Station Fire (2009)
The Station Fire started in the Angeles National Forest near the U. S. Forest Service ranger station on the Angeles Crest Highway on August 26,2009. Two firefighters, Captain Tedmund Hall and Firefighter Specialist Arnie Quinones, were killed on August 30 when their truck plunged off a cliff as they tried to set backfires to slow the blaze. Many of these areas faced mandatory evacuations as the flames drew near, a 40-mile stretch of the Angeles Crest Highway was closed until 2010 due to guardrail and sign damage, although the pavement remained largely intact. On September 3, officials announced that the Station Fire was caused by arson, investigators discovered a substance at the fires point of origin which they believe may have accelerated the flames. As of September 15, $93.8 million had been spent fighting the fire at 91% contained with full containment by September 19 and it was 100% contained at 7,00 pm PST on Friday, October 16,2009, due to moderate rainfall. Property owners and concerned citizens are demanding a formal Congressional investigation as to why the U. S.
Forest Service did not contain the fire within the first 48 hours when it was manageable
San Francisquito Canyon
San Francisquito Canyon is a canyon created through erosion of the Sierra Pelona Mountains by the San Francisquito Creek, in Los Angeles County, Southern California. The canyon cuts through the Sierra Pelona Mountains, which are part of the Transverse Ranges system of California. At the San Francisquito Canyon head is the San Francisquito Pass, the canyon grows wider as it approaches the Santa Clarita Valley. The middle and upper portions of this canyon fall within the Angeles National Forest, San Francisquito Canyon was the site of placer mining for gold by Spanish missionaries from the San Fernando and San Buenaventura Missions, and by Mexican Californios. Their activity stopped in 1848, when the discovery at Sutters Mill started the California Gold Rush. Placer mining occurred in the canyon into at least the latter 19th-century, between 1924 and 1928 the canyon was the site of the St. Francis Dam. At 11, 57PM on March 12,1928, the dam failed. The ruins of this disaster can still be seen today, since 1820, San Francisquito Canyon and San Francisquito Pass were part of the original route of the El Camino Viejo.
From 1854, the route of the Stockton - Los Angeles Road followed its course as did the Butterfield Overland Mail in California from 1858-1861. Today, a road named after the canyon itself connects Santa Clarita to the mountain communities of Green Valley. It roughly parallel the course between San Francisquito Pass and its southern terminus in northern Santa Clarita Valley. San Francisquito Formation Castaic Creek - a neighboring stream Dry Canyon Reservoir - a nearby reservoir completed in 1912 Media related to San Francisquito Canyon at Wikimedia Commons
National Wilderness Preservation System
The National Wilderness Preservation System of the United States protects federally managed wilderness areas designated for preservation in their natural condition. Activity on formally designated wilderness areas is coordinated by the National Wilderness Preservation System. Wilderness areas are managed by four federal land management agencies, the National Park Service, the U. S. Forest Service, the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Bureau of Land Management. As of 2015, there are 765 designated wilderness areas, totaling 109,129,657 acres, during the 1950s and 1960s, as the American transportation system was on the rise, concern for clean air and water quality began to grow. A conservation movement began to place with the intent of establishing designated wilderness areas. Howard Zahniser created the first draft of the Wilderness Act in 1956 and it took nine years and 65 rewrites before the Wilderness Act was finally passed in 1964. The Wilderness Act of 1964, which established the NWPS, was signed into law by President Lyndon B.
Johnson on September 3,1964, the first national forest wilderness areas were established by the Wilderness Act itself. The Great Swamp in New Jersey became the first National Wildlife Refuge with formally designated wilderness in 1968, Wilderness areas in national parks followed, beginning with the designation of wilderness in part of Craters of the Moon National Monument in Idaho in 1970. A smaller spike in 1984 came with the passage of many bills establishing national forest wilderness areas identified by the Forest Services Roadless Area Review and Evaluation process. Over 200 wilderness areas have been created within Bureau of Land Management administered lands since then, as of August 2008, a total of 704 separate wilderness areas, encompassing 107,514,938 acres, had become part of the National Wilderness Preservation System. With the passage of the Omnibus Public Lands Act in March 2009, as of September 2015, the system includes 765 wilderness areas totaling 109,129,657 acres. On federal lands in the United States, Congress may designate an area as wilderness under the provisions of the Wilderness Act of 1964.
