15 March 2011


As has been noted several times in this blog, the removal of arundo donax from Carbon [Canyon] Creek, which began not long after the November 2008 fire that ravaged the Brea side of Carbon Canyon, has been a lengthy and intensive project.

A section of removed arundo donax looking east along Carbon [Canyon] Creek
on the historic La Vida Mineral Springs property in Brea, 15 March 2011
After spraying treatments were conducted to allow herbicides to penetrate the strong root system of this pernicious plant, recent work has focused on removal of the dead above-ground shoots.  This has been very recently done on the historic La Vida Mineral Springs site, where crews have cleared a section along the creek that is about 100 feet long or so.

This westward-looking view shows some removed arundo
with some of it still standing in this distance. Note the flow
of the creek at right along the rocky bottom at the base of the hill.
Indeed, it is amazing to be able to walk up to the edge of the creek there and peer done at the water rushing along a rocky bed relatively unfettered as it makes its way west toward Carbon Canyon Regional Park and the dam there.  As the removal work continues, the path will only become clearer.

Here is a detail of some of the removed arundo,
leaving only small stumps at ground level
Meantime, at recent meetings of the Carbon Canyon Fire Safe Council, it has been reported that efforts are underway to remove a few stands of arundo on the Chino Hills side, as well as a general cleanup of plant material in the creek that is actually contributing to erosion of Carbon Canyon Road.

We can look forward, then, to more of the work depicted in the accompanying photos, which were snapped this morning.  As the Canyon still bears many of the scars and burn marks of the fire, there is also some important work being done with the arundo removal that proves to be one of the very few positives to emerge from that conflagration.

UPDATE, 18 April 2011.  The following was provided at the April meeting of the Carbon Canyon Fire Safe Council courtesy of Claire Schlotterbeck, Executive Director of Hills for Everyone, who has been crucial in the arundo removal project, and is from the head of the Santa Ana Watershed Association, managing agency in the effort.

We have received additional funding from the Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority for biomass removal in Carbon Canyon through Proposition 50 funding [Prop 50 was passed by California voters in 2002 to provide over $3 billion for water quality projects].  We toured the State Department of Water Resources through the project area from Hata [the historic La Vida Mineral Springs property now owned by Japanese businessman Tadayao Hata] through the State Park to show them where we will be working.  We will continue to remove biomass that has already been sprayed and are continuing spraying operations in areas that have regrowth and in areas that are under control.  We will be working on a bid package for the Arundo and other invasives that are past the church [Samsung in Olinda Village and down through the State Park.  Work will begin there and in the fall.  We are also working on secondary funding opportunities for removing other invasives, such as palms and ivy, in and adjacent to Sleepy Hollow [this involving the cleanup of Carbon (Canyon) Creek]

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