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Home » Santa Clarita News » Environment » SCV Outdoor Report » SCV Outdoor Report: Getting From Here To There

SCV Outdoor Report: Getting From Here To There

By: Wendy Langhans


Mule deer teeth are designed to chew vegetation. Photos courtesy of Lilian Darling Holt

It’s amazing sometimes how many things I take for granted.  Like getting from here to there, for example.  Ask anyone how it was last weekend in our valley and you’ll most likely get a raised eyebrow, crooked smile and raspy snort.


When we drive 30 miles into the San Fernando Valley, most of us don’t carry two day’s supply of water, food and walking shoes.  If we’re hungry, there’s always a fast-food burger joint near the highway.  Need coffee?  Find a Starbucks. 


But imagine you’re a hungry and thirsty deer, trying to get from here to there.  Where do you go for water or food?  In Pico Canyon, there’s an intermittent creek that flows part of the year.  And a nearby thicket of willows provides tasty forage.  But that fragile and precious riparian habitat could easily be altered by invasive plants like tamarisk.  One full-grown tamarisk can consume 300 gallons of water per day, enough to stunt the growth of willows.  Tamarisk also grows in dense thickets, hindering access to watering holes.  Sort of like trying to turn left across traffic on Lyon’s Avenue last Sunday afternoon.


That’s why volunteers and staff from the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority have organized a Tamarisk pull at Pico Canyon on Saturday, September 27.   We’re trying to keep the habitat open and accessible to the animals that live there


Remember how grateful we were to the Caltrans workers who worked day and night to re-open the I-5 before the Monday morning commute?  Now we have a chance to keep the riparian habitat at Pico canyon available for the animals that depend upon it.  So grab your shovel and come join us.  Or bring your older children and make it a family project.  There’s a kick-off breakfast for volunteers at 8:00 at front of the Westfield Valencia Town Center Mall and we will work at Pico Canyon from 9-1.


This is one of 35 projects you can sign up for with the Volunteer Resource Center of Santa Clarita Valley on Make a Difference Day, a nationwide day of volunteering.  For information and to pre-register at Pico Canyon, contact Susana Campbell at 661-286-4165 ( or MRCA volunteer Steve Ioerger at 661-291-1565 or (


For more information on  Make a Difference Day, go to


For a map and directions to Pico Canyon, go to

Our next Bird Hike is scheduled at Towsley Canyon on Saturday, October 20 from 8:00-10:00 AM. There will also be a full-moon hike on Friday, October 26 from 7:00-9:00 PM.  Towsley Canyon is located on the Old Road, west of I-5 and about 1/4 mile south of the Calgrove exit.


You can listen to stories like this every Friday morning at 7:10 a.m. on "The Hike Report", brought to you by your hometown radio station KHTS (AM1220) and by the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority.


For our complete hike and activity schedule and for trail maps, go to


To see what's playing on radio station KHTS, go to tune in to AM 1220.


SCV Outdoor Report: Getting From Here To There

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