Azusa Foothills Open Space

WCA manages 280 acres of open space on Glendora Ridge which were conserved for their watershed and habitat conservation value. Guided access is currently through privately held land and requires a .75 mile climb up an unpaved fire road (average grade of 12%).  

A sustainable public access program will balance public use with the needs of the larger community, the neighboring ranch, local neighbors, and WCA’s own organizational capacity. These needs were explored in a series of workshops held in 2022-2023 which resulted in the Azusa Foothills Open Space Stewardship Plan. 

This 2006 map envisioned a trail system to connect WCA's River Wilderness Park with surrounding lands. Since 2006, numerous trails shown on this map have been closed due to erosion, safety, and other issues. WCA continues to seek community dialogue in how best to structure access to our Azusa public lands

Fire Resilience Planning and Invasive Species Removal

Invasive species removal will occur on Azusa Foothills Open Space in summer 2024. Invasive species removal will follow the recommendations made by Wildscape Restoration, Tidal Influence, and Cooper Ecological Monitoring in their work shared below. HANA Resources has been engaged to create a sustainable land management plan that includes a plan for invasive species management for the Rosedale Open Space. WCA will seek to balance fire resilience and biodiversity on public lands in the Wildland Urban interface.

Biological Surveys

In 2019, Tidal Influence (TI) surveyed Parcel I [APN 8684-024-907], mapping plant communities and recording the presence of 101 plant species, of which 71 were native and 18 were classified as invasive. Wildlife cameras captured the presence of foxes, mountain lions, deer, and coyotes. TI noted patterns of recovery after the 2014 Colby Fire, such as the re-sprouting of large fire-adapted coastal sage shrubs, the reestablishment of other native species via the existing seed bank, the use of post-fire snags as perches by resident birds, and avian breeding activity. TI’s report discussed selective control of invasive species on site; and suggested an approach to aiding the post-fire recovery of a walnut woodland on site. 

In 2020, Cooper Ecological Monitoring surveyed Parcel II, [APN 8684-024-908], documenting 100 plant species (80 native), 65 species of birds, 10 species of mammals, and 20 species of butterflies, among other taxa.  Uncommon taxa such as mountain lion (Puma concolor), Merriam’s chipmunk (Tamias merriami), and Greater Roadrunner (Geococcyx californianus), indicate the high ecological integrity of the property.  Three special-status plant taxa and six special-status animals were documented on or adjacent to the property.

Both surveys emphasize that public access and even active management of these high-quality ecosystems (even restoration!) have potential to create negative impacts (such as spread of invasive species) that must be weighed against benefits of these activities.

In the Spring and Summer of 2024, HANA Resources will be conducting a biological survey of the Rosedale Open Space which will add to our understanding of natural processes in the foothills above Azusa.


Bio Survey PDFs:

Biological Survey of Parcel I, 2019 (Tidal Influence)
Biological Survey of Parcel II, 2021 (Cooper Ecological Monitoring)








Azusa Foothills Open Space Stewardship Plan

A sustainable public access program will balance public use with the needs of the larger community, the neighboring ranch, local neighbors, and WCA’s own organizational capacity.  The suggestions and feedback of community members collected over the course of eight Azusa Foothills Stewardship Workshops held in late 2022 and early 2023, were synthesized into recommendations for building a community centered stewardship and access program. This stewardship plan is comprised of two components:


Read more about the Azusa Foothills Open Space Stewardship Plan and see videos of stewardship workshops.