Congress reviews these cases on a state by state basis and determines which areas, there have been multiple occasions in which congress designated more federal land than had been recommended by the nominating agency. The Wilderness Act provides criteria for lands being considered for wilderness designation, Wilderness areas are subject to specific management restrictions, human activities are limited to non-motorized recreation, scientific research, and other non-invasive activities. During these activities, patrons are asked to abide by the Leave No Trace policy and this policy sets guidelines for using the wilderness responsibly, and leaving the area as it was before usage. When closely observed, the Leave No Trace ethos ensures that wilderness areas remain untainted by human interaction, Wilderness areas fall into IUCN protected area management category Ia or Ib. Wilderness areas are parts of parks, wildlife refuges, national forests. Initially, the NWPS included 34 areas protecting 9.1 million acres in the national forests, there are 762 wilderness areas in the NWPS, preserving 108,916,684 acres
An ecosystem is a community of living organisms in conjunction with the nonliving components of their environment, interacting as a system. These biotic and abiotic components are regarded as linked together through nutrient cycles, as ecosystems are defined by the network of interactions among organisms, and between organisms and their environment, they can be of any size but usually encompass specific, limited spaces. Energy, water and soil minerals are other essential components of an ecosystem. The energy that flows through ecosystems is obtained primarily from the sun and it generally enters the system through photosynthesis, a process that captures carbon from the atmosphere. By feeding on plants and on one another, animals play an important role in the movement of matter and they influence the quantity of plant and microbial biomass present. Ecosystems are controlled both by external and internal factors, other external factors include time and potential biota. Ecosystems are dynamic entities—invariably, they are subject to disturbances and are in the process of recovering from some past disturbance.
Ecosystems in similar environments that are located in different parts of the world can have different characteristics simply because they contain different species. The introduction of species can cause substantial shifts in ecosystem function. Internal factors not only control ecosystem processes but are controlled by them and are often subject to feedback loops. Other internal factors include disturbance and the types of species present, although humans exist and operate within ecosystems, their cumulative effects are large enough to influence external factors like climate. Biodiversity affects ecosystem function, as do the processes of disturbance, classifying ecosystems into ecologically homogeneous units is an important step towards effective ecosystem management, but there is no single, agreed-upon way to do this. The term ecosystem was first used in 1935 in a publication by British ecologist Arthur Tansley, Tansley devised the concept to draw attention to the importance of transfers of materials between organisms and their environment.
He refined the term, describing it as The whole system, including not only the organism-complex, but the whole complex of physical factors forming what we call the environment. Tansley regarded ecosystems not simply as natural units, but as mental isolates, Tansley defined the spatial extent of ecosystems using the term ecotope. G. Raymond Lindeman took these ideas one step further to suggest that the flow of energy through a lake was the driver of the ecosystem. Most mineral nutrients, on the hand, are recycled within ecosystems. Ecosystems are controlled both by external and internal factors, external factors, called state factors, control the overall structure of an ecosystem and the way things work within it, but are not themselves influenced by the ecosystem
Arcadia is a city in Los Angeles County, United States located about 13 miles northeast of downtown Los Angeles in the San Gabriel Valley and at the base of the San Gabriel Mountains. It is the site of the Santa Anita Park racetrack and home to the Los Angeles County Arboretum, the city had a population of 56,364 at the 2010 census, up from 53,248 at the 2000 census. The city is named after Arcadia, Greece, in 2012, Arcadia was ranked 7th in the nation on CNN Money magazines list of towns with highest median home costs. In 2010, Bloomberg Businessweek named Arcadia as one of the Best Places to Raise Your Kids,2010 for the year in a row. Located northeast of downtown Los Angeles, Arcadia is bordered by six communities, Sierra Madre, El Monte, San Marino, Monrovia. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has an area of 11.1 square miles. 10.9 square miles of it is land and 0.2 square miles of it is water, the 2010 United States Census reported that Arcadia had a population of 56,364.
