Century-old oaks may make way -- for silt
On a southern-facing slope of the San Gabriel Mountains, Glen Owens strode through the dappled sunlight of century-old oaks and sycamores that the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works wants to replace with muck dredged from a nearby reservoir.
Eyeing the trees marked for removal with strips of black-and-white ribbons nailed to their trunks, Owens shook his head in dismay.
"I've got the same feeling I get when I see cattle on their way to slaughter," he said. "Don't get me wrong -- I'm not a doggone tree-hugger. It's just that sometimes making the world a better place means saving the better things in it."
Owens is a leader in an eleventh-hour campaign to prevent the county from cutting down 179 coast live oaks and an estimated 70 sycamores in an 11-acre canyon area overlooking Arcadia that is scheduled to become a spreading ground for 500,000 cubic yards of silt, rocks and vegetation scooped out of Santa Anita Reservoir.
-- Louis Sahagun
Photo: Glen Owens points to a woodpecker nest under a canopy of oak trees scheduled to be removed. Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times