USACE PHOTO BY BROOKS O. HUBBARD IV
SOUTH PACIFIC DIVISION
Volunteer Raisa Parnell, center, picks up trash along the San Gabriel Spillway in the Whittier Narrows Natural Area as part of National Public Lands Day. Honoring National Public Lands Day, USACE’s Los Angeles District partnered with Los Angeles County, the Whittier Narrows Nature Center Associates, and local volunteers who joined forces to clean up and remove trash from the San Gabriel riverbed at the Whittier Narrows Nature Center, Sept. 28.
is the prime reason park rangers participate in these types of events. “It’s our job to educate and inform the public,” Carmona said of herself and her fellow park rangers. “I [have] lived just 2 miles away from Whittier Narrows for many years, so I am very familiar with the community.” “Parents and children seemed excited to know about who we are, what we do, and how we can assist them,” said Annel Monsalvo, Los Angeles District park ranger. “We provided coloring books; activity books, both in English and in Spanish; and other goodies, such as Frisbees, cups, adhesive phone pouches, and towels.” The job of a district park ranger is unpredictable. Her or his day may begin patrolling the lush green parks within the San Gabriel Valley and end with code enforcement duties in the arid high-desert Mojave River Dam flood control project, located in San Bernardino County. This past summer, Figueroa and Carmona traveled to the dam after their office received reports of vandalism and unauthorized
off-highway vehicle (OHV) activity at the dam. Figueroa and Carmona advised several OHV operators of their unauthorized access into the basin. “We were out there communicating with some of the folks recreating within the critical habitat area,” Figueroa said. “Over the years, there have been a lot of folks who have come out with their OHVs or dirt bikes and either have made their own way around the locked gate or have driven over large dirt embankments, which have been placed around the basin to block illegal access to the area.” Figueroa and Carmona issued parking tickets to vehicles that had illegally gained access to the area and parked adjacent to the dam’s emergency spillway. More than 25 OHV operators were contacted and advised to immediately leave the area. For more information about the USACE Ranger program, or to find events near you, visit www.spl.usace.army.mil or call a local USACE lake or river project office. For more information about USACE’s recreation opportunities, visit www.CorpsLakes.us. n 97