Click HERE for a Regional Trail Map of the Basin (13.26MB pdf file) – Click HERE for a local trail map of the Wildlife Reserve

DIRECTIONS TO THE WILDLIFE RESERVE and MAIN TRAIL
Turn north from Burbank Blvd. (or south from Victory Blvd.) onto Woodley Ave., which is mile west of the San Diego Freeway (I-405). Travel about mile to the sign for the Wildlife Reserve (and Japanese Gardens). Turn east onto Wildlife Way, a park road. Bear right at the immediate fork in the road and go east mile to the Wildlife Reserve parking on your left. The Wildlife Reserve is to the south...follow the trail down from the restrooms area. To use online mapping programs, use 6100 Woodley Avenue, and that will take you to the park road (“Wildlife Way”) leading to the Wildlife Reserve’s parking lot at the road’s east end. Park in the lot, then walk south past the monumental rocks and restroom building to the amphitheater. Follow the trail leading from the "stonehenge" restroom/amphitheatre area south towards the entrance to the Wildlife Reserve.
You can walk all the way down to the LA River, but if you do (the trail leads through a tunnel under Burbank Blvd.) be sure to go with another person.

 

 
 
January 4, 2015, 8am-11:30am (Sunday)
Sepulveda Basin Bird Walk
First Sunday, monthly. Meet at 8:00 a.m. Directions: Exit the San Diego Freeway (I-405) on Burbank Blvd.
Go west about 1/2 mile to the first possible right turn, Woodley Ave. Turn north (right) on Woodley.
Travel about 1/2 mile to the second possible right turn (at sign for the Water Reclamation Plant and Japanese Garden).
Turn and go east about 1/2 mile to Wildlife Area parking at the end of the road. Look for people with binoculars.
For more info, call 747-444-9683. Sponsored by San Fernando Valley Audubon Society.



January 10, 2015, 9am-11am (Saturday)
BIRD WALKS FOR FAMILIES AND BEGINNERS
Come on out for a fun bird walk at Sepulveda Basin! These popular walks are designed for beginning birders and school-age children. Directions: Exit the San Diego Freeway (I-405) on Burbank Blvd. Go west about one-half mile to Woodley Avenue and turn right (north). Travel about one-half mile to the second possible right turn (at sign for the Water Reclamation Plant and Japanese Garden). Turn right and go east about one-half mile to Wildlife Area parking at the end of the road. Meet across the road from the parking lot at the low buildings. Leader(s): Muriel Kotin, (310) 457-5796 or Diana Keeney, (818) 998-3216. Reservations are not needed except for large groups. Rain cancels. Please visit our website www.sfvaudubon.org.



January 27, 2015 (Tuesday)
6:30 - 9:00pm Meeting
Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Area Steering Committee Meeting
Public Welcome

Recreation & Parks, Valley Region Headquarters
6335 Woodley Avenue, Van Nuys, CA 91406
 
 
 
 
About this Website
 
SBWASC Mission Statement
 
     
 
 
This website is sponsored by the Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Areas Steering Committee (SBWASC) that has been meeting monthly since June 1990. The purpose of the Committee is to advise the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks concerning the operation, maintenance, and improvement of the existing wildlife areas and any future expansion thereof. The Committee may also make recommendations on matters concerning flora, fauna, and other natural resources in other areas within the Sepulveda Basin, such as the Los Angeles River and its tributaries, park land, and open spaces.

The membership of the Committee is comprised of organizations with a demonstrated interest in flora, fauna, and other natural resources within the Sepulveda Basin. See the bottom of this page to see the logos of the member organizations and other affiliated agencies, or click the tab at the top of the page.

Minutes of the SBWASC can be found here.

Regular meetings of the Committee are held every other month generally on the fourth Tuesday at 6:30pm, at the Valley Region Headquarters of the Dept. of Recreation and Parks, 6335 Woodley Avenue, Van Nuys, CA 91406. See “Upcoming Events” on this page for next meeting.

DIRECTIONS TO THE WILDLIFE RESERVE and MAIN TRAIL

Turn north from Burbank Blvd. (or south from Victory Blvd.) onto Woodley Ave., which is mile west of the San Diego Freeway (I-405). Travel about mile to the sign for the Wildlife Reserve (and Japanese Gardens).
Turn east onto Wildlife Way, a park road.

Bear right at the immediate fork in the road and go east mile to the Wildlife Reserve parking on your left. The Wildlife Reserve is to the south...follow the trail down from the restrooms area.

To use online mapping programs, use 6100 Woodley Avenue, and that will take you to the park road (“Wildlife Way”) leading to the Wildlife Reserve’s parking lot at the road’s east end.

