Statement of Goals

Note: The "Comments" sections included below reflect general input from meeting
attendees and are not a statement of TCWC's goals.

Definitions of Terms

Goal: the overall endpoint that we're trying to reach, usually simply stated (ex. preserve native biodiversity)

Objective: a mechanism to reach the goal (ex. identify the extent of non-native species intrusion; identify specific actions to reverse that trend; monitor to determine whether actions were effective)

Action: something that has been or will be done about a clearly defined problem (ex. implement a proposed monitoring program; implement a non-native plant irradiation program)

Issue: an identified concern with no clear definition of the problem to be solved (needs more work before an objective can be proposed and action taken, or even needed)

Priority: an objective, action or issue of relatively greater importance than some other objective, action or issue; may be divided into more immediate versus long-term activities based on whether they're dependent on other actions taking place first (ex. an inventory of native species in needed before an approach to preserving native biodiversity can be developed)

Natural Resources:

Goal: Restore and preserve native biodiversity and the natural processes that support it.

Goal : Create a master database (or system) and a mechanism for sharing information gathered by federal, state and local agencies in regards to resource inventory.

Objective: Inventory of native biodiversity and natural processes.
Action: Conduct comprehensive survey of flora and fauna, including historic references.

Objective: Restore steelhead habitat in Topanga.
Action: Remove barriers to steelhead migration.

Objective: Understand hydrologic regime.
Action: Conduct historic evaluation of creek mouth. Determine former extent of lagoon/wetlands.

Objective: Determine impacts of exotic plants and animals on the Creek and entire watershed.
Action: Develop an approach for evaluating impacts from exotic species, use existing data and /or acquire more info.

Objective: Understand geomorphologic process effecting sediment transport and loading.
Action: Conduct upslope and instream sediment and erosion studies.

Other actions and issues:
-research ways to remove Vinca
-determine impacts of free ranging cats and dogs on biodiversity
-determine ways to stabilize streambanks
-impacts of outdoor lighting
-coordinate information with NPDES permits

Comments from 27 February 1999:

Determine impact of brush/slope clearance on native species - mountain lions, coyotes, raccoons, rodents and the avians.

Coordination of public input on protection of resources - public agencies notification of any impacting works.

data base not affect property owners negatively

The mountains are full of food and natural medicines. Identify, cultivate and preserve.

Determine impacts of fire clearance on watershed. Ecological = EIR required to be provided by Fire Dept. re impacts of regulations of brush clearance.

Oxygen source

Erosion control needed and combustible plants not needed - identify what works.

Is the watershed an appropriate comm. to address our concerns re Fair Plan requirements for clearing? If not, where?

Water Quality

Goal: Improve water quality.
Goal: Preserve or improve water quality for maximum use and enjoyment.

Objective: Identify degree and extent of problem.
Action: Monitor sites, identify existing regulations and possible solutions.
Action: Assess septic system function and impacts
Action: Assess livestock waste/corrals impacts
Action: Assess homeless encampment impacts
Action: Assess graywater disposal impacts
Action: Determine water quality in drinking water well.
Action: Assess impacts due to use of fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, etc.
Action: Assess source standards

Other actions and issues:
- develop focused biological and chemical monitoring program to learn more about water quality in creek
- impacts of poor water quality on recreation (beach and state park)
- hazardous waste disposal (oil, paint, etc.)

Comments from 27 February 1999:

Action: Remove all illegal gray water systems that allow discharge to any surface. check septic systems that bleed out.

How many people will loose their house? What are the impacts of putting in a new system? Grey water system can be good!

Action: Allow alternative septic systems designs. (I second this!)

Action: Put pressure on LA County by demonstrating that alternative systems are working well - in Malibu for example. (I third this!)
Then what? Gray water goes to septic system through then that system fails?

Do not over - regulate.

Need solutions to these problems before assessment and penalty.

Assess and recommend environmentally preferable detergents and other products for alternative greywater systems.
Gray water can be best system for watering garden, especially in drought, etc.

Good graywater system is important!

Keep government out of this at all cost! Right!

Address sediment (silt issue as a result of clearing and root disruption).

Gray water is filterable and recyclable.

What happens when septic systems become saturated? (Get them pumped out!)

Is a sewer system viable, assuming major development is no longer a threat? (as Rosi said). (It isn't!)

Develop and provide low cost gray water recycle system using new technology.

Land Use

Goal: Reduce land use impacts to preserve native biodiversity.

Other actions and issues:
- Evaluate adequacy of water supply for increased development
- Recommend use of bio-engineering strategies and native vegetation for streambank stabilization.
- acquire, maintain, restore habitat linkages and wildlife corridors
- develop clearing/paving restrictions based on lot size
- limit future development of remote houses requiring significant infrastructure investments
- create lot size overlay to identify small lots
- protect large blocks of land for core habitat
-Increase ability for lot retirement with reimbursement
- enact more restrictive slope development ordinances
-stream channelization and armoring a problem
- grading and resultant sedimentation

Comments from 27 February 1999:

What is a "lot size" overlay?

Some of these recommendations conflict with fire safety and insurance issues - what then?

