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November 17
1969 - Construction begins on Magic Mountain amusement park [story]


| Monday, Aug 20, 2018
[caption id="attachment_159402" align="aligncenter" width="556"]A field of grass and Lake Piru on a February morning. Photo: Rennett Stowe/WMC 2.0 A field of grass and Lake Piru on a February morning. Photo: Rennett Stowe/WMC 2.0[/caption] A field of grass and Lake Piru on a February morning. Photo: Rennett Stowe/WMC 2.0

By Martin Macias Jr.

LOS ANGELES – A federal judge in Los Angeles approved a settlement Friday requiring the Trump administration to prepare and implement plans to protect eight “wild and scenic” rivers in Southern California, including Piru Creek west of Santa Clarita.

The settlement comes in response to a lawsuit filed by the Center for Biological Diversity on March 27, which claimed the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and the U.S Forest Service violated a 1968 federal law protecting the “natural condition” of wild rivers by delaying management and protection plans.

According to the lawsuit, Congress designated segments of the eight California rivers for protection under the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act in 2009, requiring the agencies to install protection plans for the rivers by 2013.

The rivers wind through three national forests and other public lands and provide essential habitat for wildlife such as California spotted owls, the rubber boa and the San Bernardino flying squirrel, according to the complaint.

The settlement approved by U.S District Judge John F. Walter Friday will compel both agencies to execute river management plans by Dec 31, 2024.

“This is a victory for some of Southern California’s most beautiful rivers. Too bad it took a lawsuit to get federal officials to do the right thing,” Ileene Anderson, a scientist with the Center, said in a statement Friday. “These waters and ecosystems are lifelines for imperiled plants and animals. They provide respite and recreation for all of us, and we need the government to protect these special places for our kids and grandkids.”

River management plans protect water flow and water quality from agricultural run-off, off-road vehicles and other activities that could damage the river.

As part of the agreement, the Center will dismiss all claims against the agencies, though the court will maintain jurisdiction and oversight over the settlement.

The environmentalists can also return to court if they feel the agencies aren’t complying. The settlement allows an extension if funding gaps cause delays in implementation.

The settlement covers the Owens Headwaters, Cottonwood Creek, Piru Creek, North Fork San Jacinto River, Fuller Mill Creek, Palm Canyon Creek, and Bautista Creek.

Piru Creek is a tributary of the Santa Clara River and contains unique geological formations and unusual gorges. It is also part of critical California condor nesting and roosting sites, as well as habitat for the threatened arroyo toad and native trout.

Congress designated more than 26 miles of the Amargosa River in Inyo and San Bernardino counties as scenic, wild or recreational.

The Amargosa River is a spring-fed perennial desert river system. It harbors a “remarkable level of biodiversity” in the hottest and driest part of the Mojave Desert, according to the Center.

“This includes critical habitat for the entire wild population of the endangered Amargosa vole and endangered Amargosa niterwort plant, as well as two endangered bird species, the least Bell’s vireo and southwestern willow flycatcher,” a statement from the Center said.

Government attorneys did not respond to a request for comment by press time.

Also last week, a federal judge in South Carolina ruled the Trump administration unlawfully delayed implementation of the Clean Water Rule.

In that case, U.S. District Judge David Norton lifted a two-year stay on Obama-era provisions regulating seasonal and other wetlands and also identified which wetlands and waterways fall under federal regulation.

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SCV NewsBreak
LOCAL NEWS HEADLINES
Friday, Nov 16, 2018
Smith Widens Lead in 38th Assembly District Tally
Democratic challenger Christy Smith's lead has widened to 3,099 votes over Republican incumbent Dante Acosta in the race for California's 38th District, according to the updated ballot count released Friday afternoon by the Los Angeles County and Ventura County registrars of voters.
Friday, Nov 16, 2018
Sheriff’s Race: Villanueva Widens Lead Over McDonnell by Nearly 58K Votes
Retired Los Angeles County Sheriff's Lt. Alex Villanueva has pulled ahead of incumbent Sheriff Jim McDonnell by 57,810 votes in the Nov. 6 general election
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Woolsey Fire Destroys Western Town, Museum, Archives at Paramount Ranch
The Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area suffered significant damage from the Woolsey Fire, including the destruction of the Western Town at Paramount Ranch and a building housing priceless archives, the National Park Service reported Friday.
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Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
1969 - Construction begins on Magic Mountain amusement park [story]
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Retired Los Angeles County Sheriff's Lt. Alex Villanueva has pulled ahead of incumbent Sheriff Jim McDonnell by 57,810 votes in the Nov. 6 general election
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The Silvertone Singers, in an effort to raise funding for the new Senior Center set to open in Spring 2019, presents a concert focusing on the theme of "Money."
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1978 - Southern Pacific Saugus depot closes; later moved & used as SCV Historical Society museum [story]
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