Park in the lot, then walk south past the monumental rocks and restroom building to the amphitheater.
Follow the trail leading from the "stonehenge" restroom/amphitheatre area south towards the entrance to the Wildlife Reserve.

You can walk all the way down to the LA River, but if you do (the trail leads through a tunnel under Burbank Blvd.) be sure to go with another person.

Click HERE for A Regional Trail Map of the Basin (13.26MB pdf file)
Click HERE for a local trail map of the Wildlife Reserve
RULES AND REGULATIONS
The “Public Recreational Use Plan Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Area” was signed and agreed to in 1987 by the City of Los Angeles, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the State of California Department of Fish and Game (copy attached). The “Public Access and Use” section (beginning on Page 6) provides, in part, as follows:

"Therefore the following rules and/or regulations will be enforced within the Wildlife Area by City park rangers and City police. These rules will be incorporated in appropriate public use information signs and posted at the entrance and appropriate locations with the wildlife area.

1. Public use shall be allowed on the Wildlife Area during daylight hours only.

2. Camping, open fires, and the use of gas cooking stoves on the Wildlife Area is prohibited.

3. All visitors shall remain on the designated trail. There will be no public access to the east side of the wildlife lake to prevent disturbance to wildlife.

4. Bicycles, skateboards, or rollerskating will not be allowed in the Wildlife Area.

5. No person shall drive, operate, leave or stop any motor vehicle, off-road vehicle, or tractor in the Wildlife Management Area except for maintenance vehicles.

6. No person shall swim, wade, or dive within the Wildlife Area.

7. No person shall launch or operate a boat or other floating device within the Wildlife Area.

8. No person shall disturb or take any bird, nest, or eggs thereof, or any plant, mammal, fish, mollusk, crustacean, amphibian, reptile or any other form of plant or animal within the Wildlife Area.

9. No person shall possess, fire or discharge any firearm, bow and arrow, air or gas gun, spear gun, or any other weapon of any kind within or into the Wildlife Area.

10. Individual user permits will not be required; however, a visitor sign-in booth will be located at the entrances and will be maintained by the City.

11. All commercial activities are prohibited on the Wildlife Area. Large organizational groups of over 50 people will require prior Parks and Recreation (City) approval before use of the Wildlife Area.

12. The release of any fish or wildlife species, domestic or domesticated species, or the introduction of any plant species, is prohibited.

13. The feeding of wildlife is prohibited.

14. Pets, including dogs, cats and horses are prohibited from entering the Wildlife Area."
 

.

The mission of the Committee shall be to oversee, in its advisory capacity, the wildlife refuge areas and other areas of present or potential natural value within the Sepulveda Basin, as well as to support policies and programs that ensure their long-term preservation, protection, and enhancement.

Article 3, Section 63.44 of the Los Angeles Municipal Code contains Regulations Affecting Park and Recreation Areas.  63.44 B-2 mandates that all dogs be on a leash less than 6 feet long, B-10 prohibits bows or crossbows, B-11 prohibits the take/seizure/hunting of all birds/animals/fish, B-12 bans the removal of wood/plants/rocks/soil, B-13 makes it illegal to deface any property (including plants), B-14 prohibits all loitering between 10:30 PM and 5:00 AM, B-16 prohibits all human or motor powered vehicles (except on trails or roads specifically for that purpose), B-17 bans all fires, B-19 prohibits littering, B-21 bans firearms.

PHONE NUMBERS

PARK POLICE

213-978-4670
for non-emergency problems
(dogs off leash, fishing, hunting, off trail hiking)

PARK RANGERS

323-644-6661

PUBLIC SAFETY
LAPD

877-ASK-LAPD
or
818-374-7611
 (west valley police station)

For Illegal Fishing or Hunting
Cal Tip Hotline (Dept. of Fish & Game)
888-334-2258
a recording will come on and give you a menu. PRESS ZERO for the operator and the operator will ask for the "violation in progress" and your location and transfer you to the applicable Fish and Game division department. State that Warden Kory Collins is in charge of the area and should be notified of the problem.

LA City Animal Services West Valley
818-756-9325 and 818-756-9356

California Wildlife Center
310-456-9453 or 818-222-2658

 

Current Postings and Recent Issues

Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Areas Steering Committee receives "Hero of the Los Angeles River" Certificate of Commendation from Paul Koretz, Councilmember 5th District

 

Above left, Certificate reads "On the occasion of the first Los Angeles River Day, the City of Los Angeles salutes you for your tireless work and stewardship of the Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Area, the adjoining river, and the creatures which inhabit it. It is efforts likey yours which make Los Angeles a better, more verdant, more livable city for all." Above right, Steve Hartman of the California Native Plant Society, one of the Steering Committee's founding members, accepts the Commendation on behalf of the Committee during the ceremony at City Hall on June 4, 2014.

