Every Wednesday morning a group of friends and I meet in the Lower Arroyo parking lot (by the Casting Pond) for a dog walk. Many of us also walk there regularly on our own. If you’ve spent any time in the Arroyo in recent years, you don’t need to be told why we love it, more now than ever after the considerable efforts (in part thanks to the Arroyo Seco Foundation) to restore the natural watershed.
So you can imagine our horror at seeing a truck spraying a green pesticide all along the fencing that separates the walking trails from the concrete flood-control channel. This is nasty stuff, which mandated that we cut our walk short so our dogs (and us) wouldn’t be exposed to the wet, fresh poison. The nice employees of the County of Los Angeles Public Works Department, Flood Maintenance Division, were just doing their job, and they gave me the number of their office. I found out that the spraying is done twice annually, that the reason is so weeds “don’t go into the water” (yeah,it’s so much better that pesticides go into the water!), and that the supervisor is a guy named Lonnie Munson. I left a message for Mr. Munson, but I quickly realized that he is unlikely to be high enough on the totem pole to effect change.
So I did some website sleuthing and found Mark Pestrella, assistant deputy director of the Watershed Management division, and e-mailed him. He responded promptly and promised that the appropriate engineer would get back to me within a day. If this requires a lot more of us to make a fuss, I’ll let you know. In the meantime, we’ll see how responsive our local government agencies are.
I also have a call into the Arroyo Seco Foundation to ask for their help, and I’ll report back here later if the folks there have advice.