The population density was 5,062.5 people per square mile. The racial makeup of Arcadia was 33,353 Asian,18,191 White,681 African American,186 Native American,16 Pacific Islander,2,352 from other races, hispanic or Latino of any race were 6,799 persons. The Census reported that 55,502 people lived in households,639 lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, there were 469 unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 92 same-sex married couples or partnerships. 3,855 households were made up of individuals and 1,926 had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older, the average household size was 2.83. There were 15,005 families, the family size was 3.26. The median age was 43.1 years, for every 100 females there were 91.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.7 males. There were 20,686 housing units at a density of 1,858.0 per square mile, of which 12,371 were owner-occupied. The homeowner vacancy rate was 1. 1%, the vacancy rate was 6. 7%. 37,000 people lived in owner-occupied housing units and 18,502 people lived in housing units.
A Tongva settlement site within present day Arcadia was known as Alyeupkigna, the towns site became part of the Spanish Mission San Gabriel Arcángel lands in 1771
A habitat is an ecological or environmental area that is inhabited by a particular species of animal, plant, or other type of organism. The term typically refers to the zone in which the organism lives and it is the natural environment in which an organism lives, or the physical environment that surrounds a species population. Every organism has certain habitat needs for the conditions in which it will thrive, habitat types include polar, temperate and tropical. The terrestrial vegetation type may be forest, grassland, the word habitat has been in use since about 1755 and derives from the Latin third-person singular present indicative of habitāre, to inhabit, from habēre, to have or to hold. Habitat can be defined as the environment of an organism. It is similar in meaning to a biotope, an area of environmental conditions associated with a particular community of plants. Generally speaking, animal communities are reliant on specific types of plant communities, some plants and animals are generalists, and their habitat requirements are met in a wide range of locations.
The small white butterfly for example is found on all the continents of the world apart from Antarctica and its larvae feed on a wide range of Brassicas and various other plant species, and it thrives in any open location with diverse plant associations. Disturbance is important in the creation of biodiverse habitats, in the absence of disturbance, a climax vegetation cover develops that prevents the establishment of other species. Lightning strikes and toppled trees in tropical forests allow species richness to be maintained as pioneering species move in to fill the gaps created. Similarly coastal habitats can become dominated by kelp until the seabed is disturbed by a storm, another cause of disturbance is when an area may be overwhelmed by an invasive introduced species which is not kept under control by natural enemies in its new habitat. Terrestrial habitat types include forests, grasslands and deserts, within these broad biomes are more specific habitats with varying climate types, temperature regimes, soils and vegetation types.
Many of these habitats grade into each other and each one has its own communities of plants. A habitat may suit a particular species well, but its presence or absence at any particular location depends to some extent on chance, on its dispersal abilities, freshwater habitats include rivers, lakes, ponds and bogs. Although some organisms are found across most of these habitats, the majority have more specific requirements, aquatic plants can be floating, semi-submerged, submerged or grow in permanently or temporarily saturated soils besides bodies of water. Marine habitats include brackish water, bays, the sea, the intertidal zone. Further variations include rock pools, sand banks, brackish lagoons and pebbly beaches, the benthic zone or seabed provides a home for both static organisms, anchored to the substrate, and for a large range of organisms crawling on or burrowing into the surface. A desert is not the kind of habitat that favours the presence of amphibians, with their requirement for water to keep their skins moist, some frogs live in deserts, creating moist habitats underground and hibernating while conditions are adverse
Sierra Pelona Mountains
The Sierra Pelona Mountains, or the Sierra Pelona Ridge, is a mountain range of the Transverse Ranges in Southern California. Located in northwest Los Angeles and southern Kern Counties, the range is bordered on the north by the San Andreas fault, the Sierra Pelona Mountains lie northwest of the San Gabriel Mountains, which are divided by the wide Soledad Canyon formation. The mountains are flanked to the south by the Santa Clarita Valley, toward the southwest lie Vasquez Rocks, thrust up by the fault. The Tejon Pass separates the Sierra Pelonas, the San Emigdios, within the Sierra Pelonas lie the rural areas of Three Points, Lake Hughes, Elizabeth Lake and Green Valley, as well as Liebre Mountain, Burnt Peak, Sawmill Mountain, Grass Mountain and Mount McDill. The climate of the mountains is a temperate Mediterranean, summers are mostly dry but for the occasional thunderstorm, and winters comparatively cold and wet. Snowfall is infrequent due to the low elevations of mountains within this range.
