
       I just spoke with the supervising park ranger for the region of OC Parks that includes Laguna Niguel Regional.  What I learned is that the vegetation removal there last week was not done by OC Parks but rather by OC Flood Control.  Flood Control has authority over the dam, the spillway, and the creek (Sulfur Creek) as parts of the overall flood control system.  OC Parks was not even warned in advance about the work.   So this was similar to the clearing that Flood Control did a few years ago in San Diego Creek.  OC Flood Control has easements all across the county over public property (such as parks) and even over private property and can clear vegetation as it sees fit.
Vic

G. Victor Leipzig, Ph.D.
(714) 848-5394


-----Original Message-----
From: Tom Eastman <ocean2trail@...>
To: OrangeCountyBirding <OrangeCountyBirding@groups.io>
Sent: Mon, Sep 23, 2019 9:56 am
Subject: [OrangeCountyBirding] Laguna Niguel Regional Park Destruction

Good morning,

Yesterday morning I led a bird walk at Laguna Niguel Regional Park for the Laguna Canyon Foundation.  Much to my dismay, the prime riparian habitat below the dam spillway was completed obliterated with no trees or shrubs remaining but stumps cut near the ground and a stubble of grass and reeds.  What was once lush and alive with songbirds and the occasional rare vagrant was completely quiet except for a lone black phoebe in one of the remaining pepper trees.  No egrets or herons along the creek, and not even a duck.  One lone Canada Goose was foraging in the grass next to the nearby shade structure across the roadway.

Se you on the trail,

Tom Eastman
Costa Mesa


--
Jeff Bray
Irvine, CA