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Los Angeles River Recreation Zones to Open on Memorial Day Without Kayaking

Fishing, bird watching, and walking in the two sections of the river managed by the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority in Elysian Valley and in the Sepulveda Basin in Encino are permitted beginning on Memorial Day, May 25, 2020−but no kayaking or in-water activities

LOS ANGELES (May 20, 2020) — The Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA) announced today that the Los Angeles River Recreation Zones in Elysian Valley and the Sepulveda Basin will open for the 2020 season–without kayaking or any other in-water activity.  The limited use of the river channel is due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

For the eighth year in a row, the L.A. River Recreation Zones will provide summer access to passively recreate and explore the Los Angeles River in two different parts of the river that are still in a natural state.  Activities include walking, fishing, and bird watching.  The River Recreation Zones are managed by the MRCA in coordination with the City of Los Angeles and Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell, the Army Corps of Engineers, and the County of Los Angeles.

“This pandemic is affecting every aspect of our lives, including how we spend our recreational time,” said Los Angeles City Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell, whose District includes Elysian Valley. “Although COVID-19 is limiting our access to water activities in the LA River this year, we can still enjoy the river environment while following physical distancing and other public health guidelines that protect ourselves and others.”

“This year, for everyone’s safety we cannot allow kayak or other boat access to the Los Angeles River,” said MRCA Chief Ranger, Fernando Gomez.   “No one–not individuals, nor organized groups, nor vendors–will be permitted to take a boat in the water this year. People will still be able to access the Recreation Zones to walk, bird watch, and fish, provided they comply with all public health orders and maintain a minimum physical distance of six feet from others, and wear a face covering.”

The two L.A. River Recreation Zones will be open from Memorial Day, May 25, 2020 through September 30, 2020. They will be patrolled by MRCA rangers. For more information visit the Los Angeles River Recreation Zone website at www.lariverrecreation.org

The Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority is a local public park agency dedicated to the preservation and management of open space, urban parkland, watershed lands, trails, and wildlife habitat.  The MRCA manages more than 75,000 acres of public parkland and provides natural resources and scientific expertise, critical regional planning services, operations, fire prevention and ranger services, as well as education and leadership programs for thousands of youth each year.  It is one of the lead agencies revitalizing the Los Angeles River.

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MRCA Parks and Trails Now Open

Parks and Trails Managed by the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority Now Open

LOS ANGELES (May 9, 2020) – The Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority announced today that it has opened most of its parks and trails to the public in accordance with the protocols set forth by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.  Parking lots and most restrooms are also open at all MRCA parks and trails. This follows an unprecedented period of closure since March 22, 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. All park users must wear a mask at all times.

The Los Angeles River Center and Gardens and the Jerome C. Daniel Overlook above Hollywood Bowl and all park buildings at all locations (excepting many public restrooms) remain closed.

The MRCA is asking for the public’s help in complying with these rules to keep parks and trails safe so that the parklands can stay open for respite and enjoyment during this public health emergency.

A list of the MRCA’s most popular parks can be found at this link on its website: https://mrca.ca.gov/parks/parklisting/.

The Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA) is a local government public entity dedicated to the preservation and management of open space and parkland, watershed lands, trails, and wildlife habitat. The MRCA works in cooperation with other government partners to acquire parkland, participate in vital planning processes, provide natural resources and scientific expertise, and complete major park improvement projects. The MRCA manages and provides ranger services and fire protection for almost 75,000 acres of parkland that it owns and that are owned by the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy or other agencies and provides comprehensive education and interpretation and leadership programs for youth. It is one of the lead agencies providing for the revitalization of the Los Angeles River.

Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority Opens Spectacular New 257-acre Parkland in Chatsworth Hills

Senator Henry Stern, LA County Supervisor Kathryn Barger dedicate Hidden Creeks, which was once slated for gated development

 CHATSWORTH, CA (February 21, 2020) — The Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA) announced today that it has acquired and opened to recreational use a new 257-acre park in Browns Canyon in unincorporated Los Angeles County in one of the most vibrant wildlife habitats in the southern Santa Susana Mountains. The stunning Hidden Creeks parkland—which had, as recently as last year, been proposed to be developed into a gated community of 188 luxury houses—is located at the confluence of Browns Creek and Mormon Creek, two miles north of the 118 Freeway.

The MRCA and Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy had actively pursued preservation of this exquisite coast live oak woodland, California walnut woodland, and gently sloping native and non-native grassland within the Santa Susana Mountains/Simi Hills Significant Ecological Area (SEA) since 2007.

