THE THREAT TO HILLSIDE PRESERVATION
We are the people who have joined with thousands of others fighting to
Save the Missing Middle of the
Puente-Chino Hills Wildlife Corridor. Residents in Los Angeles, Orange and
San Bernardino Counties have united to fight two bad projects that will
bulldoze the hills we all cherish.
saving the 8,700 acre “Missing Middle” we will link 4,000 acres of preserved open
space in Whittier with 13,000 acres in Chino Hills State Park east of
Brea. When complete, this phenomenal corridor will serve as both a
lifeline for wildlife and a place of recreation and retreat for the
residents of the region. The trails and pathways will extend from the San
Gabriel River in Los Angeles County on the west to Temecula in San Diego
County on the southeast. What a gift to the future – a linkage of natural
lands in one of the most highly urbanized regions of the world.
Two colossal projects would wall off the “Missing Middle” of the Wildlife
• International oil giants Shell and ExxonMobil are planning 3,600 houses
and three commercial developments on its 3,000 acres, mostly west of the
• The City of Industry is proposing massive dams and a highway on its
5,700 acres, east of the 57 freeway.
If allowed to succeed, these enormous
urban intrusions will forever seal the fate of the hills near our
Industry and Shell's subsidiary, Aera Energy, are best friends as they plan an
unsightly mass of housing on
the hills and threaten us with a wall of water in Tonner Canyon. Both
want a highway in Tonner Canyon - Industry needs it for access to the dams;
Shell-Aera needs the added road capacity it will provide. These
development projects will forever destroy this last remaining open space
so vital to residents and wildlife alike.
SHELL OIL'S 3,600
HOUSES ON 3,000 ACRES
Shell Oil's project will be unsightly, poorly
planned sprawl for high end housing. This destructive housing
in the mostly unspoiled hills will ruin the panoramic backdrop for
millions of Californians. The culprit is Aera Energy, a development
company primarily owned by Shell Oil with ExxonMobil as a minority
partner. This developer’s unethical treatment of local communities is why
The project will :
• Worsen the existing traffic jams by adding 40,000 more vehicle trips a
• Add 2,400 students to our already over-crowded schools;
• Sever the Wildlife Corridor that will cause resource agencies
to become disinterested in helping preserve the land;
• Diminish the value of the lands that we, the people of California, have
already invested over $200 million to protect during the last 30 years;
• Overextend our fire, police and other public services and increase the
emergency response times
• Overtax roads and other taxpayer paid-for infrastructure in neighboring
• Increase urban runoff that eventually degrades our beloved beaches;
• Put further pressure on scarce water resources and
• Destroy a blessed stretch of tranquility and Old California between the
crowded suburban areas of Orange County and the San Gabriel Valley.
How does Shell-Aera expect anyone to believe that
vehicle trips per day will not paralyze the adjacent communities already
overwhelmed by traffic from other poorly planned developments? With a straight
face Shell-Aera tells us they can fix all of these impacts.
But they deceive. They cannot mitigate impacts on such a massive project
to a degree that does not destroy the beauty of the hills and the
livability of our region, as we know them today. The 27 year long cross
county, bi-partisan preservation effort continues to envision a backbone
of open space that will enhance the lives of all who live here, now and
into the future.
THREE DAMS AND A HIGHWAY ON 5,700 ACRES
The second project is the destruction of Tonner Canyon with a series of
risky dams accessed by a major highway on land acquired by the City of
Industry. This land lies in three different counties and is completely
outside of Industry's city jurisdiction.
Industry denies these plans but public documents reveal 30 years of
planning. Emails as recent as August 2004 substantiate Industry's desire
for the dams.
• Dam 1 would be built just east of the 57 freeway in lower Tonner Canyon
and unbelievably near the Whittier-Elsinore earthquake fault, threatening
tens of thousands of homes;
• Dam 2 would be built in Middle Tonner Canyon south of “The Country Park”
in Diamond Bar and would flood Grand Avenue and
• Dam 3 would be built north of Grand Avenue.
And don’t think “pristine lakes.” Think massive electric power
generating plants that will drain Dam 2 into Dam 1 each day revealing
huge bathtub rings with slopes cluttered with debris. Dam 1 will then pump its
water back up to Dam 2 at night when electricity is cheaper and will leave its
own bathtub rings.
The City of Industry spends millions of taxpayer dollars in pursuit of
projects outside its city limits. Why you ask? Because they seem to have
little accountability or transparency. Most of its 106 registered voters
are beholden to the City in one way or another. Many voters live in
housing owned by the City, its Redevelopment Agency or the mayor’s family
partnership. The City treats its millions of dollars of sales tax revenue
paid by the whole region's residents as a personal treasure chest to
enable activities well outside of its own city or jurisdiction.
This ambitious and wealthy city with a reported
$1 billion reserve is pushing for a new highway cutting through the hills
and watershed of the former Firestone Boy Scout Reservation. Under the
banner of a new access road to the Olinda Landfill, Industry has been
seeking this road for at least three years. But Industry’s road will not
stop at the landfill. It will provide a thoroughfare for hundreds of
thousands of people who live in the rapidly developing Inland Empire. As
envisioned, this new highway will dump traffic into Brea at the only place wildlife can
safely migrate between the Puente and Chino Hills, under the 57 freeway at
Tonner Canyon. With a severed Corridor, the Shell-Aera land, just west, will lose
resource value making it much more prone to development and making its preservation
much more difficult.
A MAP OF
THE MISSING MIDDLE
Below is a map of the Missing Middle and the two project sites. This map
is interactive and web-users can click on the Shell-Aera or City of
Industry land as a link to learn about each property.
SUCCESSFUL EFFORT TO SAVE THE HILLS
This region of Southern California is part of a Hot Spot of Biodiversity –
and contains some of the fastest disappearing landscapes on the planet.
Hot Spots are places where valuable habitat and development threats
collide. Biodiversity describes the variety of life forms found on earth.
ours are blessed with many life forms that evolved over time, thriving in
our climate, finding a variety of niches to adapt to and spreading into
the nooks and crannies of our canyons, hills and alongside streams. That’s
why resource agencies pay attention to our hills.
Recognizing the richness of this landscape, local, regional,
federal agencies along with private citizens desiring preservation of this
unequaled recreational resource have invested over $200 million in a 27
year effort to save this rich natural heritage. We have also come to learn
that saving islands of natural lands cannot sustain wildlife for the long
term. Large blocks of open space are necessary to accommodate the survival
needs of the wildlife (migration routes, breeding grounds, adequate food
Because of this reality, interested citizens and governments came together
10 years ago to connect the archipelago of saved lands in the Puente-Chino
Hills into a protected Wildlife Corridor. Though many successes have
followed in that intervening time -- including Coal Canyon, Old Coach
Estates, Powder Canyon and Turnbull Canyon --- Shell-Aera and Industry’s
heart-breaking projects pose the most current threats.
Ahmanson Ranch was saved, Ballona Creek was saved. The Missing Middle can
be saved too. We have a track record to prove it.
The hills are worth saving and
people will suffer
if Shell-Aera OR
City of Industry get their
Download the Save the Missing Middle home page. You may
need to download