AHMANSON RANCH DOCUMENTS
In the course of our Ahmanson Ranch investigation, EnviroReporter.com has assembled hundreds of documents totally thousands of pages. This treasure trove of information includes the entire hard copy and computer files of two former newspaper editors who were on the scene before we were (but who had done nothing significant with the information).
In addition to our Ahmanson Ranch Investigation and Gallery, we present this page of documents which includes media coverage from other news sources. Ultimately, regardless of the upcoming controversy surrounding this massive and ultimately doomed development project, this information documents one of the most unexpected environmental victories in the history of Southern California.
We present these documents and articles from the most current to the oldest in descending order. Some entries are detailed on this page while others are simply listed because their importance is self-described.
Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy: “Upper Las Virgenes Canyon Open Space Preserve (formerly Ahmanson Ranch)” :This superb site is the home of the parkland as it is today complete with maps, photos, history and events.
Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy: SMMC operates Ahmanson Ranch now and was a key player in saving the land.
California Resources Agency: “Upper Las Virgenes Canyon Open Space Preserve Acquisition Information” page with links to book produced in 2003 that is stunning in its beauty. The book was crucial in understanding the ranch’s importance to the area.
October 2005: “Before and After Photos of Topanga Fire at Ahmanson Ranch” North Ranch Mountain Bikers
April 10, 2004 – Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy press release: “Former Ahmanson Ranch Dedicated to the Public: New 2,983-acre Upper Las Virgenes Canyon Open Space Preserve is the most significant parkland purchase in Southern California history”
Moviesites.org’s film history of Lasky Mesa and Ahmanson Ranch.
Wishtoyo page: This organization represents the Native American Chumash who originally settled Ahmanson Ranch and whose range stretched from San Luis Obispo to Topanga Canyon in Malibu. This vibrant group fought Washington Mutual and was crucial in pointing out the irreplaceable cultural resources that exist at the property including grave sites.
Santa Monica Conservancy special events including weddings: Ahmanson Ranch is popular for weddings and is relatively affordable.
April 10, 2004: “Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy Dedicates Former Ahmanson Ranch to the Public” Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy
Spring 2004: “A New Life for an Old Ranch” California Coast & Ocean
January/February 2004: “Governor buys the farm” Sierra Magazine
Fall 2003 Heal the Bay newletter: “We Saved Ahmanson Ranch!”
November 7, 2003: Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy closes escrow on Ahmanson Ranch – SMCC press release
November 8, 2003: “Ahmanson Ranch Sale Is Completed” Los Angeles Times
November 7, 2003: “Sale of Ahmanson Ranch Completed” Business Wire
October 2, 2003: “Ahmanson Ranch stays protected” Moorpark Acorn
October 1, 2003: “Washington Mutual Statement Regarding Ahmanson Ranch” WaMu press release
September 30, 2003: California Wildlife Conservation Board: Master Tract Planning Phase
September 30, 2003: California Wildlife Conservation Board: Ahmanson Ranch Excerpts from minutes
September 26, 2003: “Wrangling at the ranch – Washington Mutual inherited real estate with environmental, legal and public relations issues when it acquired a competitor. Now, after 15 years, it’s on the verge of a deal” Puget Sound Business Journal (Seattle)
September 24, 2003: “Agreement Reached On Nature Preserve” – New York Times
September 25, 2003: State Coastal Conservancy Public Meeting Minutes “5. MALIBU CREEK WATERSHED: AHMANSON RANCH ACQUISITION”
September 13, 2003: “First Step in Bid to Buy Ahmanson Ranch Approved — A state board authorizes conservation agencies to begin negotiating a deal with the owner, whose development plan is tied up by lawsuits.” Los Angeles Times
June 24, 2003: “RESOURCES SECRETARY ISSUES STATEMENT ON POSSIBLE SALE OF AHMANSON RANCH TO STATE OF CALIFORNIA”
California Resources press release
April 23, 2003: SRWQCB’s Sampling Plan for M-1 – This controversial Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board plan to retest the Ahmanson Ranch well contaminated with perchlorate was exposed as being apparently rigged in our cover story “Two Mile Island.” This report was completed for Washington Mutual attorneys who also represented Boeing at the time. Observers speculated that WaMu was hoping to “test” the troubling perchlorate away.