(Above) With three rapidly growing chicks and mom trying to fit in a small nest this year, we had our first chick leave the nesting tree
and explore several surrounding trees for a perch with a little more room to stretch.


Great Horned Owl Nesting in the Wildlife Reserve

(Above) Images dated March 12, 2014 provided by Pat Bates of San Fernando Valley Audubon Society. Nest is in cottonwood tree near north entrance to Wildlife Reserve.

L.A. Regional Water Board Files Notice of Intent to Sue U.S. Army Corps of
Engineers for Water Quality Violations
 
Cites Violations of Federal Clean Water Act at Verdugo Wash and Sepulveda Basin
 
The Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board (Los Angeles Water Board) has issued a 60-day notice of intent to sue the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Army Corps) for two unauthorized dredge and fill operations in Los Angeles County that violated the federal Clean Water Act and the California Porter-Cologne Water Quality Control Act.
The Water Board is being represented in the matter by the California Attorney General's office.

Click
HERE to read more.

Click HERE to read the entire Finding of No Significant Impact for the Vegetation Management plan.

Click
HERE to read the letter sent to ACOE by the Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Areas Steering Committee.
Click
HERE to read the ACOE's response to the SBWASC letter.
Click
HERE to see ACOE's web page about this issue.
Click
HERE to read Daily News article about clear cutting of South Reserve.
Click
HERE to read L.A. Times article "Army Corps of Engineers clear-cuts lush habitat in Valley", HERE to read follow-up article.
Click
HERE to view YouTube video about the destruction.
Click
HERE and HERE to see Encino Patch articles with additional photos.
Click
HERE to read letter from San Fernando Valley Audubon Society about clear cut.
Click
HERE to read KCET blog by Carren Jao.
Click
HERE to read letter from State Senator Fran Pavley.
Click
HERE to read letter from State Senator Luis de Leon.
Click
HERE to view video entitled "Wildlife Refuge Meets Army Corps of Engineers" by a concerned citizen.
Click
HERE to read an editorial by Charles Miller on the KCET blog.
Click
HERE to read story in the LA Weekly.
Click
HERE to read Congressman Brad Sherman's letter to Colonel Toy.
Regional Water Board Investigation - click
HERE for Encino Patch article.
Click
HERE to read NRDC blog by David Pettit
Click
HERE for Jan 13 update on the Sepulveda Wildlife Reserve.
Click
HERE for Feb. 12 update by Army Corps of Engineers

Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board
Click
HERE to read Investigative Order by Regional Water Board
Click
HERE to read Water Board Additional Request (with images)
Click
HERE for link to Army Corp Response (Cover Letter and Engineering Technical Report)
San Fernando Valley Audubon Society's COMMENTS in regards to the USACE Technical Report,
which was their response to the LARWQCB Investigative Order R4-2013-0001

Click
HERE to read the Ad Hoc River Committee Report to the LA City Feb. 25, 2013


 

On March 19, 2013 the City Council passed the Sepulveda Basin habitat destruction motion authored by Councilmember Jan Perry. 
Click here to view the video clip, scroll down to Item 6. 
Here are the adopted recommendations:
 
ITEM NO. (6) 13-0024
AD HOC RIVER COMMITTEE REPORT relative to the eradication and loss of habitats in the San Fernando Valley Sepulveda Basin.

Recommendations for Council action, as initiated by Motion (Perry - LaBonge):
 
1.   INSTRUCT the Bureau of Sanitation and Planning Department, in coordination with the Chief Legislative Analyst (CLA), and in consultation with the City Attorney, the United States Corps of Engineers, the Audubon Society, Friends of the Los Angeles River, and any other pertinent entity, to prepare a report that explains the recent loss of 43 acres of bird, mammal, and reptile habitat in the San Fernando Valley's Sepulveda Basin without preparation of an Environmental Impact Report.
 
2.   INSTRUCT the Bureau of Sanitation and Planning Department to include in the report if any endangered species were compromised, and whether there will be any detrimental impacts to air quality, and if any improvements were paid for with public funds or charitable contributions, and information as to which departments, if any, are responsible for overseeing projects that the Federal government is involved within City boundaries.
 
3.   REQUEST the Commander of the Los Angeles District of the Army Corps, to present to the City Council their Vegetation Management Plan as well as a summary of additional community input they receive from follow-up meetings, and the results of the investigation of the loss of the 43 acres habitat.
 