Mainly the range falls under the California montane chaparral and woodlands ecoregion, the mountains are primarily covered in short grasses, scrub oak trees and other chaparral shrubs. The range is prone to wildfires in the summer and fall, Three major tributaries of the Santa Clara River and numerous minor watercourses and washes drain the range, Castaic Creek, San Francisquito Creek, and Bouquet Creek. Three sag ponds nestle within the valley that divides the mountains from the Antelope Valley, Hughes Lake, Munz Lakes. The Native population of California in the Sierra Pelona and Santa Susana Mountains included the Tataviam and they traded with the Tongva and Chumash to the south and west, until the Spanish colonization of the Americas relocated them from their homelands. The San Francisquito Canyon, which runs north-south through the mountains, the Ridge Route, a landmark two-lane highway that connected Los Angeles to the rest of California, was built along the western flank of the mountain range and was completed in 1915.
It was bypassed by the Ridge Route Alternate in 1930, francis Reservoir, both now drained and destroyed
Fauna is all of the animal life of any particular region or time. The corresponding term for plants is flora, flora and other forms of life such as fungi are collectively referred to as biota. Zoologists and paleontologists use fauna to refer to a collection of animals found in a specific time or place. Paleontologists sometimes refer to a sequence of stages, which is a series of rocks all containing similar fossils. Fauna comes from the Greek names Fauna, a Roman goddess of earth and fertility, the Roman god Faunus, all three words are cognates of the name of the Greek god Pan, and panis is the Greek equivalent of fauna. Fauna is the word for a book that catalogues the animals in such a manner, the term was first used by Carl Linnaeus from Sweden in the title of his 1745 work Fauna Suecica. Cryofauna are animals that live in, or very close to, cryptofauna are the fauna that exist in protected or concealed microhabitats. Infauna are benthic organisms that live within the substratum of a body of water, especially within the bottom-most oceanic sediments.
Bacteria and microalgae may live in the interstices of bottom sediments, called epibenthos, are aquatic animals that live on the bottom substratum as opposed to within it, that is, the benthic fauna that live on top of the sediment surface at the seafloor. Macrofauna are benthic or soil organisms which are retained on a 0.5 mm sieve, studies in the deep sea define macrofauna as animals retained on a 0.3 mm sieve to account for the small size of many of the taxa. Megafauna are large animals of any region or time. Meiofauna are small invertebrates that live in both marine and fresh water environments. The term Meiofauna loosely defines a group of organisms by their size, larger than microfauna but smaller than macrofauna, one environment for meiofauna is between grains of damp sand. In practice these are metazoan animals that can pass unharmed through a 0.5 –1 mm mesh but will be retained by a 30–45 μm mesh, but the exact dimensions will vary from researcher to researcher. Whether an organism passes through a 1 mm mesh depends upon whether it is alive or dead at the time of sorting, mesofauna are macroscopic soil invertebrates such as arthropods or nematodes.