Can we realistically use watershed management to control the type of development now planned for Tuna Canyon?

What is the best way to let government know that residents cannot allow development growth policy to overwhelm fragile local environment - Loud strong voices.

Encourage recreation. Recreation i.e. hiking, inspiration, education, support funding for our parks.

Balanced policies create a "win-win" situation
More houses, more people = less wildlife = less wild spaces

Sorry there is no win - win with development like Tuna being approved without evaluation of its impact on the entire Topanga watershed

increased construction traffic. Then increased traffic all the time. Roads shake. I know.

Buy common cars; have events to do it. That has negative impact if used universally.

Topanga should be closed to speculative development = build and move on to sell for profit.


Goal: Provide opportunities for healthful passive recreation, while minimizing impacts to native biodiversity.

Other actions and issues:
- Assess array of trails - too few, too many?
- Educate the public - signage
- Evaluate impacts to fishing, swimming and surfing due to water quality
- Evaluate trails as source of erosion, spread of exotics, type conversion

Comments from 27 February 1999:

Provide input of residents on public use/abuse of trails.
Limit development of mountain using recreational development

Ban motorcycles on Park land! (They are already banned! Enforce!)

Speed control of mountain bikes. Safe riding

Telephone company buried cables under fire roads (to Parker Mesa), improperly compacted soil over cables cause severe erosion, dangerous crevices down the middle of trails (some now impassable). who is responsible for correcting this situation - pedestrian danger, vehicles can't get by in fire.

Find a volunteer to rough surface of Hillside Park Entrance for safe horse traffic - Trippet park lot also needs a rough-up for horse traffic safety.

New equestrian manager's name Ron Wechsly 310-454-8212


Goal: Preserve integrity and safety of transportation corridors through a sustainable maintenance program that minimizes impacts to native biodiversity and natural processes.

Objective: Identify old roads to be retired.
Action: Use historic references to locate old roads and determine their present conditions.

Objective: Identify "normal rate of sedimentation and determine whether road maintenance practices increase this process.
Action: Sedimentation study to identify natural rate of sedimentation in the watershed.
Action: Identify amount and impacts of road spoils on creek habitat.

Other actions and issues:
- develop comprehensive management strategy for culverts, bridges, etc.
- assess environmental impacts of increased traffic through canyon
- promote creation of alternative transportation (busses)
- implement proactive attempt to reduce road failures
- pedestrian and bike safety
- maintenance practices - importing soil from outside watershed, introduction of exotics, etc.

Comments from 27 February 1999:

Single bus line over canyon to beach to reduce traffic.
Use of parks by visitors help in parking and facilitation of traffic.
Traffic "bumps" and speed control.

Utility lines strung across Hwy 27 problems with downed lines in the event of fire - blocking escape routes up to ten lines.

I notice Santa Monica has a new electric bus line called "the Wave". Would that work in Topanga? We could call it "The Oaks".

Shoulder of the road being graded back by scrapers over roots of trees along Topanga Creek.

Caltrans scraping toe of slope with slope failing or settling of ground on top of slope.

Evaluate impact of proposed development above watershed i.e. Tuna on roadways. construction trucks, no weight limits on delicate roads, increased traffic, and more.

We need a valley to beach bus.

Safe bikeway in and through canyon.


Goal: Integration of economic concerns of private citizens (not just Topanga) and those of public agencies.

Other actions and issues::
- involve contractors in developing strategy for BMP's
- evaluate cost of lot retirement versus developing increased infrastructure to serve them

Comments from 27 February 1999:

What BMP's?

Provide economic assistance to homeowners to upgrade old septics and greywaters to non polluting alternative varieties.

Support bond acts and other funding for acquisition, support of parks.

Rosi's work on Old Topanga Canyon projects is an excellent example of what needs to be advertised/disseminate throughout all of LA City for eg. we lose trees, flatlanders gain dirty air!

Area needs to secede from LA County to ally with S.F. Valley and Malibu to form its own county to Ventura County Line.

should we open the can of worms of corruption of officials in Building and Safety? ( and other relevant agencies?)...those with enough $ can buy permits, easements, exceptions, waivers?

Advertise website and use for input.

Protect creekside dwellers from "clouds" on title, unrealistic rebuilding - if house burns down, will it be mandatory to rebuild on piers or other outrageous building restrictions be imposed? Will mortgage lenders shy away from houses near creek? All residents need to protect each other.

Education and Outreach

Goal: To promote greater awareness and understanding on the complex relationships between humans and the watershed so as to preserve native biodiversity and natural processes.

Comments from 27 February 1999:

Provide information to new buyers about landscaping with native plants and protecting native habitat available through Realtors, brochures, etc.

Article in news whenever possible

Stakeholders include people of CA and beyond since biodiversity threatened species and viewshed are issues.

Let citizens of LA County know that events/proposals in the Santa Monica Mountains/Topanga affect the health of the local ocean waters and their ability to utilize for recreation, fishing, etc. in good health.

Nature walks (children) know your canyon and home. Who lives here? What grows?

Develop watershed consciousness as a rich diverse model of community.

Coordination with TES for school/studies projects tied to these (canyon) issues.

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