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Sepulveda Basin: Activists demand answers about clearing

The Sepulveda Basin is shown in this 2013 photo.

January 13, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
Bird watchers and river cleanup advocates are demanding answers after a government agency bulldozed 43 acres of a wildlife preserve.

Members of the Audubon Society, Sierra Club and Friends of the L.A. River led walking tours Sunday at the Sepulveda Basin.

Just weeks ago, the lot was full of trees, bushes and all kinds of wildlife. But the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers flattened it, saying the area was a hot spot for drug dealing and sex trafficking.

"The Army Corps of Engineers has come in here and basically destroyed what was a thriving habitat for animals and for people to come enjoy the environment. And what we have now is basically a war zone," said one activist.

The Regional Water Quality Control Board is demanding an official explanation from the federal agency. An Army spokesman told the Daily News they would comply with the state request.