Hidden Creeks is connected to over 11,000 contiguous acres of MRCA parkland, including 2,326-acre Michael D. Antonovich Regional Park at Joughin Ranch. The property provides a key migration corridor and perennial water source to a full complement of large mammals including black bear, mountain lion, mule deer, bobcat, American badger, grey fox, long-tailed weasel, ring-tailed cat, and the endangered California Condor.

“It was imperative that we protect this land and not allow the footprint of development in the San Fernando Valley to extend into core, irreplaceable habitat,” said Joseph T. Edmiston, Executive Director of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, which contributed $150,000 to the purchase. The vision of our State representatives, the California Wildlife Conservation Board, and Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger created the best possible outcome for the public.”

The California Wildlife Conservation Board granted $4.9 million in Proposition 68 funds toward the final purchase price of $6.7 million.

“The Wildlife Conservation Board (WCB) is proud to be a partner with the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy and the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority in the acquisition of the Hidden Creeks Ranch,” said John P. Donnelly, Executive Director of the Wildlife Conservation Board.   The continued ability to work with our partners in Southern California to provide wildlife-oriented recreation while preserving valuable wildlife corridors and biodiversity-rich landscapes, is something that WCB is honored to be a part of.”

Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger was an early and vociferous advocate for acquisition of the parkland which abuts the Aliso Canyon Natural Gas Storage Facility at Porter Ranch where a massive natural gas leak occurred in 2015. The Supervisor contributed $1.6 million in County funds, as well as unwavering support critical to preventing inappropriate development of the property.

“It is an honor to join so many partners and community members as we formally dedicate the Hidden Creeks property as permanent open space,” said Supervisor Barger. “This is a significant resource for our local neighbors, as well as for the vast wildlife who call this land home. I’m so proud that as a community, we worked collaboratively toward our shared vision and we can now enjoy this incredible space together.”

The public parkland will now permanently protect threatened and sensitive habitat and species and provide immediate access to recreational trails. Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation intends to develop its Green Ranch property just below Hidden Creeks with parking, restrooms, and equestrian facilities which will further public access to the new parkland.

“Southern California’s breathtaking open spaces are admired around the world— and they ensure that our precious wildlife can traverse a land they recognize as their own, said California State Senator Henry Stern.  “By protecting Hidden Creeks, we have chosen to treat our flora and fauna with the respect it deserves and prevented further urban development in high-risk fire areas.”

The Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA) is a local government public entity dedicated to the preservation and management of open space and parkland, watershed lands, trails, and wildlife habitat. The MRCA works in cooperation with other government partners to acquire parkland, participate in vital planning processes, provide natural resources and scientific expertise, and complete major park improvement projects. The MRCA manages and provides ranger services and fire protection for almost 75,000 acres of parkland that it owns and that are owned by the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy or other agencies and provides comprehensive education and interpretation and leadership programs for youth. It is one of the lead agencies providing for the revitalization of the Los Angeles River.

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Los Angeles River Recreation Zone Closed for the Season

Kayaking, fishing, and walking in the two sections of the river managed by the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority in Elysian Valley and at the Sepulveda Basin in Encino are not permitted until the next Recreation Zone Season commencing on Memorial Day, 2020

LOS ANGELES (September 29, 2019) — The Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA) announced today that the Los Angeles River Recreation Zones in Elysian Valley and the Sepulveda Basin have closed for the season.

For the seventh year in a row, the L.A. River Recreation Zones have provided summer access to recreate and explore the Los Angeles River in two different parts of the river that are still in a natural state.  Activities include steerable boating such as kayaking and canoeing, fishing and bird watching.  The River Recreation Zones are managed by the MRCA in coordination with the City of Los Angeles and Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell, the Army Corps of Engineers, and the County of Los Angeles.

“We look forward to opening again next Memorial Day,” said MRCA Chief Ranger, Fernando Gomez.  “We urge everyone to check out the website www.lariverrecreation.org to find out information about the program.”

The Sepulveda Basin Recreation Zone is a gentle, two-mile up river and back trip with braided channels, wildlife, and tranquil pools. Of the two Recreation Zones, the Sepulveda Basin offers easy paddling, and less natural obstacles.

The Elysian Valley kayak experience is a five mile one-way trip with braided channels and abundant wildlife in the middle of the city. The kayak experience includes strong currents and a few rapids.

