City Council to Discuss Usage Plan for the Wilderness Preserve

By Susan Motander
The Monrovia City Council will discuss the final plan for access to and use of the Wilderness Preserve area. At its December 13, 2011 meeting, the Community Services Commission voted to recommend to the City Council what is referred to as the Minimalist Plan, “with the additional recommendation not to open the loop of the Lower Clamshell Truck Trail to public access where the Brauton’s milkvetch is present until further evaluation to ensure that the proper mitigation measures are implemented, and without limitation on education and knowledge of access made available to Monrovians.” This recommendation was made after lengthy public input and discussion among the members of the commission.
This option was one of four presented to the commission. Simply stated, the options were: 1) No Project/No RMP (Resource Management Plan), 2) Minimalist Plan, 3) Reduced Trails Network, and 4) The Project as described in the EIR. It should come as no surprise that there is already a great deal of discussion in the community regarding this minimalist plan and its impact on the residents who live adjacent to the Preserve and to their property. There is also concern about the potential of problems with the plan as recommended by the commission and the grants the city has received which allowed it to acquire part of the land for the Wilderness Preserve.
While several letters have been sent via email among various concerned community members, this newspaper has received only one to date on the issue. It appears below. Other members of the community who would like to express their opinions on this are incourged to send us a letter to the editor.

A Letter from a Concerned Citizen
I have no problem with public access to the Wilderness Preserve in a controlled, unpromoted way. I ,and many others, including Native Americans, have been walking through that land for hundreds, if not thousands of years. But never a Chantry Flats or Azusa playground.
So Option Minimal Usage was good from the get go, despite its lack of direction for the next administration, except it trampled unwittingly on courteous trail rerouting for those who lived there before A&B and buy-outs.
It’s big sky country compared to average neighborhoods, so why not reroute Cloverleaf public access plans and anything else well around private property? Maybe time to bury the hatchet?
The Original Minimal Usage Plan passed by the Council, before the lawsuit for an EIR, well, was fundamentally good. The EIR made the plan stronger, although the EIR’s consultant authors when designating “no significant impacts” in some cases and lack of mitigation in some circumstances make the entire document questionable, and State and Federal Agencies picked up on it. IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT COUNCIL MEMBERS READ THE STATE & FEDERAL COMMENTS LETTERS TO THE DRAFT EIR IN DETAIL and evaluate whether those comments were incorporated into the Final EIR and RMP which will be presented to them.
I hope some important consideration will be given to potential grant violations. Such violations may give the state grounds to recall these grants. The state’s recent action regarding redevelopment funding shows its recessionary impulse to recall money from cities and other local entities.
Nancy Zack


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