Big Tujunga Wash Mitigation Area

ECORP Consulting, Inc. is providing biological, habitat restoration, community outreach, and GIS/CAD services for Los Angeles County Department of Public Works’ (LACDPW) approximately 227-acre Big Tujunga Wash Mitigation Area near the community of Sunland in Los Angeles County, California. The credits in the bank are used by LACDPW as mitigation for various LACDPW projects in debris basins, reservoirs, and channels throughout Los Angeles County. ECORP has been implementing the Master Mitigation Plan for this project since 2007. Habitat restoration and revegetation activities have been conducted throughout the Mitigation Area to improve habitat for sensitive and listed species of wildlife and monitoring programs have been implemented at the site to ensure that these efforts continue to improve the quality and ecological function of the Mitigation Area. ECORP provides services for LACDPW in support of the site improvement and management efforts, which include: biological reconnaissance surveys, focused surveys for threatened and endangered species, habitat restoration planning and implementation, invasive plant species eradication, removal of exotic invasive wildlife species, agency coordination (United States Fish and Wildlife Service, California Department of Fish and Game, United States Army Corps of Engineers), and public outreach to the local communities who use the site for hiking and equestrian activities.

Specific programs implemented at the site to improve habitat and ecological function include:

 

  • Focused biological surveys for a suite of sensitive aquatic, riparian, and upland wildlife species;
  • A brown-headed cowbird trapping program to control the parasitic avian species;
  • An exotic plant removal program targeting Arundo, tamarisk, castor bean, Eupatory, water hyacinth, water lettuce, exotic trees, and other non-native invasive plant species;
  • An exotic wildlife removal program targeting bullfrogs and non-native species of crayfish, fishes, and turtles from the ponds and streams on the site;
  • A habitat restoration program creating cottonwood willow riparian forest and oak/sycamore woodland areas; and
  • A trails monitoring program to ensure recreational users are able to utilize the site while still maintaining the biological and ecological importance the site provides to the region.

 

ECORP also coordinates data collection, storage, and data processing/analysis services with LACDPW to aid in the management of the Mitigation Area. ECORP’s GIS department utilizes data provided by LACDPW and data collected during ECORP surveys to provide updated GIS analyses of trails, restoration areas, and impacts of human uses on site.

 

The public outreach component of this project includes the preparation of a biannual newsletter that informs the local citizens about projects and events at the site. Bilingual ECORP biologists conduct site visits during the peak recreational use seasons (spring and summer) to speak personally with recreational users and inform them of the biological importance of the Mitigation Area. English/Spanish educational flyers were developed for the purpose of educating multi-nationalities on the value of the mitigation area for wildlife and plants. In addition, biannual community advisory committee meetings are conducted to gather input from the recreational users and concerned citizens about issues at the site.

 

Click on an image for a larger view