4.   REQUEST the Army Corps to work with the Bureau of Sanitation to come up with a collaborative agreement that meets the Army Corps' needs, the community’s concerns, and addresses the Regional Water Quality Board’s requests. 
 
 5.   DIRECT the Bureau of Sanitation to act as the City lead, to provide support so that all interested parties can create a well received next phase mitigation plan.
 
6.   REQUEST the Army Corps and the Bureau of Sanitation to come back with a plan within four to five months and provide a status report on the coordinated effort.

VIDEOS
Click
HERE to view a "before" and "after" video of the Sepulveda Wildlife Reserve south.
Click
HERE for part 1 and HERE for part 2 of Jan 13 Sierra Club video hike through "cleared" area.

Click
HERE to find out about the history and wildlife of what used to be the South Reserve.

Click HERE to visit the San Fernando Valley Audubon Society's web site that has recommendations as to who to send comments, and other links.
 

 

Wildlife Sightings and Photo Links

January 14, 2014 A Bald Eagle was seen over Lake Balboa (Daniel Tinoco).

January 5, 2014 Kris Ohlenkamp observed a Swamp Sparrow.

November 29, 2013 A Tennessee Warbler was seen at the Sepulveda Basin. Also seen was an American Redstart (Jim Royer).

Turkey Vulture (below)
Photo by Armando Paniagua, Lake Balboa resident, Nov. 15, 2013.


November 10, 2013
One or two Mountain Bluebirds were seen at Lake Balboa (Daniel Tinoco)

October 24-November 3, 2013
A rare Red-throated Pipit – the second in LA County this fall was at the Sepulveda Basin (David Bell).

October 25, 2013
A returning Ash-throated Flycatcher was at Sepulveda Basin.

October 24, 2013 Cackling Geese
were seen on Woodley Golf Course (Irwin Woldman)

October 23, 2013 Northern "Yellow-shafted" Flickers
at the Wildlife Reserve (Georgia Doyle, Linda Elkin)

September 26, 2013
Rare on the coastal slope was a Prairie Falcon that overflew the Sepulveda Basin in Van Nuys (Mike Stensvold).

August 24, 2013 Unusual more than a short distance from the immediate coast was a Brown Pelican at Lake Balboa (Mike Stensvold).
This sighting coincided with reports of several others well inland in southern California, but away from the Salton Sea where they are common.

July 28, 2013 A Willow Flycatcher in suitable breeding habitat along the LA River in the Sepulveda Basin on July 28 (Jon Fisher) was interesting but probably an early
migrant as it was soon followed by others elsewhere in the county.

July 23–31, 2013 Cackling Goose was at the Sepulveda Basin in Van Nuys by Kate Rogowski.

July 22, 2013 Lynda Elkin observed an Indigo Bunting at Lake Balboa.

March 12, 2012 Steve Hartman observed a dark-form pealei  Peregrine Falcon perched on a cottonwood on the island in the North Reserve in the Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Reserve. Confirming the sighting and providing the subspecies was Jean Brandt and Phil Sayre.

February 26, 2012
Found at least nine Wilson's Snipes around the Los Angeles River, South of Burbank Blvd. at the Sepulveda Basin [very close to the Sepulveda Dam].
At the same area, a White-tailed Kite flew-over at 3:30 PM. There were also two Red-tailed Hawks, one adult Cooper's Hawk, and one Turkey Vulture.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/33691985@N08/sets/72157629464086063/detail/
Submitted by Alexander Viduetsky



December 2011
Steve Hartman photographed the above Wood Duck at the Wildlife Lake.


On December 9, P-A. Fortin from Quebec, Canada, photographed a pelican with a red tag that might read 3C3 or 3C9. In November of 2012, pelican with red tag was seen again.

December 9, 2011 in the afternoon two immature Bonaparte's Gulls were seen at Lake Balboa in Encino.  At the Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Reserve
10+ White Pelicans were spotted on and around the island. In the fields (at 4:30PM),  one female Northern Harrier, one American Kestrel and one
Cooper's Hawk were seen. You may view photos of the Bonaparte's Gulls and some other species here:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/33691985@N08/sets/72157628355030923/detail/
Submitted by Alexander Viduetsky


November 6, 2011 between 11 AM and 1 PM, six American White Pelicans flew over the Sepulveda Wildlife Reserve.
Witnessed an aerial duel between a Kestrel and a Sharp-shinned Hawk. There was no winner in that
dog-fight, the two raptors harassed each other for a minute and then just parted their ways. 
http://www.flickr.com/photos/33691985@N08/sets/72157628069917944/detail/
Submitted by Alexander Viduetsky

Early November Steve Hartman (and others) saw a White-tailed Kite perched on a cottonwood tree near the Wildlife Lake.

