Newhall Ranch Opponent Organizations

On 22-Aug-96 Seventeen organizations gathered at the edge of the Santa Clara River to discuss their concerns. At the press conference the following comments were made:

Sandy Wohlgemuth, Los Angeles Audubon Society -"The human encroachment on riparian and wetlands habitat will affect many species of birds. The impact of this project on the recently declared Critical Habitat area for the federally listed endangered least Bellís Vireo (a songbird) would be devastating."

Karen Pearson, Sierra Club - "This project is already in an air quality non-attainment zone (ozone). Urban sprawl projects such as this are a major cause of our air quality problems in Los Angeles.î Patti Schafferle, Clean Water Action - ìThis project cannot be supported by local water supplies. The consequences of urban run-off and destruction of the Santa Clara river watershed will impact the water quality and availability of current users."

Michael Fitts , NRDC - "This project makes no environmental or economic sense. The infrastructure burden to taxpayers and ratepayers for the extension of sewer, gas, electric, water and road and other services will be extremely costly. At the same time, it will degrade air quality and habitat, endanger one of Southern Californiaís last natural rivers and remove vital farm land from productivity. The costs to society are simply too high."

Michael Kotch, Santa Clarita Organization for Planning the Environment - "We already have 52,000 approved but unbuilt units in the Santa Clarita Valley. There is no need for a plan amendment of this magnitude at this time."

Ron Bottorff, Friends of the Santa Clara River- "The Santa Clara River Valley is a Regional Resource of exceptional value, for its agriculture, for its scenery and for its wildlife. Massive urban projects simply do not belong in this Valley."

Nina Danza, Friends of the LA River - "History is repeating itself. We should learn from what has happened to the LA River. Development should stay out of the flood plain."

Jan Scow, California Native Plant Society - "This project would contribute significantly to urban sprawl, cause an unacceptable loss of natural lands, majestic oaks and important habitat in the Santa Clarita Valley, and disrupt vital ecological processes and linkages."

Carla Bard, Past Chairwoman of LA/Ventura Regional Water Board and State Water Resources Control Board-"It is extremely important that there be adequate time for thoughtful review of the Newhall DEIR and its impacts on the Santa Clara River.The review period should be lengthened to 180 days."

Dick Hingson, Angeles Chapter of the Sierra Club - "Our primary focus this year is on preserving wild places such as significant ecological areas (SEAs). This project will severely impact two of the most beautiful SEAs in Los Angeles County - the Santa Clara River and the Santa Susana Mountains."

Lew Berti, Val Verde Civic Association - "The community of Val Verde is deeply concerned by the proposed development adjacent to our homes. We feel that this massive destruction of the natural environment will not serve the people of Los Angeles County."

Brian Troutwein, Urban Creeks Council - "In Southern California three quarters of our threatened and endangered species depend on creeks and rivers. This project represents the single largest threat to this areaís remaining waterways. It should not go through."

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