Environmentalists concerned about AngelFest event planned at Sepulveda Basin Recreation Area

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Environmentalists are concerned that a big music and arts festival planned at the Sepulveda Basin Recreation Area this fall may have a negative impact on a nearby wildlife reserve. (KABC)

Environmentalists are concerned that a big music and arts festival planned at the Sepulveda Basin Recreation Area this fall may have a negative impact on a nearby wildlife reserve.

The AngelFest event, which would take place over three days in October, could see more than 60,000 people per day. That's more people than a sold-out game at Dodgers Stadium.

According to a report released Tuesday by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, there would be no significant environmental impact.

"Part of our review is to evaluate all the environmental resources and potential impacts from the proposed event. At this point, our preliminary assessment shows that we don't have any significant impacts," said Tiffany Bostwick with the Army Corps of Engineers.

However, many do not agree with the event due to possible harm to the nearby Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Reserve, where hundreds of species of birds live. One of the stages for the event is planned to go right at the border of the reserve.

Environmentalists say this would have a dramatic impact on the species that call the reserve home, including several endangered and threatened species.

Also, October is a big migratory time. Environmentalists from the San Fernando Valley Audubon Society say this reserve is really the only spot in the area for those birds to stop during their flight to South America.

AngelFest representatives say the event will be environmentally friendly, and they will take steps to make sure there will be minimal impact, including using compostable packaging.

"The park's a great location, obviously, here in the valley, and there aren't that many festivals either in L.A., and there really isn't one that celebrates the best of L.A., and to put it in a basin and in an environment where the park really needs the support, and the environment needs it," said Matt Simons, spokesman for AngelFest.

This issue will be opened up for debate at a public forum on April 26 at the Balboa Gymnasium.
Kris Ohlenkamp helped put the reserve into place some 30 years ago.

"There's no way they can not be impacted. If they're here, they're going to be going somewhere else, and there's really no place else for them to go," Ohlenkamp said.

He said if those birds decide not to come to the reserve, they won't come back, and this will significantly impact some endangered and threatened species.
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