Congress added to the federal system the segment of Piru Creek downstream of Pyramid Dam in northern Los Angeles County in 2009 as part of an omnibus bill signed by President Obama that protected 105 miles of Wild & Scenic Rivers and 750,000 acres of wilderness in California.
The only agency-recognized outstandingly remarkable value of this segment of Piru Creek is geological. The rock formations and faults along the creek are crucial to the understanding of the complex structural and geomorphic evolution of North America’s west coast. Conservationists believe that this segment of Piru Creek also possesses outstanding scenic, recreation, fish, and wildlife values. This segment is one of the few streams on the Angeles Forest managed for catch and release trout fishing. Easily accessible from Interstate 5 in northern Los Angeles County, Frenchman’s Flat on Piru Creek is a popular destination for anglers, picnickers, and families. When seasonal flows are available, kayakers put-in at Frenchman’s Flat to run the creek through the Sespe Wilderness, which according to one kayaker is “one of the most unique, isolated, and scenic one-day, road accessible whitewater runs in the western U.S.” The creek also supports threatened and endangered wildlife, including arroyo toad, least Bell’s vireo, and California condor.
CalWild and its allies have sponsored legislation to add to the federal system the creek’s upstream and downstream segments to the existing Piru Creek Wild & Scenic River, as part of the Central Coast Heritage Protection Act. n.