In addition to managing the Recreation Zones, this summer the MRCA continued its tradition of working with local nonprofits such as Community Nature Connection, Mujeres de la Tierra, and Los Angeles Conservation Corps to provide free trips to underserved youth and adults.

The Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority is a local public park agency dedicated to the preservation and management of open space, urban parkland, watershed lands, trails, and wildlife habitat.  The MRCA manages more than 75,000 acres of public parkland and provides natural resources and scientific expertise, critical regional planning services, operations, fire prevention and ranger services, as well as education and leadership programs for thousands of youth each year.  It is one of the lead agencies revitalizing the Los Angeles River.

Brian Baldauf Named Chief of Watershed Planning

The Seasoned Planner Will Lead Regional “River Green” Effort to Promote Water, Wildlife, and Recreation throughout the Waterways of the Upper Los Angeles River Watershed

Los Angeles (September 25, 2019) – The Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA) announced today that Brian Baldauf has been named the Chief of Watershed Planning for the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA). Mr. Baldauf, who has nearly 20 years’ experience working in watershed planning, urban park development, open space conservation, and, previously, in environmental and brownfield restoration, will  lead the MRCA’s watershed planning efforts throughout the Los Angeles River and tributaries.

In his seven years at the MRCA, Brian has been involved in a diverse range of watershed planning projects including the Elysian Valley Bikeway, Pacoima Wash Greenway-El Dorado Park, development of the Los Angeles River Recreation Districts, the Safe Routes to the River Plan, and regional efforts such as the Park to Playa Regional Trail and the Upper Los Angeles River and Tributaries Revitalization Plan that will be completed during early 2020.

Recognized for his successful collaborations with other government agencies and partner organizations, Brian will continue to lead the MRCA’s effort to create public parkland on the 12.5-acre easement at Taylor Yard-G2, located between Bowtie State Park and the City of Los Angeles’ G2 site.

Previously, Brian has served as the Acting Chief of Park Development / Deputy Chief of Park Development managing the MRCA’s Workprogram to develop new park and open space projects throughout the Greater Los Angeles Region, and as a project manager on many projects developed by the MRCA. Prior to the MRCA, Brian was a Construction Manager and Landscape Designer at the urban forestry non-profit organization North East Trees, and helped to construct the Glendale Narrows Riverwalk Phase I in Glendale, CA. Brian received his Masters in Landscape Architecture from California State Polytechnic University at Pomona and is also a Certified Arborist by the International Society of Arboriculture. Prior to graduate school, Brian worked for nearly a decade in environmental consulting to characterize and remediate brownfield sites under Federal, State, and local regulatory agency review. He directed multiple types of cleanup sites including extraction systems, chemical treatment, excavation, and phytoremediation from identification to regulatory closure.

The Chief of Watershed Planning oversees MRCA’s long range planning efforts to ensure that new projects and regulations in the Los Angeles area reflect the agency’s mission to protect open space, wildlife habitat, and parkland that is easily accessible to the public. In particular, the Chief is responsible for keeping the natural resources of the Los Angeles River and its tributaries, and other urban waterways, as an important criterion to consider at all stages of regional planning processes. All development and planning framework that affects these areas should also increase the region’s resiliency to the impacts of climate change, benefit all communities, and contribute toward equity. Planning for the region’s waterway corridors should also aim to connect with the wildlife and trail corridors that exist in the surrounding mountains.

The Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA) is a local government public entity dedicated to the preservation and management of open space and parkland, watershed lands, trails, and wildlife habitat.  The MRCA works in cooperation with other government partners to acquire parkland, participate in vital planning processes, provide natural resources and scientific expertise, and complete major park improvement projects. The MRCA manages and provides ranger services and fire protection for almost 75,000 acres of parkland that it owns and that are owned by the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy or other agencies and provides comprehensive education and interpretation and leadership programs for youth. It is one of the lead agencies providing for the revitalization of the Los Angeles River.

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LA City Councilmember Bob Blumenfield Introduces Motion to Bring MRCA Ranger Patrol to LA River in Canoga Park

LOS ANGELES, CA – Los Angeles City Councilmember Bob Blumenfield introduced a new initiative to
revolutionize environmental and law enforcement along the headwaters of the LA River by
establishing a pilot program giving authority for the area to the Mountains Recreation and
Conservation Authority (MRCA). Currently the River is a confluence of jurisdictions which has led to
a number of difficult to resolve environmental and quality-of-life issues. Blumenfield’s plan aims to
cut the immense red tape and bureaucratic hurdles that currently exist around solving these issues
and improve the environment and safety of the area.