October 31, 2011
A Vesper Sparrow was feeding in a small newly plowed area just east of the Wildlife Area Lake. On October 30, 2011
the other Vesper Sparrow continued at its spot by the river. Also, a Cassin's Vireo was in the trees west of the cricket practice field bathrooms
and a Red-breasted Sapsucker has set-up sap wells in the ash trees near the Wildlife Area's north entrance.
Submitted by Scott Logan

October 29, 2011 Visited for a few hours in the Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Reserve in the evening. I observed a fly-over the lake a group of eight White Pelicans
at 5:30 PM. They were circling above the wildlife reserve lake for a few minutes, considering landing but I haven't seen them land. Perhaps all those
illegal fishermen scared them away. It's very sad how many people with fishing rods were present around the whole perimeter of the lake bluntly
ignoring all those "NO FISHING" posts. Seems like nobody enforces the law at the wildlife reserve. 
According to the eBird, the last sighting of White Pelicans at the Sepulveda Wildlife Reserve (prior to the today's) was on March 29, 2011. 
I took a short video of White Pelicans that I uploaded via youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xsQBHLZWXpI&feature=mfu_in_order&list=UL
And here's one of my today's pictures: http://www.flickr.com/photos/33691985@N08/6293883162/in/photostream/lightbox
Submitted by Alexander Viduetsky

September 24, 2011 Steve Hartman spotted a group of what were likely Vaux swifts. Silhouette above is from photo Steve took with his iPhone.

September 23, 2011 I re-found the Orange Bishop at Sepulveda Basin - South from Burbank Blvd. (along LA river between Sepulveda Dam and
Burbank Blvd). It's a very handsome bird indeed. By the way, I just received the newest issue of the Birding journal (a
publication by the American Birding Association), which has a very interesting article written by Kimball Garrett about exotic birds of
California. If you are interested in those birds, that's the article for you.
The links to some of my today's photos of the Bishop, etc: 
http://www.flickr.com/photos/33691985@N08/sets/72157627613133405/detail/
and a slide-show:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/33691985@N08/sets/72157627613133405/show/

Submitted by Alexander Viduetsky

September 22, 2011 Baird's Sandpiper in the LA River in the Sepulveda Basin (Scott Logan)

September 21-22, 2011 Palm Warbler at the Sepulveda Basin (Danial Tinoco)

September 18, 2011 Summer Tanager (Scott Logan)

August 9-12, 2011 Black Skimmer at Lake Balboa (Kate Rogowski)

July 14, 2011
Loggerhead Shrike (Scott Logan). This species used to be common in the Basin but it is now rarely seen,
only breeding regionally in the deserts and the northwest LA county.

July 6, 2011
Least Bell's Vireo seen and heard. Click HERE for link to YouTube video to hear the vireos. (Steve Hartman and Kris Ohlenkamp)

May 14, 2011
Elegant Tern in the Sepulveda Basin  (Jon Fisher)

April 10, 2011
Yellow-headed Blackbirds at Lake Balboa (Kate Rogowski).

March 10
, 2011 At least seven Eared Grebes at Lake Balboa in Van Nuys in the late afternoon. They appeared to be in various stages between
non-breeding and breeding plumages.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/33691985@N08/5538930065/lightbox/

Submitted by Alexander Viduetsky

December 5
  Broad-winged Hawk Continues [In Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Reserve, first reported 12/4/10 as light juvenile 1st year Broad-winged Hawk
by Susan Gilliland]: The hawk continues in the area NE of Burbank and Woodley. It has been moving from the edge of Woodley as far east as the tree line
along the stream. Submitted by Todd McGrath

December 4, 2010 - between 1:00 PM and 2:30 PM, I was trying to locate the swan at Lake Balboa that was reported earlier. I haven't found it.  However,
I did see and photograph a Common Loon on the lake. Here's the photo:
http://picasaweb.google.com/alikoster/LakeBalboa#slideshow/5547061786640313266
Submitted by Alexander Viduetsky

On November 7, 2010 I visited Lake Balboa where I found - thanks to all prior postings - at least two maybe three Common Loons and a number of Eared
Grebes
. You may view some of my today's photos here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/33691985@N08/sets/72157625335841406/detail/
or a slide-show: http://www.flickr.com/photos/33691985@N08/sets/72157625335841406/show/ . Submitted by Alexander Viduetsky



