On May 15, 2013, a contractor working on behalf of Southern California Edison cleared a giant swath of prime habitat in Hahamongna Watershed Park. Even though the rich habitat was destroyed during a particularly sensitive season for birds and other species in Hahamongna, the destruction apparently was conducted without any environmental documentation or even notification of the City of Pasadena.
The City of Pasadena granted Edison a utility easement through Hahamongna Watershed Park for their power poles heading north/south to Jet Propulsion Laboratory more than sixty years. The giant electric utility claims that the easement gives them the right to maintain access to the poles that lead along the west side of the park from near Devil's Gate Dam all the way up to JPL. But Edison's easement was established long before Hahamongna Watershed Park even existed, and it has never been revised to reflect the new conditions of the park and the value of the rare habitat found there. Commercial entities clearly are not appropriate in such natural areas, regardless of when their easement (right to destroy) was established. Edison could easily relocate its power pole along Oak Grove Drive, but they will not do so until the City of Pasadena demands it.
Hahamongna Watershed Park is a rare and precious environmental treasure. It's time for the City of Pasadena to protect the habitat and wildlife there by insisting that Southern California Edison remove its power poles and lines from Hahamongna Watershed Park.
The area involved was part of the acreage that Pasadena planned to grade and raise as part of the soccer field expansion. Last Summer Arroyo Seco Foundation volunteers conducted an evaluation of the value of the habitat there.