Graduation Year

Spring 2012

Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Environmental Analysis

Reader 1

Bowman Cutter

Reader 2

Char Miller

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© 2011 Mary C. Ferguson


The issue of sediment removal from the San Gabriel Mountains has been a complex issue that has created problems with beach replenishment, habitat destruction and the need to spend millions of dollars at regular intervals to avoid safety hazards. Most recently 11 acres of riparian habitat, including 179 oaks and 70 sycamores, were removed for sediment placement. Other sites including Hahamongna Watershed Park and La Tuna Canyon also face a similar fate. This thesis questions: How did we get to this point of destroying habitat to dump sediment which is viewed as waste product? What are the barriers for creating long term solutions and progressive change? What are some other options? And how should we move forward? The issues with sediment management have stemmed from regulatory compliance issues, adversarial relationships within agencies and among NGO's and the public, and the lack of a comprehensive long-term plan to prevent further habitat loss and other sediment removal issues. A recommendation includes looking at a community forestry model to include a wide cross-section of the community, NGO's and government agencies to come up with a long term comprehensive and progressive solution.