I attended the study session at City Hall tonight about how Monrovia will maintain its Wilderness area. A few things that struck me:
- The Wilderness Area has an endangered species called Braunton's milk vetch, about which the city has posted warning signs along the Clamshell road leading up from the Ridgeside entry point. In her report, Director of Community Services Tina Cherry said that "milk-vetch actually thrives when disturbed," and Fire Chief Christopher Donovan said that when the road is scraped the milk-vetch "flourishes." Comment: So, maybe the city should replace the threatening warning signs (above) on the Clamshell Road, that tell people not to disturb the milk vetch, with signs that encourage them - in the appropriate season - to stomp on milk vetch. (I'm only half kidding here.)
- Donovan added that the Clamshell road used to be scraped yearly by the county, for free, but now, with the discovery of the endangered-ness of the milk vetch, not so often because you need permission from the Department of Fish and Game. Comment: Um, so we're not going to scrape the road - which makes the milk vetch flourish - because we want to protect the milk vetch?
- Councilmember Gloria Crudgington said hikers' boots and bicyclists' tires are responsible for introducing invasive species into the hills.
- The Council was concerned that the bond money for maintenance will run out in 13 years and advocated a more minimalist cost-saving maintenance approach than city staff proposed. Mayor Tom Adams said, "I don't know that we need a lot of people [employees] to leave nature alone."
- Brad Haugaard