Stormwater Engineering Projects

Picture of Big Tujunga Wash Mitigation Area

ANNOUNCEMENTS

MAINTENANCE ACTIVITIES SCHEDULED THROUGH DECEMBER 2019

Please be aware that maintenance activities will be conducted throughout the Big Tujunga Wash Mitigation Area (Mitigation Area) through December 2019. Work crews will be present on site to conduct invasive plant removal (using mechanical removal methods such as hand pulling, digging, and weed whacking), trails clearing and care, and monthly invasive wildlife maintenance to protect native habitat that supports sensitive, threatened and endangered species on site. Vegetation trimming and removal will also occur in the southern portions of the Mitigation area to improve public safety and reduce the probability of loss of adjacent structures from potential fires.

Crews will also respond as needed to any trail issues that may arise. Crews generally will work between the hours of 7 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. No work will be conducted on the weekends.

This work is being performed by Chambers Group, an environmental consulting firm, under supervision of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works (Public Works).

Please be aware that planned maintenance activities at the Tujunga Ponds may involve the use of small (non-mechanized) boats, fishing nets, rods and reels, and other equipment that is not authorized for use within the Mitigation Area by the general public. This equipment is being used to help facilitate specific maintenance tasks and the use of such equipment has been authorized by Public Works for use onsite by the maintenance crews. Crews will also conduct invasive wildlife maintenance within Haines Canyon Creek. If you are uncertain as to whether observed activities in the Creek or Ponds are those of maintenance crew members or of the general public, please contact Public Works as no fishing, swimming, wading, damming of the Creek, or other disturbances are permitted in the Mitigation Area.

Please be watchful when riding horses or hiking in the vicinity where maintenance crews are working. Crews will be cautious when equestrian riders or hikers are nearby, but it's best to avoid active work areas whenever possible. If you do come upon a crew, please call out to them if they do not see you so they can stop their equipment and allow you to pass by safely.

Bilingual Chambers Group biologists will be onsite during peak-use weekends this summer. They are approachable and are happy to provide educational information and answer questions about the Mitigation Area. The on-site biologists value user ideas, concerns, and feedback and would love to hear from you!

The 13th Annual Trails Cleanup Day is planned for Fall 2019. Trash and debris get deposited in the Mitigation Area during storms, and sadly, is also left behind by site users and those who engage in illegal camping and dumping. We hope you all will join us in the fall to help beautify the Mitigation Area while making it a cleaner and safer place for human visitors and wildlife alike! Further details will be posted and distributed when available.

Experts at Chambers Group monitor all maintenance activities to ensure that sensitive biological resources are not negatively impacted during maintenance activities.

If you have any questions regarding planned maintenance activities, please contact Public Works at BTWMA@dpw.lacounty.gov

PROJECT SUMMARY

The Big Tujunga Wash Mitigation Area was purchased by the Los Angeles County Flood Control District in 1998 to compensate for habitat loss from other projects. The site encompasses approximately 210 acres of land located in the City of Los Angeles-Sunland area.

For nearly two decades the Mitigation Area's native alluvial scrub, cottonwood-willow riparian, and oak-sycamore woodland plant communities accommodated miles of winding equestrian and hiking trails and provided suitable or potential habitat for a number of endangered, threatened, and sensitive plant and wildlife species including Davidson's bushmallow, Plummer's mariposa lily, slender-horned spineflower, San Diego horned lizard, black-crowned night heron, great blue heron, Cooper's hawk, loggerhead shrike, southwestern willow flycatcher, least Bell's vireo, and Santa Ana sucker.

In December of 2017, the Creek Fire burned through the Mitigation Area, leaving these plant communities severely fire-damaged or destroyed. While goals for the Mitigation Area ultimately remain the same, the plans to reach those goals have been revised for 2018, shifting from a highly maintenance-based approach to one of restoration and maintenance.

The Creek Fire, while devastating to the Mitigation Area, has provided a wealth of opportunity to reestablish trails and restore habitat function that is essential for sensitive wildlife species to thrive. During the Mitigation Area's recovery process, implementation efforts will focus heavily on exotic plant and wildlife removal in order to support the return of native habitat and wildlife to the Mitigation Area.

Big Tujunga Wash Mitigation Area


RESOURCES

CONTACTS

For more information on the project or to report minor incident, please contact BTWMA@dpw.lacounty.gov or phone the LA County Sheriff at (800) 834-0064.

Updated on: 06/10/2019