The following paragraph in the report shows the apparent bias in the LARWQCB’s methodology where the board doesn’t even mention the most likely source of Ahmanson Ranch perchlorate pollution — neighboring Rocketdyne:
“The site use and chemical use information you provided indicate that there is no record of perchlorate use on the property, or of activities that can reasonably be inferred to have used significant quantities of perchlorate. Because there is no reason to believe that Ahmanson Ranch is a source of perchlorate, no assessment of source areas will be required at this time. Should new information be found, indicating perchlorate has been used on the property, the need for additional assessment will be reevaluated.”
January 17, 2003: “Washington Mutual Responds to Ahmanson Ranch Lawsuit Announcements” WaMu press release
January 17, 2003: “Environmental groups sue over WaMu’s California Ahmanson Ranch development” Puget Sound Business Journal (Seattle):
California Native Plant Society – Their perspective & December 20, 2002 Los Angeles Times article about Ventura County Board of Supervisors passing Ahmanson Ranch development project
December 20, 2002: “California Housing Development Crosses Hurdle” New York Times
December 19, 2002: “Ventura County Board of Supervisors Meeting – Ahmanson Ranch” – This was the final day of testimony and decision time.
December 18, 2002 “Delay Sought in Development Vote” New York Times article on effect of perchlorate on issue.
November 21, 2002: “Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Report (FSEIR) for the Ahmanson Ranch Project Phase “A” Master Tract Map”
South Coast Air Quality Management District
November 7, 2002: “Ahmanson Ranch project inches closer to approval” Thousand Oaks Acorn
October 10, 2002: “Los Angeles mayor weighs in on 3,050-unit Ahmanson Ranch project” Thousand Oaks Acorn
June 2, 2002: “Hollywood Group Takes a Battle Over Land to Seattle” New York Times
May 23, 2002: “Calabasas to spend more in Ahmanson fight” Simi Valley Acorn
April 25, 2002: “Classic urban sprawl” by Rob Reiner and Robert Pregulman, Seattle Times
April 25, 2002: “A model development” by former Clinton Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt
April 10 – 16, 2002: “Rally to Save Ahmanson Ranch Cranks Up Its Campaign” Santa Monica Mirror
March 21, 2002: “Planned community creates affordable housing” Pepperdine University The Graphic
February 19, 2002 photo of, left to right, former HBO chief Chris Albrecht, Rep. Henry Waxman, actor/director Rob Reiner, Rep. Brad Sherman, Heal the Bay’s Shelly Luce. “Congressman Brad Sherman joins his colleague Henry Waxman and Producer Rob Reiner to express outrage over Washington Mutual’s Ahmanson Ranch Supplemental Environmental Impact Report,” reads Sherman press release.
January 15, 2002: “Radio Campaign Launched Featuring Martin Sheen Targets Washington Mutual’s Planned “Environmental Disaster” in the Santa Monica Mountains” Business Wire
November 21, 2001: “No Room at the Ranch – Ahmanson won’t have truly affordable units” LA Weekly
November 2001: “Ahmanson Ranch: Housing California’s Growth Won’t Be Accomplished Easy In This Region” Metro Investment Report
July 25, 2001 “Eat the State” website with “Nature and Politics” article by Jeffrey St. Clair and Alexander Cockburn attacking Bruce Babbitt.
August 23, 2000: “Ahmanson Ranch developer seeks Web site arbitration” Ventura County Star
December 4, 2000: “Ahmanson Land Company v. Save Open Space and Electronic Imaging Systems” WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center
August 11, 1995: “Ahmanson H F & Co/DE” Security and Exchange Commission
June 5, 1993: “Ahmanson Project’s Fate May Remain Clouded for Months” Los Angeles Times