The Meaning of Hahamongna

The original settlers of the region were sometimes called the Hahamongna Indians. The word means "Flowing Waters, Fruitful Valley" in the native Tongva language.

Hahamongna News

Title:

Size of Devil’s Gate Reservoir Sediment Removal Project reduced

Subtitle:

Date:

2014-10-20

Author:

Lauren Gold

Publication:

Pasadena Star-News

Content:


The Devil’s Gate reservoir basin including the Devil’s Gate Dam and Hahamongna Watershed Natural Park in Pasadena. Staff file photo

PASADENA >> The Los Angeles County Department of Public Works plans to remove 2.4 million cubic yards of sediment from behind the Devil’s Gate Dam over the next several years, according to the final environmental impact report (EIR) for the project released Monday.

DPW officials said they chose to remove 2.4 million cubic yards — the lowest amount studied — from a 71-acre footprint, down from the originally proposed 120 acres, behind the dam in an effort to reduce impacts on the natural resources and neighborhoods nearby. Officials said they received 250 comments on the draft EIR and made changes to the final project based on those suggestions.

“We chose this alternative because it very closely matches the reservoir configuration on the city of Pasadena’s Hahamongna Watershed Park Master Plan,” county principal engineer Keith Lilley said. “If we went with any less (sediment removal) we would not be able to meet the needs of the downstream communities that rely on this level of flood protection.”

The county studied five project variations, with removal volumes ranging from 2.4 to 4 million cubic yards of sediment. Residents and city councilmembers expressed concern at the higher end of the removal plans, criticizing the agency for playing catchup — since the last sediment removal was in 1994 — at the expense of Pasadena.

The final proposal would remove 2.4 million cubic yards of sediment over three to five years, with no more than 800,000 cubic yards removed each year, between April and December. Low emission trucks will haul out sediment from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and will not drive around schools during peak times. After the major project, the DPW will do maintenance removal in a 51-acre footprint.

In response to community fears that too much sediment removal could disrupt the treasured Hahamongna Watershed Park recreation area as well as surrounding neighborhoods, the city convened a special citizens working group to look into the best option for Pasadena. The working group recommended that 1.1 million cubic yards of sediment be removed, which they argued would leave plenty of room available for sediment to wash in during the winter season.

Arroyo Seco Foundation Managing Director Tim Brick, a member of the working group, said he felt the proposed plan would severely damage the natural habitat in Hahamongna.

“Just about everything we recommended they ignored ... I think there are going to be massive impacts on noise, dust, air pollution, recreational opportunities and the habitat of Hahamongna will be permanently scarred by the kind of program they propose,” Brick said. “They came up with three major proposals in the beginning, they had a terrible proposal, a horrible proposal and a bad proposal and now they are recommending the bad proposal.”

Pasadena City Manager Michael Beck said he felt the plan did take into account many of the city’s suggestions and concerns, and he was pleased the county had agreed to help pay for and implement the Hahamongna Master Plan for habitat preservation and enhancement. But he said he also thinks the volume of sediment being removed could be “problematic.”

“From an environmental perspective they did agree to the reduced footprint, which was positive,” Beck said. “The impact is going to be the number of truck trips that will occur as a result of the amount of material they are proposing to take out as well as the potential depth of the area.”

Lilley said the proposed project will go before the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors next month and the project will likely begin in 2016. Brick said he and others plan to attend the meeting, as well as petition the Pasadena City Council, to choose a less drastic course of action.

DPW will hold three community meetings to present the final EIR. The first will be from 1:30 to 3 p.m. on Nov. 1 at John Muir High School Auditorium, 1905 Lincoln Ave., Pasadena. The second meeting will be held from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at Jackson Elementary School Auditorium, 593 W. Woodbury Road, Altadena. The final meeting will be 6:30 to 8 p.m. at Descanso Gardens in the Maple Room, 1418 Descanso Drive, La Cañada Flintridge.

For more information, visit www.LASedimentManagement.com/DevilsGate.