Mesofauna are extremely diverse, considering just the springtails, as of 1998, microfauna are microscopic or very small animals. Other terms include avifauna, which means bird fauna and piscifauna, which means fish fauna
Santa Barbara National Forest
It included areas of the San Rafael Mountains and Santa Ynez Mountains. After the transfer of federal forests to the U. S. Forest Service in 1905, on July 1,1910, San Luis National Forest was added. On August 18,1919 Monterey National Forest was added, on December 3,1936 the name was changed to Los Padres National Forest. Forest History Society Listing of the National Forests of the United States and Their Dates Text from Davis, Richard C. ed. Encyclopedia of American Forest, new York, Macmillan Publishing Company for the Forest History Society,1983
San Gabriel Mountains
The San Gabriel Mountains are a mountain range located in northern Los Angeles County and western San Bernardino County, United States. The mountain range is part of the Transverse Ranges and lies between the Los Angeles Basin and the Mojave Desert, with Interstate 5 to the west and Interstate 15 to the east. This range lies in, and is surrounded by, the Angeles National Forest, the highest peak in the range is Mount San Antonio, commonly referred to as Mt. Baldy. Mount Wilson is another peak, famed for the Mount Wilson Observatory. The observatory may be visited by the public, on October 10,2014, President Obama designated the area the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument. Much of the range features rolling peaks, the range lacks craggy features, but contains a large number of canyons and is generally very rugged and difficult to traverse. The San Gabriel Mountains are in effect a large block that was uplifted and dissected by numerous rivers. North of San Fernando, the San Gabriel Mountains crest abruptly up to almost 4,000 feet and Big Tujunga Canyons cut through the range just east of San Fernando, carrying runoff into the San Fernando Valley.
Little Tujunga Canyon Road bridges the range in area, connecting the San Fernando Valley to the Santa Clara River valley in the north. Towering over Big Tujunga Canyon north of Big Tujunga Reservoir is Mount Gleason, which at 6,502 feet, is the highest in this region of the San Gabriels. South of the gorge are the foothills of the mountains, which rise abruptly 4,000 feet above the Los Angeles Basin and give rise to the Arroyo Seco. Southeast of Big Tujunga Canyon, the front range of the San Gabriels gradually grows in elevation. On the north the range is dissected by the canyon of the West Fork San Gabriel River. On the north slopes of the San Gabriel crest, the ranks of mountains drop down incrementally to the floor of the Mojave Desert in a much more gradual manner than the sheer southern flank. The Angeles Crest Highway, one of the routes across the San Gabriels. Little Rock, Big Rock and Sheep Creeks drain off the part of the mountains. To the east, the San Andreas Fault cuts across the range, forming a series of long and narrow depressions, including Swarthout Valley, South of Mount San Antonio, San Antonio Creek drains the mountains, cutting the deep San Antonio Canyon.
However, there are several notable peaks in this region, including Telegraph Peak, at 8,985 feet, Cucamonga Peak, at 8,859 feet
Surface runoff is the flow of water that occurs when excess stormwater, meltwater, or other sources flows over the Earths surface. Surface runoff is a component of the water cycle. It is the agent in soil erosion by water. Runoff that occurs on the surface before reaching a channel is called a nonpoint source. If a nonpoint source contains man-made contaminants, or natural forms of pollution the runoff is called nonpoint source pollution, a land area which produces runoff that drains to a common point is called a drainage basin. When runoff flows along the ground, it can pick up soil contaminants including petroleum, surface runoff can be generated either by rainfall, snowfall or by the melting of snow, or glaciers. Snow and glacier melt occur only in areas cold enough for these to form permanently, typically snowmelt will peak in the spring and glacier melt in the summer, leading to pronounced flow maxima in rivers affected by them. The determining factor of the rate of melting of snow or glaciers is both air temperature and the duration of sunlight, in high mountain regions, streams frequently rise on sunny days and fall on cloudy ones for this reason.
