SCOPE - Santa Clarita Organization for Planning and the Environment


Legal Issues/Quality of Life
Fish and Game River Alteration Permit

As many community activists know, participating in the public process often is not enough. No matter how logical the information provided by them is, public agencies often make decisions under lobbying and other pressure from well-funded special interests. We believe that was the case when the California Fish and Game Department (effective Jan. 1st. 2013 to be re-named Department of Fish and Wildlife in order to better reflect its full duties) approved the River Alteration Permit for the Newhall Ranch Project. It would allow building in the flood plain (the river along Hwy 126 would become invisible behind a wall of strip malls), and huge impacts to the native plants, animals, fish and birds that live in and along its banks.

The Permit would allow massive filling of the flood plain, banking of the last free-flowing river in Los Angeles County and burying or channeling 80% of its tributaries.

SCOPE joined a coalition of other state and national organizations (see press release below) to protect the Santa Clara River. This coalition believes the Courts are the last stage in the public process, there to protect the public when other government agencies fail.

On October 17th, 2012 the Los Angeles Superior Court agreed that the environmental document, did not fully disclose and find ways to lesson the impacts (mitigate) from this huge project.

On November 30, 2015, the California Supreme Court found that the EIR provided no evidence that there would not be an impact. Like everyone "person on the street", it seems pretty obvious that adding some 269 tons per year of greenhouse gases to our atmosphere is pretty significant.