250 old-growth trees being cut down despite protests

250 old-growth trees were cut down to make room for a dumping ground as crews clear out area debris basins and the Santa Anita Dam.
250 old-growth trees were cut down to make room for a dumping ground as crews clear out area debris basins and the Santa Anita Dam. Shirley Jahad/ KPCC

Despite efforts by tree sitters and protesters, Los Angeles County officials have been cutting down about 250 old trees in an 11-acre wilderness area.

Crews have been chopping down old growth oaks and sycamores, some more than a hundred years old in the Arcadia Woodlands. Protesters crept in before sunlight yesterday.

Four tree sitters were up in the branches while bulldozers and saws buzzed below them. By sunset, stumps and roots remained where many of the trees had been. L.A. County Sheriff's deputies later at night arrested the tree sitters for trespassing.

Critics say authorities made it difficult for anyone to see "the trees falling in the forest" by keeping media and demonstrators at a distance.

L.A. County crews are leveling the area to make room for a dumping ground as they clear out area debris basins and the Santa Anita Dam. State water officials want the clearing for flood control and water conservation.

Environmental activists urged officials to come up with an alternate dumping site. Authorities put the project on hold for a month to consider alternatives and then went forward with the clearing.

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