In areas where there is no snow, runoff will come from rainfall, not all rainfall will produce runoff because storage from soils can absorb light showers. This occurs when the rate of rainfall on a surface exceeds the rate at which water can infiltrate the ground and this is called flooding excess overland flow, Hortonian overland flow, or unsaturated overland flow. This more commonly occurs in arid and semi-arid regions, where rainfall intensities are high and this occurs largely in city areas where pavements prevent water from flooding. When the soil is saturated and the depression storage filled, and rain continues to fall, the level of antecedent soil moisture is one factor affecting the time until soil becomes saturated. This runoff is called saturation excess overland flow or saturated overland flow, soil retains a degree of moisture after a rainfall. This residual water moisture affects the soils infiltration capacity, during the next rainfall event, the infiltration capacity will cause the soil to be saturated at a different rate.
The higher the level of antecedent soil moisture, the more quickly the soil becomes saturated, once the soil is saturated, runoff occurs. After water infiltrates the soil on a portion of a hill, the water may flow laterally through the soil. This is called subsurface return flow or throughflow, any remaining surface water eventually flows into a receiving water body such as a river, estuary or ocean. Urbanization increases surface runoff by creating more impervious surfaces such as pavement and it is instead forced directly into streams or storm water runoff drains, where erosion and siltation can be major problems, even when flooding is not
Ventura County, California
Ventura County is a county in the southern part of the U. S. state of California. As of the 2010 census, the population was 823,318, Ventura County comprises the Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is included in the Los Angeles-Long Beach, CA Combined Statistical Area. It is considered the southernmost county along the California Central Coast, Ventura County was historically inhabited by the Chumash people, who settled much of Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties, with their presence dating back 10, 000-12,000 years. The Chumash were hunter-gatherers and traders with the Mojave, the Chumash are known for their rock paintings and for their great basketry. Chumash Indian Museum in Thousand Oaks has several reconstructed Chumash houses and there are several Chumash pictographs in the county, the plank canoe, called a tomol in Chumash, was important to their way of life. Canoe launching points on the mainland for trade with the Chumash of the Channel Islands were located at the mouth of the Ventura River, Mugu Lagoon and this has led to speculations among archeologists of whether the Chumash could have had a pre-historic contact with Polynesians.
According to diachronic linguistics, certain words such as tomolo’o could be related to Polynesian languages, the dialect of the Chumash language that was spoken in Ventura County was Ventureño. Others include Point Mugu from the word Muwu, Saticoy from the word Sa’aqtiko’y, in October 1542, the expedition led by Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo anchored in an inlet near Point Mugu, its members were the first Europeans to arrive in the area that would become Ventura County. Active occupation of California by Spain began in 1769, gaspar de Portolà led a military expedition by land from San Diego to Monterey, passing through Ventura County in August of that year. A priest with the expedition, Father Juan Crespí, kept a journal of the trip and noted that the area was ideal for a mission to be established, on this expedition was Father Junípero Serra, who founded a mission on this site. On March 31,1782, the Mission San Buenaventura was founded by Father Serra and it is named after Saint Bonaventure, one of the early intellectual founders of the Franciscan Order.
The town that grew up around the mission, was originally and remains named San Buenaventura, in the 1790s, the Spanish Governor of California began granting land concessions to Spanish Californians who were often retiring soldiers. These concessions were known as ranchos and consisted of thousands of acres of land that were used primarily as ranch land for livestock, in Ventura County, Rancho Simi was granted in 1795 and Rancho El Conejo in 1802. Fernando Tico was granted Ojai and part of Ventura by Gov. Alvarado, California land that had been vested in the King of Spain was now owned by the nation of Mexico. By the 1830s, Mission San Buenaventura was in a decline with fewer neophytes joining the mission, the number of cattle owned by the mission dropped from first to fifteenth ranking in the California Missions. The missions were secularized by the Mexican government in 1834, the Mexican governors began granting land rights to Mexican Californians, often retiring soldiers. By 1846, there were 19 rancho grants in Ventura County, in 1836, Mission San Buenaventura was transferred from the Church to a secular administrator.
The natives who had been working at the mission left to work on the ranchos