On November 5, 2010, at around 5:00 PM I observed a Peregrine Falcon flying across the cricket field - north from the road that leads from the Japanese Garden to the main parking lot. It was flying very fast and I wasn't ready when I spotted it, which  is why the photo is not great but OK for ID:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/33691985@N08/5150102877/lightbox/
I saw only one Osprey at the time when I was there but it posed for me nicely: http://www.flickr.com/photos/33691985@N08/5150102805/lightbox/
Among other raptors, I also found one Red-tailed Hawk and one American Kestrel. Submitted by Alexander Viduetsky



I was able to spot and photograph a Sabine's Gull today (October 8, 2010) at Lake Balboa. The Gull was hunting for fish in a very similar to the terns' fashion   plunging into the water head first. I witnessed (together with Tommye Hite) how the Gull caught a fish and then landed on the water, trying to arrange the fish in its beak to swallow. In a matter of seconds, a much larger Ring-billed Gull descended on the Sabine's. The Ring-billed harassed the Sabine's and forced the smaller Gull to drop the fish. That's our "Welcome" from the locals to such rare visitors...Besides the Sabine's Gull, I also observed 12 Greater White-fronted Goose. You may view some of my today's photos, including the Sabine's Gull here:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/33691985@N08/sets/72157625123418484/detail/ or a slide-show: http://www.flickr.com/photos/33691985@N08/sets/72157625123418484/show/ . Submitted by Alexander Viduetsky

I spotted one flying male Wood Duck that attached itself to a small group of mallards (two males and one female) today (October 3, 2010) in the evening at
Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Reserve in Van Nuys (at North Reserve - North from Burbank Blvd.) and I saw a silhouette of a white-faced ibis at the same location at 6:25 PM that was landing on the island in the middle of the lake. According to the Sepulveda Basin Bird Checklist, wood ducks are rare visitors at
this location, being recorded in November - December. You may view three of my today's photos here:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/33691985@N08/sets/72157624966072359/show/ . Submitted by Alexander Viduetsky

September 19, 2010 Special Report. I spotted two White-faced Ibises today (Sept 19) @ Sepulveda Basin (south from Burbank Blvd.) between 2:00 PM and 3:00 PM. I also noted one lesser yellowlegs and one greater yellowlegs among usual snowy egrets and killdeers. I uploaded three of my today's photos on Flicker:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/33691985@N08/sets/72157624868493531/detail/ or a slide-show: http://www.flickr.com/photos/33691985@N08/sets/72157624868493531/show/ . Submitted by Alexander Viduetsky


Highlights of the
August 1, 2010 morning's walk included 2 juvenile Cooper's Hawk, 4 snowy egret chicks on and near a nest on the Wildlife Lake Island (we think the first year nesting of this species has been observed here), a recently fledged Black-necked Stilt feeding in the LA River, a first-of-season Lesser Yellowlegs and 4 Yellow Warblers. Click HERE for a complete list including 47 species. Submitted by Jim Hardesty.

On July 10, 2010, between 9:30 AM and 12:30 PM, I visited Los Angeles River by the Sepulveda Dam - South from Burbank Blvd. / Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Reserve. A few Wilson's Phalaropes were observed there recently. I did find two of them today, they were foraging in the shallow water among multiple black-necked stilts and killdeers. There were also different butterflies all around. I'm attaching a list of birds that I submitted via the e-bird and you may view some of my today's photos here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/33691985@N08/sets/72157624342664373/detail/ or a slide show:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/33691985@N08/sets/72157624342664373/show/ . Submitted by Alexander Viduetsky

June 26, 2010. I visited Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Reserve today in the morning between 8:30 AM and 11:30 AM. The morning was very cloudy. At 10:35 AM, a Barn Owl appeared right in front of me out of nowhere. It was the first time that I observed a Barn Owl flying at this time of a day at Sepulveda Basin. Besides the Owl, I also watched a few aerial chases: a Crow was harassing a Turkey Vulture and a Western Kingbird was after a Red-tailed Hawk. You may view some of my today's photos via Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/33691985@N08/sets/72157624238779185/detail/ and slide-show: http://www.flickr.com/photos/33691985@N08/sets/72157624238779185/show/ . Submitted by Alexander Viduetsky

 

Pelican Injured at Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Lake Is Healthy Again, Released Back Into the Wild


                                                                                 Photo (above) by Jim Hanlon

The release happened Saturday, December 1, around 11:00 AM. The International Bird Rescue released two rehabilitated white pelicans: "our" white pelican that had been found ensnared in fishing line and a plastic bottle at the Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Reserve and a second one that had been found in Long Beach with a broken bill. On hand were the IBR's board president Dave Weeshoff and the manager of their San Pedro wildlife center Julie Skoglund; two officers from the City of Los Angeles SMART Team; a troop of Eagle Scout candidates; members of San Fernando Valley Audubon, local photographers and a photographer from the Los Angeles Times.