“The status quo around how we handle issues along the LA River is broken,” said Blumenfield. “I’m tired of the finger pointing around who is responsible for what and the time is now to bring in the MRCA, an organization that is tested, trusted, and perfectly suited to help resolve the complex, multi-jurisdictional problems we are facing.”

As an established, trusted joint powers entity, the MRCA would have full enforcement capabilities that cross jurisdictions. The MRCA would take responsibility for the river environment in this pilot program to patrol the area, enforce relevant ordinances, ensure safety, assist with maintenance and operations, reduce hazards, offer interpretation and educational resources to the public, provide outreach to unsheltered individuals in the area, and ensure that the river is an amenity for the local community. As a Joint Powers Authority agency whose Rangers are Sworn California Peace Officers with swift water rescue, Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), naturalist, and wildland firefighter training, MRCA Rangers can contract to work on all areas of the river regardless of which governmental entity has ownership for a particular area.

“MRCA Rangers are well-trained and especially suited to working with the urban-parkland interface,” said Chief Ranger Fernando Gomez. “We are very good at dealing with issues like homelessness and promoting safe recreation.”

For the last seven years MRCA Rangers have supervised and patrolled the Los Angeles River Recreation Zone, which allows kayaking, hiking, and fishing in the Los Angeles River in two designated areas of the river–one in Elysian Valley and one in the Sepulveda Basin from Memorial Day to the end of September. They have also been responsible for patrol of MRCA parks along the river and in the other 75,000 acres of MRCA-managed public parkland in Southern California.

The Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA) is a local government public entity dedicated to the preservation and management of open space and parkland, watershed lands, trails, and wildlife habitat.  The MRCA works in cooperation with other government partners to acquire parkland, participate in vital planning processes, provide natural resources and scientific expertise, and complete major park improvement projects. The MRCA manages and provides ranger services and fire protection for almost 75,000 acres of parkland that it owns and that are owned by the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy or other agencies and provides comprehensive education and interpretation and leadership programs for youth. It is one of the lead agencies providing for the revitalization of the Los Angeles River.

Envison Confluence Park

Come learn and help design the new Confluence Park in Elysian Valley.  Join us on July 10, 2019 at the Los Angeles River Center and Gardens 6-8 pm.

Confluence Meeting July 19

Confluence Park - Spanish flyer

Learn More about Los Angeles River Revitalization and Share Your Views

The Upper Los Angeles River & Tributaries Revitalization Plan will kick off informational community meetings and provide an opportunity to provide feedback toward reimagining your river, creeks, and streams. We will begin a series of four meetings throughout the upper LA River watershed starting:

March 13, 2019, 6-8 PM
Location: Discovery Cube
11800 Foothill Blvd
Sylmar, CA 91342

Established by State legislation in 2017, the Upper Los Angeles River and Tributaries Revitalization Plan  was developed to ensure that communities most impacted by the River are engaged and help inform the Revitalization Plan. The goals for this process include: prioritizing engagement of disadvantaged communities while addressing the unique and diverse needs of the Upper Los Angeles River, the tributaries and creating opportunities that help communities realize the value of the River and its connected tributaries.

Attend one of four meetings to be part of an exciting and engaging opportunity to plan for the future of your community! Family friendly activities and venues, entry is free and all are welcome to attend.  Light snacks and refreshments will be provided.

Additional meetings will be held:

March 20, 2019, 6:30-8:30 PM
Location: Los Angeles Zoo
Witherbee Auditorium
5333 Zoo Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90027

April 4, 2019, 6-8 PM
Location: Kidspace Children’s
Museum, 480 N Arroyo Blvd
Pasadena, CA 91103

April 9, 2019, 6-8 PM
Location: Rose Goldwater
Community Center
21710 Vanowen Street
Canoga Park, CA 91303

RSVP: https://www.upperlariver.org/

We look forward to seeing you then. Should you have any questions, please contact river@smmc.ca.gov.

 

Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority Parks Opens Parks Previously Closed by the Woolsey Fire

CALABASAS, CA (January 30, 2019) — The Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA) announced today that it has opened all but one of the parks that had been previously closed by conditions related to the November 2018 Woolsey Fire.

The MRCA has cleared hazardous conditions from the parks and open space.  In addition, in order to assure public safety, the MRCA has conducted  limited radiological analysis of soils in Upper Las Virgenes Canyon Open Space Preserve and other MRCA areas which determined that the fire had not increased the low-level concentrations of radionuclides that are generally consistent with normal background levels.

