Partial Park Closure Due to Hazardous Conditions
Rancho Sierra Vista/Satwiwa re-opens 5/14/13, with restrictions (sunrise to sunset, not all trails). Sandstone Peak & Mishe Mokwa trails will also open, as will Backbone Trail east of Point Mugu State Park boundary. Point Mugu backcountry remains closed. More »
Trucks on Cheeseboro Canyon Trail
Occasional truck traffic (approx 6 trips per day) will take place on Cheeseboro Cyn Trail weekdays between 8am & 4pm for demolition and removal of Cheeseboro Tank. Should be completed by 5/24/13. Check back for updates or call 818-889-8996. More »
Battle against New Zealand mud snail intensifies
From The Malibu Times
The Santa Monica Bay Restoration Commission, UCLA and Heal the Bay released a report last month that says the highly invasive New Zealand mud snail is present in 15 of the 44 sites surveyed in the Malibu Creek watershed. Mud snails were found in Medea Creek, Malibou Lake and multiple sites in Malibu Creek and Las Virgenes Creek, including the confluence of Las Virgenes and Malibu Creeks.
The presence of New Zealand mud snails threatens current efforts at habitat restoration and protection, particularly those to restore populations of the endangered steelhead trout, according to Heal the Bay.
"The good news is many of the watershed's streams are not yet infested, so we can act now to protect the others," said Los Angeles City Councilmember Jack Weiss, chair of the Santa Monica Bay Restoration Commission, in a press release.
Typically spread by humans on wet boots, waders and gear, New Zealand mud snails reproduce by cloning. A single snail is capable of producing a colony of 40 million in the course of a single year. In large numbers, these, algae-eating snails can completely cover a streambed and wreak havoc on local stream ecosystems, causing devastating impacts on local fish and amphibians.
Around 400 warning signs will be posted at trailheads and access points throughout the Santa Monica Mountains. The signs describe simple steps to prevent the spread of mud snails, including transferring anything wet from stream to stream, removing all mud and debris and completely drying one's belongings.
"Although there is no evidence to indicate they have spread to other Santa Monica Mountain watersheds at this time, these findings make clear the need to prevent further spread of the New Zealand mud snail to all Southern California streams," said Mark Abramson, Stream Team manager for Heal the Bay, who initiated the site study. "There is no easy way to eradicate the snail."
Efforts are currently underway to develop education and outreach on mud snails, and to incorporate decontamination protocols into Santa Monica Mountains environmental monitoring programs. Many monitoring programs were suspended following the discovery of the New Zealand mud snail in May 2006 and are now set to resume over the next few months.
Did You Know?
Comprising 153,075 acres, Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area is the world's largest urban national park. It has more area codes (5) and zip codes (26), including the notable 90210 zip code of Beverly Hills, than any other unit in the National Park System.