EAGLE ROCK (CBSLA.com) — Above the hustle and bustle of L.A. the Eagle Rock Canyon Trail provides a sort of natural escape. But hikers are now confronted with signs in the middle of the path warning them of a $1,000 fine or six months in jail for trespassing.
The signs were put up by the Metropolitan Water District, which owns the neighboring land and maintains a key water facility at the top. Bob Muir, spokesman for the Water District, said the signs were put up in response to concerns about homeless encampments and wildfires that could endanger the water facility.
“Wildfires, particularly in this area, is a certain risk we want to take care of as soon as possible,” said Muir.
The signs have drawn the attention of Collaborative Eagle Rock Beautiful, a community organization that bought land here ten years ago and maintains the trail with volunteers.
“Good neighbors don’t just put up signs and say keep off – they have a conversation,” said Cherryl Weaver, CERB president.
Weaver argues that her organization is part of the solution, constantly cleaning up the area, but that the Water District never called them with their concerns.
“This has been here for 10 years and nobody’s ever even made a phone call or letter, email or anything to our organization to say hey we have a problem,” added Weaver.
At least one neighbor in the area said that homeless encampments are a problem.
“When you go you see needles, feces, not a place I take my kid anymore,” said the local resident, who asked not to be identified.
Muir said the Water District wants to address the situation as soon as possible.
“We moved aggressively to maintain the safety and integrity of our facility,” said Muir. “Now we’re backtracking a little but we want to get out there, talk to community leaders and [Councilmember Jose Huizar].”
The Water District and CERB have a scheduled meeting on Monday and they both say they want to come up with a win-win solution.