As always, trail users should exercise caution in the open space, and not venture off established trails so that plants and wildlife can recover from the fire aftermath.

The following parks managed by the MRCA that were previously closed are now open to the public:

Previously Closed and Now Open to the Public:

Cameron Nature Preserve at Puerco Canyon

Corral Canyon Park – Sara Wan Trailhead

Escondido Canyon Park

Fran Pavley Meadow

Las Virgenes View Trail

Liberty Canyon Trailhead

Seminole Overlook

Triunfo Creek Park

Upper Las Virgenes Canyon Open Space Preserve (formerly Ahmanson Ranch)

Zev Yaroslavsky Las Virgenes Highlands Park

The following park managed by the MRCA remains closed until further notice:

Charmlee Wilderness Park

All other parks, open space and trails managed by the MRCA are open to the public.

The Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA) is a local government public entity dedicated to the preservation and management of open space and parkland, watershed lands, trails, and wildlife habitat. The MRCA works in cooperation with other government partners to acquire parkland, participate in vital planning processes, provide natural resources and scientific expertise, and complete major park improvement projects. The MRCA manages and provides ranger services and fire protection for almost 75,000 acres of parkland that it owns and that are owned by the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy or other agencies and provides comprehensive education and interpretation and leadership programs for youth. It is one of the lead agencies providing for the revitalization of the Los Angeles River.

 

Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority Receives 226-acre Donation of Prime Wildlife Linkage Near Interstate 5 West of Castaic Lake

The now permanently protected parkland is a major viewshed between the mountains and the Santa Clarita Valley enjoyed by motorists on a two-mile stretch of both the north and southbound sides of the freeway

 

CASTAIC, CALIFORNIA (January 2, 2019)—The Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA) announced today that it had taken title to a significant donation of 226 acres of prime open space in north Los Angeles County near Castaic Lake in the scenic canyon that separates the south and north-bound lanes of Interstate 5 (I-5) as the freeway descends into the Santa Clarita Valley.  The property is part of a habitat linkage that allows wildlife to move under I-5 between the Los Padres and Angeles National Forests. The donation is one of the largest in the history of the MRCA.

 

“Interstate 5 creates an over 30-mile-long wildlife movement barrier across the mountains between the Santa Clarita Valley and the beginning of the Grapevine,” said Paul Edelman, MRCA Chief of Natural Resources and Planning.  “The donation land is vital for animals to safely cross that I-5 barrier because it leads into existing wildlife under-crossings.   This will also set the stage for conservation of additional land to the north.”

 

The donor, Neil Nadler, had owned the property for over twenty years and had developed plans for a business park and motocross tracks on most of the land.  However, biologists told him he needed to leave ample space for the wildlife corridor to the north.  Officially, the property is part of the Sierra Madre-Castaic Connection identified in the 2005 South Coast Missing Linkages Project.   Known as Marple Canyon, the property supports a mix of riparian vegetation types along a windy creek bed.  The slopes support grassland and coastal sage scrub. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife designates the property as part of an area with High Conservation Value.

 

” I am pleased and honored to be able to conserve this important portion of the Sierra Madre-Castaic wildlife linkage,” said Nadler. “Being an environmental advocate who understands how costly wildlife corridors can be, I’m especially grateful that I am in the position in my life to give back to our fragile ecosystem.  I also want to thank Kristeen Penrod of South Coast Wildlands, and the other scientists who helped me over the last 23 years understand the Marple Canyon’s highest and best use is for everyone to appreciate the beauty and function as a critical element in wildlife movement.”

 

Two years ago, Nadler helped the MRCA purchase an adjacent seven-acre parcel that contains a tunnel heavily used by wildlife beneath the south-bound lanes of I-5 and that allow animals to reach the new parkland.

 

The MRCA will name the new parkland for Nadler.

 

The Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA) is a local government public entity dedicated to the preservation and management of open space and parkland, watershed lands, trails, and wildlife habitat. The MRCA works in cooperation with other government partners to acquire parkland, participate in vital planning processes, provide natural resources and scientific expertise, and complete major park improvement projects. The MRCA manages and provides ranger services and fire protection for almost 75,000 acres of parkland that it owns and that are owned by the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy or other agencies and provides comprehensive education and interpretation and leadership programs for youth. It is one of the lead agencies providing for the revitalization of the Los Angeles River.

Map of Nadler 226 Acre Donation

Contact:
Dash Stolarz
dash.stolarz@mrca.ca.gov
323-221-9944 X198