Autumn 2006 Friend to Friend Newsletter, Friends of the Foothills
friend to friend FROM TRESTLES TO SADDLEBACK—PROTECT OUR COMMUNITY—STOP ThE TOLL ROAD SOUTh A Project of Sierra Club DECEMBER, 2006transportationfix trafficconcludes toll road won’t studyt he Foothill-South Toll Road which would bisect San Onofre State This isn’t the first time the toll road agency has exaggeratedBeach and the Donna O’Neill Land Conservancy will not ease traf- their traffic projections. Inaccurate traffic and revenue predictionsfic on I-5, according to a new study by the Orange County Transpor- for the San Joaquin Hills (73) Toll Road have brought that systemtation Authority (OCTA). to the brink of bankruptcy. And just a few years ago, the proposed The new figures contradict optimistic projections by the toll Foothill-South Toll Road was downsized from 8 lanes to 6 lanes dueroad agency that the Foothill-South Toll Road would eliminate con- to weakness of demand for the project.gestion on I-5 through South Orange County. OCTA’s long-range The OCTA has proven that the Foothill-South Toll Road willtransportation plan, which was completed in July, predicts a far not achieve its stated goal of traffic relief on I-5. What it will do ismore congested future for I-5 than the toll agency envisions. ruin California’s 5th most popular state park at San Onofre, threaten “Even with a fully functional Foothill South, I-5 will still be the world class surf beach at Trestles, force the abandonment of thebad. The tollway is not as advertised,” said Laguna Niguel Mayor San Mateo Campground, and bisect the Donna O’Neill Land Con-Cathryn DeYoung, a former OCTA board member who unsuccess- servancy.fully challenged Patricia Bates for county supervisor in the Novem- The TCA should abandon their plans for the Foothill-South Tollber election. Road and concentrate on real transportation solutions – like fixing “Both agencies should sit down, look at the data and deter- I-5 - that preserve our state park, clean surf and community.mine what they are going to do,” DeYoung said. Visit the OCTA website at www.octa.net to view the 2006 Long Range Transportation Plan 8th annual hike & holiday party SAVE THE DATE: saturday, dec. 16th hIKE: 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. PARTY: 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. See inside for details.
volunteer profile: carey strombotne inspired into action Derek, Carey and Rex Strombotne with Buddy, in front of the Carolyn Wood View Knoll and a couple of years ago some friends were heading out to Tesoro High School to a hearing on the proposed the Laguna Greenbelt. 241 toll road. Living in Laguna Beach, I knew all about toll roads, the years of effort to block the 73 toll road from carving through our gorgeous canyon, and how destructive and wasteful that turned out to be. I had also seen a few “Save Trestles” bumper stickers around town, and was curious to learn more about the fight to save the famous surf break. That day, when I learned that the Foothill-South Toll Road would go directly through a California state park, I immediatelyknew this was fundamentally wrong. In fact, I was horrified! The more I learned about the plan to pave through San Onofre State Beach,bisect the Donna O’Neill Land Conservancy, trounce a Native American sacred site, imperil an entire list of endangered species and foulthe world class surf break at Trestles, the angrier I felt. The impassioned speakers at that hearing and passionate residents who showed upin numbers to oppose the toll road inspired me. Although I had never thought of myself as an activist or environmentalist per se, I decidedto join the fight. My friend Janine Robinson, who was with me that day, also was inspired into action. For several years we had been walking ourdogs through local trails amid Laguna’s hard-earned open space. On our hikes, we have no choice but to see the concrete mass of toll roadcutting directly through the hills. This constant reminder inspired both of us to inform our friends of the threat to other precious open space.To learn more, we contacted Brittany McKee of Friends of the Foothills, and invited her to my home to talk to a group of friends. …we learned that the city of Oceanside was about to pass a resolution opposing the toll road being built through a state park. Janine and I decided we could help motivate our hometown (Laguna Beach) to pass a similar resolution.About 40 people showed up, and once they understood the impact of the toll road, they were all eager to help stop it, too. Shortly afterthat meeting, we learned that the city of Oceanside was about to pass a resolution opposing the toll road being built through a state park. Janineand I decided we could help motivate our hometown to pass a similar resolution. Using the local media and a growing email loop, we spreadthe word about the resolution. The night that our City Council was set to vote on it, nearly a hundred people packed the council chambers tosupport our efforts. Laguna’s council members passed the resolution unanimously to the whoops and cheers of the entire room. Janine and I were further inspired to join a group who were going to Sacramento to demonstrate on the Capitol steps against the tollroad, and help bring the issue statewide. Throughout this process, I have learned that getting involved and taking small steps can add up to making a huge difference. This is afight that we cannot afford to ignore. Together, we can “Save Trestles” and stop this absurd and destructive toll road! Carey Strombotne Volunteer, Friends of the Foothills/Sierra Club
