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News Release

NRCS Provides Emergency Assistance to Los Angeles Communities

Media Contacts: 
Anita Brown (530) 792-5644
Greg Norris (530) 792-5609                            

LOS ANGELES, April 3, 2018 – The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) provided nearly $428,000 to the communities of La Tuna, Sunland and Sun Valley to install a number of emergency protection measures against winter mudslides. This federal funding, through the Emergency Watershed Protection Program (EWP), is designed to relieve imminent hazards to life and property created by a natural disaster.

The funding went towards installing concrete barriers (known as K-rails) and timber barriers after the 2017 La Tuna Fire was contained. These barriers help prevent soil and debris from moving into residential zones and imperiling life and property. NRCS engineers will also continue to work with city officials to provide technical guidance and resources as needed.

EWP is designed to help conserve natural resources by relieving imminent hazards to life and property caused by floods, fires, wind­storms, and other natural occurrences. All EWP projects require a government sponsor to apply for assistance, which the City of Los Angeles did in this case.

Local districts and municipalities often call on NRCS following natural resource emergencies, tapping the agency’s expertise in managing soil erosion and sedimentation. NRCS applies this expertise through EWP, which helps local agencies protect the public from hazards on watersheds caused by events such as fire or flood. 

“In events such as the La Tuna, Creek, Skirball and Thomas fires, K-Rails and sand bags are usually recommended by NRCS and installed by the local municipality through the EWP because they are relatively inexpensive and yet very effective in controlling sediment that comes off steep hillsides,” said NRCS state conservation engineer Greg Norris.

NRCS provides 75 percent of the construction cost of emergency measures. The remaining 25 percent must come from local sources and can be in the form of cash or in-kind services.

NRCS has provided leadership in a partnership effort to help America's private landowners and managers conserve their soil, water and other natural resources since 1935.