Earlier in the morning a group of around 55 volunteers from a variety of local colleges planted California native plants such as California Rose, California Grape, and Hummingbird Sage, scattered California wildflower seed, and picked up litter. The pelican release was a wonderful finale. The weather was cooperative and probably ideal for the activities.
A very fine rain began after the pelicans were released.

For even more -- but excellent -- photos of the white pelican release, please see the link to the International Bird Rescue's blog: http://blog.bird-rescue.org/ .
Click HERE for the story from the Encino Patch. Click HERE for the story from the Army Corp's newsletter.


By Muriel Kotin


SB 1201 SIGNED BY GOV. BROWN TO LEGALIZE ACCESS TO SOFT-BOTTOM REACHES OF THE L.A. RIVER

Senate Bill 1201 legalizes access to the soft-bottom reaches of the L.A. River.  It will also create a Los Angeles River Interagency Access
Council, which the Bill states is to coordinate the actions of state and local agencies with jurisdiction over, or otherwise involved in developing
and administering public access and safety policies for, the Los Angeles River.

To read the Senate Bill, click HERE.

To see a YouTube video of a kayak trip along the LA River during the 2011 pilot program click HERE

Community Conservation Solutions Releases Feasibility Studies for L.A. River Natural Park

The L.A. River Natural Park: Technical Feasibility Studies Report
including:
L.A. River Regional Public Access, MIA LEHRER + ASSOCIATES
Hydrology, Hydraulics & Water Quality, PSOMAS

These two studies provide analysis and estimated costs of the proposed urban and stormwater runoff management, water quality improvements, and regional public access elements of the L.A. River Natural Park.

Envisioned as a showcase river-oriented park, the L.A. River Natural Park will:
naturally clean urban runoff and improve water quality
store and reuse runoff
preserve riverfront land and create native habitat
generate solar power
provide regional recreation amenities
establish an L.A. River Regional Public Access Hub and Trailhead for public access to the L.A. River in the San Fernando Valley

Click HERE for more information about the L.A. River Natural Park



Steelhead Trout for the Los Angeles River? Click HERE for video.

Los Angeles River in 1938 - Before It Was Paved. Click HERE for images

Weaving a New Web at peopleforparks.org

People for Parks has got a new look online, with added emphasis on photos, videos and other features to highlight PFP programs and news about parks and recreation in urban Los Angeles. To visit us, click HERE

water-quality issues are the back door to land preservation
See this great video from Surfrider, a 19-minute animated film, "The Cycle of Insanity - The Real Story of Water",
at http://www.knowyourh2o.org/

Bull Creek Restoration Project

In spring of 2009 the Bull Creek Channel Ecosystem restoration project was completed. Features were to include 28-acres of aquatic, riparian and native upland habitat to enhance wildlife resources along the Bull Creek channel. An oxbow (or “C”-shaped) side channel was excavated to allow water to flow from south of Victory Blvd. around an island to the Los Angeles River, but the storms of the winter of 2009-2010 resulted in severe erosion along the creek banks and the complete filling in of the oxbow with silt. The construction portion of the project was completed in May, 2009. Reclaimed water from Lake Balboa is flowing into the channel near the oxbow to enhance the existing flow. Below is a sequence of images showing the finished project, the first erosion on the east bank, the filled in oxbow, and the ensuing emerging vegetation.


August 2009                                     December 2009                                                  February 2010                                                        July 2010


     October 8, 2010                                        October 20, 2010                                       December 21, 2010                                                June 27, 2011 
           
After the early but substantial rains in October 2010, the October 8 photos shows some pooling of water in the oxbow (more on Oct. 20 - note reflections in the water). On December 21 during the week-long rain the oxbow was more than one-half filled. Given the silt and sedimentation problems everywhere in the path of the dust laden winds from the Station Fire, it is pretty clear that the unexpected sediment build-up and erosion was likely caused by the fire.


Native plantings include thousands of willows, cottonwoods, box elder in the riparian areas and acres of hydroseed on the hillsides. Weeds have been a problem with this project from the beginning, and after the one year contractor's maintenance requirement expired (as of about April 1, 2010), the weeding responsibility fell to the City (suffering from tight budgets) and volunteers.
Join a weeding party on Tuesday and Thursday mornings in the Basin (email volunteer@sepulvedabasinwildlife.org).

A couple of small hills were created as part of this project and they are covered with mostly native wildflowers, including yellow yarrow, sticky monkeyflower, Plantago, mints (Salvia spp.), California poppies, and others. Mixed in with these plants are various native shrubs including California walnut. At the base of the hill and on the surrounding areas is a (so far) very successful planting of native bunchgrasses.
 

