National Park Service proposes to rebuild parts of the Santa Monica Mountains NRA

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Woolsey Fire destroyed Peter Strauss Ranch in Santa Monica Mountains NRA / NPS file

Parts of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, including the Paramount Ranch, that were lost in the Woolsey Fire in 2018 would be rebuilt as part of a plan the National Park Service released to comments.

The Woolsey Fire began on November 8, 2018, near the Santa Susanna Field Lab above Simi Valley, near the Los Angeles and Ventura County border. The Santa Ana winds pushed the fire south on the first day. He then crossed Highway 101 between the San Fernando Valley and the Conejo Valley and headed for the Santa Monica Mountains.

The Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area has seen nearly 100,000 acres scorched by the fire. Most of Western Town at Paramount Ranch was destroyed, along with the 1927 Peter Strauss Ranch home, the Rocky Oaks Ranger Residence and Museum Building, and most of the UCLA La Kretz Field Station. More than 21,000 of the 23,595 National Park Service acres within the park boundaries have burned down.

The environmental assessment which analyzes the Park Service’s preferred approach to rebuilding lost structures and facilities calls for the replacement of the 19 lost structures with only nine structures in the three developed areas.

While the park plans to use the same locations at these sites for redevelopment, the goal is to make the new facilities meet modern codes and be more functional and efficient. The new structures would meet applicable design codes and standards for accessibility and fire safety, including the International Building Code, the Architectural Barriers Act Accessibility Standard / Americans with Disabilities Act ( ADA), and the codes of the International Wildland Urban Interface Code and the National Fire Protection Association, says EA.

“In addition, the new structures would improve the visitor experience and the efficiency of park operations in pre- and post-fire conditions. The proposed action aims to redevelop the burnt areas in a way that better aligns with the NPS mission of natural conservation and cultural resources and to provide high quality outdoor recreation opportunities to the public, ”the document adds.

The wildfire destroyed historic maps and photographs, including on-site shots in Hollywood, film reels, prehistoric fossils and Chumash Indian artifacts, plant specimens and the park’s historical records. He ruined wildlife-monitoring equipment, destroyed countless sections of the area’s 450-mile trail, and set fire to 35 park service buildings, some designated as historic.

Paramount Ranch located in Santa Monica Mountains NRA / NPS

Park Service proposes to rebuild part of Paramount Ranch / NPS complex

Western movie set at Paramount Ranch, the only Park Service site to tell the story of American cinema, lost in flames the Old West saloon, sheriff’s office and hitch stations featured in television shows and films such as Western world, Dr Quinn, Medicine Woman, The lake house, and The Cisco child.

The preferred proposition in EA calls for rebuilding damaged or destroyed structures “so that Paramount Ranch would function as a film location and event space again. The four historic buildings and all utilities that were destroyed in the fire would be replaced.”

In Rocky Oaks, the Park Service proposes to “centralize the replacement of employee quarters and administrative offices lost in the fire of other NPS properties within the SMMNRA to this site, which would improve the efficiency of the operations of the NPS. NPS. The proposed action would include the construction of an administrative office building, employee housing structures, RV parking and hookups for seasonal employees, and associated site improvements at this site. A single housing building would be constructed in the first phase of the project, but the proposed action contains a design for a second housing construction. “

The proposed work for the Peter Strauss Ranch requires the replacement of the ranch and outdoor staging areas, so that the property can once again function as an event space. Construction would take place once improvements at Paramount Ranch and Rocky Oaks are complete and funding is found for the work, the EA said.

If, after the current 30-day public comment period, the plan is passed, construction could begin in the spring at Paramount Ranch and Rocky Oaks.


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