This oak and others could buried any day now - unless you act to support it! Photo by permission of EcoToneStudios - All rights reserved

The story has been covered well by Josh Link at L.A. Creek Freak, Barbara Eisenstein at Weeding Wild Suburbia, and elsewhere, but I want to weigh in briefly on the threatened native oak woodlands site in Arcadia, which Los Angeles County Public Works department plans to bury with sediment.

The San Gabriel Mountains gradually wear down, through rain fall. Mountain streams carry sediment down steep hills and deposit sediment on flatter alluvial plains. This is a natural process;  it’s what created the alluvial places where nearly all Southern California residents live.

At a site along Highland Oaks Drive in the city of Arcadia, sediment from the Santa Anita Wash (an eastern tributary of the Rio Hondo and the Los Angeles River) has built up and now the county wants to deposit that wash sediment on top of an adjacent grove of oak trees. Sadly, the county sees this sediment – rich, wonderful soil – as a problem to get rid of – not as a resource.

This is a symptom of our linear ways of thinking. We contemporary western folks, see many material things going in a line – from mineral to raw material to product to trash to landfill.  I would hope that we would, in permaculture thinking, see the sediment as a resource ever moving in cycles. In natural cycles, the output from each process is the input for another process. The sediment is actually great stuff – valuable, wonderful soil… but we’ve so altered our streams that it’s a problem for us.

I encourage the county to hold off on burying this irreplaceable oak grove treasure. Instead of  destroying it, the county should take the longer view and  instead find a place where this valuable sediment can be beneficial.

I encourage readers to sign the on-line petition… and to follow the links (especially Joshua Link’s stuff at L.A. Creek Freak – a blog where I write a lot.)

Today is a blogger solidarity day on this issue. Check out today’s articles at: Altadena Hiker, ArcadiaPatchBallona BlogBipedality, Breathing TreatmentChance of Rain, Echoes, Greensward CivitasL.A. Creek Freak, L.A. Eco-Village, L.A. ObservedPasadena AdjacentPasadena Daily Photo, Pasadena Real Estate with Brigham Yen, Slow Water!, The Sky is Big in Pasadena, and Weeding Wild Suburbia. More on the way, too!

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