Mitch O’Farrell in Garcetti office admits to ordering River island clearcutting, refuses to meet with interested members of the public.

According to TIM WARNER at
http://www.atwatervillage.org/forum/threads.php?id=1521_0_13_0_C:

“FYI [CD13 deputy Mitch O’Farrell] and a botanist from the Army Corps. of Engineers walked the islands a couple weeks ago and the botanist marked the Arundo and some other vegetation for removal so that when they come back shortly to remove the Arundo root systems they can minimize the intrusion. The money is coming from a grant. [Mitch O’Farrell] also said they looked for birds nests and other signs of wildlife at that time to make sure they would not disturb anything…

In a later post late Thursday night, TIM WARNER reported: “Mitch says the project should be over within two weeks and that he will not have time to have a meeting before then. Sorry I wish I had better news than that. He also said that crews have started cleaning up the debris and will continue to do so over the next couple days and that it will hopefully be gone before the FOLAR clean up [“La Gran Limpieza,” Friends of the L.A. River’s annual volunteer clean-up of the River, scheduled for Saturday, May 17].

“I asked if in the future the public can have more involvement and prior knowledge of such work or proposed work and he said he would be happy to talk to and include members of the public in the process. He did mention there is the possibility of some more projects in the near future for any of you interested in finding out more. His email is: Mitch.ofarrell@lacity.org

In a later post this morning, TIM WARNER wrote, “I walked down there this morning and the amount cleared out is surprising. I also saw that a lot of the debris is still there. I have been getting email responses so I will follow up and see what other info. I can get.”

This whole series of events is just nuts and reflects poorly on LA City Council District 13 councilman Eric Garcetti.

Eric Garcetti is a very smart guy, who I’ve voted for, who I’ve met, and who who I admire and respect — but he’s also been very busy in the last six months, what with holding the president’s chair at City Council and campaigning all over the place for Obama.

Somehow I doubt that Eric knows about what his deputy [Mitch O’Farrell] is up to here. I can’t believe Eric would approve of the high-handed way in which river users, naturalists and advocacy organizations are being treated by his office–even Friends of the L.A. River can’t get through to these people.

Just doesn’t make sense.

The River is a BIGGER than CD13. It is not even completely in CD13’s jurisdiction, it also falls under other city council districts, county supervisorial districts, and so on, up to and including the federal level (Army Corps of Engineers), etc.

No single office or government agency has power in the River; and to the degree that one entity has any power, it certainly does not include the right to unilaterally order the chainsaw clearcutting/destruction of habitat by untrained workers.

CD13 should not be going into the River and doing stuff on its own, or even in tandem with a single botanist from ACE. They don’t have the right to do so. This is not their River to do with as they please.

This is a power-grab. It needs to be stopped.

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One response to “Mitch O’Farrell in Garcetti office admits to ordering River island clearcutting, refuses to meet with interested members of the public.

  1. Pingback: weird stirrings in the micro-climate « the secret ingredient is water

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