 
 

   
Native wildflowers on the hill.                                                                                 Native grassland and hill.

 
 

 
 
 
     
About the Sepulveda Flood Control Basin
 
   
All property within the Sepulveda Flood Control Basin is owned by the Los Angeles District Corps of Engineers, but more than 80% of the land is leased out for recreational and agricultural uses. Sepulveda Dam, completed in 1941, is a dry-land reservoir, with the purpose of controlling runoff from nearby San Gabriel, Santa Monica, and Santa Susana Mountains.

Besides the Encino and Balboa golf courses, the Balboa Sports Complex, and the model airplane field, most of the Basin was devoted to agriculture (corn and then sod farms). In the mid-1960’s, Burbank Blvd. was extended across the Basin. In the 1970’s the City of Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation built the Donald Tillman Water Reclamation Plant within the Basin (over the objections of the Corp of Engineers).

 
 
 
In March of 1981, a revised Master Plan for the area was adopted. At the time, of the 2,150 acres in the Sepulveda Basin, approximately 1,060 acres were committed to recreational uses. The updated Master Plan designated an additional 540 acres for future recreational uses. Included in the plan are provisions for the commitment of approximately 220 acres of land to informal park space, 120 acres for development of a recreational lake, 108 acres for a wildlife management area, and 60 acres for an “arts park” that has been subsequently redesignated for a “sports complex” (the area west of Balboa Blvd. just north of the Los Angeles River.
 
     
 

The Master Plan also tried to minimize adverse environmental effects and recommended “designing reaches of newly-formed lakes and ponds
to emulate existing wetland conditions on the site and by replanting existing riparian plant species” and to “accompany new park developments
with the introduction of native plant species to create new habitats in the basin.”

 
     
 
In 1979 the Corp of Engineers developed the first area of the Wildlife Reserve (formerly called the South Reserve), an approximate 48 acre parcel located south of Burbank Blvd and bordered by the Los Angeles River and the Sepulveda Dam on the east and south. A “pothole” pond (fed with piped-in fresh water) was created, and vegetation representing coastal sage scrub and riparian woodlands were planted. This area was drastically altered in December 2012 and as of January 2013 there were ongoing negotiations between environmental groups and the Army Corps of Engineers (see section above below upcoming events).
 
     
   
     
 
The approximate 60-acre North Reserve (north of Burbank Blvd., east of Haskell Creek, west of the Dam) was developed in 1988,
featuring an 11-acre lake with an island and wildlife viewing stations. Various revegetation projects have been undertaken since then.
 
     
 
 
 
above, the stone monuments we call "stonehenge."

the reserve entrance and restrooms.
 
         
 
In 1991 the Tillman Water Reclamation Plant Flood Protection Project was finalized, and subsequently a berm was built
around the Water Reclamation Plant to protect it from flooding, compensating excavation was performed in various places,
and the outflow from the Water Reclamation Plant was
rerouted under the dam so the outflow was outside
(to the south) of the Dam. The 7-acre berm was planted
with California native plants and is the largest native landscaping project developed by the City of Los Angeles.

 
     
above, the berm surrounding the Water Reclamation Plant.
 
         
 
In 1994, the City and Federal governments agreed to sharing the costs on $11 million in improvements in the Sepulveda Basin.
The wildlife are was expanded 110 acres to the west of Haskell Creek (on either side of Woodley Avenue).
Additional facilities in the wildlife area included trails, restrooms and staging area, signs, benches, viewing blinds and parking. This project was completed in 1999.
 
     
 
 
 
     
     
     
 
 
 
 
 
Member Organizations and Affiliated Agencies
 
 
 

SFV Audubon

California Native Plant Society

L.A. Audubon

Sierra Club, San Fernando Valley Group

The Canada Goose Project
 
   
   
LA City Rec and Parks

Resource Conservation District

           The Japanese Garden

 

 
 


Other Affiliated Organizations

Friends of the Los Angeles River (FOLAR)
The River Project
Southwestern Herpetologists Society
TreePeople


Other Relevant Links

Friends of Lake Balboa
L.A. Creek Freak Blog
Urban Wildlands Group

BioHere
City of Los Angeles River Website
Los Angeles River Revitalization Corporation
FoLAR LA River Facebook Page
 

 
 
 
     
 

Web page and design by Justin Baker.
Text and captions by Steven L. Hartman.
All photographs taken in the Sepulveda Basin by Steven L. Hartman unless otherwise noted.

 
 

Last Updated 12/15/2014