the bolsa chica wetlands: foothill-south an inspirational success story BY JERRY COLLAMER a few months back, a 30 year struggle to preserve and restore something toll road wonderful, necessary and important along Southern California’s coastline succeeded. The Bolsa Chica Wetlands in Huntington Beach had been taken hostage 100 threatens years ago by oil drilling interests to be continuously abused and exploited - fi- native american nally to face the ultimate Southern California coastal open space battle-to become a luxury housing development. To stop the destruction of this fragile habitat, local residents organized and sacred sites began educating the public about the value of these wetlands and their impor- BY REBECCA ROBLES, Chair, Native tance to the fragile Southern California ecosystem. American Sacred Sites Task Force Finally, astonishingly, preservation won out over concrete. The Bolsa Chica Wetlands are preserved and its restoration is now ongoing. A new Coast Highway bridges a newly dredged inlet allowing ocean water to clean and revital- t he state park at San Onofre State Beach is a treasure for numerous reasons. To local Native ize the wetlands. Americans, San Onofre is known as Panhe- 30-years and hundreds of millions of dollars spent - to put back, as God (Pange or Panxe), one of the original villages originally intended it to be – 900 acres of wetlands. of early California. The Portola Expedition of Now drive 30 miles south from Bolsa Chica, to the perfect San Mateo 1769 provides the earliest written descriptions Creek flowing from its pristine 20,000 acre coastal watershed, to a vibrant wet of this historic coastal region. and wild ocean experience called Trestles. You’ve entered San Onofre Beach As the Portola expedition crossed the State Park. coastal portion of present day Southern Cali- The San Mateo Watershed contains the pristine San Mateo Creek and a vast fornia several villages were encountered. undisturbed coastal watershed. The gold standard for all other south-coast water- Near the mouth of San Mateo Canyon, sheds. Whole and vital. Call it naturally perfect and you’d be right. Because that’s Francisco Crespi, a member of Portolas expid- what it is. ition, was told about two Indian children who Let it be. Let it be. Let it be. No toll road. Not here. Not ever. were dying at the inland rancheria and he vis- Our coastline can’t afford it. ited them to baptize them before they died. This is the origin of the name Los Christianitos. Panhe was the largest village according to the traditional history of the Acjachemen Nation (Juaneno.) The population of this thriving village became the labor source for Mission San Juan Capistrano. Panhe has been correlated with archeological site CA-ORA-22 at the mouth of San Mateo Creek. This sacred site is part of San Mateo Archeological District, and listed on the National Register of Historic Places and the Native American Heritage Commissions Sacred Lands file. Panhe was part of a signifi- cant network of villages which are now paved over and inaccessible for cultural activities. Panhe is an active ceremonial site. It plays a crucial role in Acjachemen history and is a place where traditional ceremonies and reburials have occurred. It is irreplace-Friends of the Foothills/Sierra Club volunteers at the San Clemente Fiesta Day spread the able and cannot be mitigated or replaced inword about the destructive Foothill-South Toll Road. We collected over 1,000 signed cards present time. The loss of this sacred site,which we will deliver to the California Coastal Commission asking that they protect Tres- located on public land, would be a grosstles Beach and the San Mateo Campground from Foothill-South Toll Road. tragedy.If you would like to volunteer at our next outreach event, contact Brittanyat 949-361-7534 or email email@example.com
san onofre state beach on governor’s websiteCongratulations to everyone who has called, emailed and sent letters to Governor Schwarzenegger to let himknow that you oppose the proposal to extend the Foothill-South Toll Road through San Onofre State Beach. As aresult of your efforts, the governor’s email page now offers, “SAN ONOFRE TOLL ROAD” as a subject, along withother state issues including Education, Caltrans, and Immigration. This demonstrates that we have the Gover-nor’s attention and have succeeded in raising the profile of the campaign to statewide significance.Help us keep the pressure on!Send the governor an email telling himto oppose the Foothill-South Toll Road.www.govmail.ca.gov www.friendsofthefoothills.org San Clemente, California 92674 P.O. Box 3942 A Project of Sierra Club STOP ThE TOLL ROAD SOUTh —PROTECT OUR COMMUNITY— FROM TRESTLES TO SADDLEBACK PERMIT NO. 50 saturday, december 16th! WALNUT, CA PAID US POSTAGE hike and holiday party FIRST CLASS MAIL PRESORTED dont miss the annual
hikesSaturday, January 13SIERRA SAGE/FRIENDS OF ThE FOOThILLS Saturday, March 17 SIERRA SAGE/FRIENDS OF ThE FOOThILLSsan clemente ridgeline trestles beachEnjoy this ridgeline walk with panoramic views of the San Clem- Enjoy this walk to the famous surfing beach at Trestles and theente back country and Dana Point on a clear day. The trail is hilly extensive wetlands area through which San Mateo Creek flows. Aand mostly paved. Meet 8:30 am at the end of Calle Cordillera in Friends of the Foothills member will discuss the ecological impor-the San Clemente Business Park. From I-5, go 1 mile east on Ave. tance of the surrounding area and the damage that connection ofPico and turn right on Calle Amanecer. Go 0.3 mi and turn right on the proposed Foothill-South Toll Road at I-5 would do. Meet 8:30Calle Cordillera to end. 3 mi. rt., 200’ gain. Bring water, hat, and am at Trestles surfers’ parking lot. (Take Cristianitos off-ramp fromsunscreen. Rain cancels. I-5 at south end of San Clemente, go left one block and left to lot). 4 mi rt. 100’ gain. Bring water, hat, and sunscreen. Rain cancels.Sunday, February 11 Saturday, May 5SIERRA SAGE/FRIENDS OF ThE FOOThILLS SIERRA SAGE/FRIENDS OF ThE FOOThILLSdonna o’neill land conservancy donna o’neill land conservancyEnjoy the beautiful natural scenery on this slow-paced nearly level Enjoy the beautiful natural scenery on this slow-paced nearly levelwalk. Expect early wildflowers. A Friends of the Foothills mem- walk. Expect early wildflowers. A Friends of the Foothills mem-ber will discuss the ecological importance of the Donna ONeill ber will discuss the ecological importance of the Donna ONeillLand Conservancy and the surrounding area. Meet 8:30 am at the Land Conservancy and the surrounding area. Meet 8:30 am at theSouth Orange County rideshare parking lot. Conservancy dona- South Orange County rideshare parking lot. Conservancy dona-tion of $5 to support the work of the DOLC is appreciated. 3 mi. tion of $5 to support the work of the DOLC is appreciated. 3 mi.rt. Bring water, sunscreen and hat. Rain cancels. rt. Bring water, sunscreen and hat. Rain cancels. Ever wonder what great open spaces and wonderful vistas lie beyond the fences and park- ing lots of South Orange County? SAVE THE DATE Let experienced Sierra Club hike annual starr ranch BBQ leaders show you some of Southern Californias Sunday, April 22 most beautiful places. SIERRA SAGE/FRIENDS OF ThE FOOThILLS All Sierra Club members and friends are invited to the annual Sierra Sage Starr Ranch Barbecue to enjoy this authentic bit of Old California ranch life with a “genuine country barbecue.” Prior to the barbecue we will have birding walks and hikes within this beautiful rustic 4,000 acre Audubon Sanctuary. A portion of the proceeds will For more information or directions go to the Friends of the Foothills campaign. Details will call Brittany McKee, Conservation be provided in the Spring newsletter. For more informa- Organizer at 949-361-7534 or tion, please contact Mike Sappingfield at 949-768-3610 firstname.lastname@example.org SOUTh ORANGE COUNTY (SOC) hIKES RIDEShARE MEETING POINT: Ortega Business Center parking lot, southeast corner, at the intersection of Ortega highway and Rancho Viejo Road in San Juan Capistrano. Important information for all hikes: Always bring water; sturdy, comfortable shoes; hat. Wear sunscreen. Rain cancels.
8 Saturday th Dec. 16th hike annual hike and holiday party 10:30am to 11:30am Enjoy an easy educational walk through San Ono- fre State Beach, and learn from a knowledgeable Sierra Club volunteer about the importance of the San Mateo Watershed, San Onofre State Beach, and the rich Native American history of the park. We’ll also talk about the damage that the proposed Foothill-South Toll Road would do to this area, which scientists say is of global significance. Meet at at the Trestles surfers parking lot (Take Cristianitos off-ramp from I-5 at South end of San Clemente, go left one block and left to lot). Bring water, hat, and sunscreen. Rain cancels. party 11:30am to 1:00pm guest speaker: Rebecca Robles Chair, Native American Sacred Sites Task Force After working up an appetite on the hike, please join us for a picnic (provided by Sierra Club) atPlease join the Sierra Club and the Friends of the Foot- the San Mateo Campground Amphitheatre at the San Mateo Campground. We’ll celebrate anotherhills Coalition for our annual holiday celebration. It’s our year that we have successfully fought the Foothill-way of saying thank you for all of the hard work you do South Toll Road, enjoy great food and honor ourto protect Orange County’s valuable natural areas and most hardworking volunteers with an outdoor pic- nic at the park.clean creeks and surf. Our grassroots campaign couldnot be successful without you. KIDS A ND FA M ILY A R E wEL COMEPhoto by: www.jenniferbroussardphotographs.com rsvp: Brittany McKee at 949-361-7534 or Brittany.McKee@sierraclub.org Friends of the Foothills is a community-based effort made up of thousands of local residents, business owners, and organizations including the Sierra Club, Surfrider Foundation and the Audubon Society dedicated to protecting valuable open space in our region, including protecting San Onofre State Beach.