Angelfest Music Festival vs. area birds

If you know anything about the park land at immediate Lake Balboa - Van Nuys area you know it's huge. And, there are many parks. One is Woodley Park on the Van Nuys side. There is even a secluded wildlife refuge with its own lake and lots of critters.

It's in the area of Woodley Park, away from the refuge, but not that far from it, that promoters want to create a music festival called Angelfest. It would focus on LA-centric music going all the way back to the 50's.

Jim Houghton is a bird watcher and on the board of the San Fernando Valley Audubon Society. He and others from the Society are worried about the creatures in the preserve and park especially all of the birds, ducks, geese, egrets and on and on.

It has been billed as something that would rival Coachella and would bring tens of thousands to the park. To Houghton "it's too big and this isn't the appropriate place to have it." He said the fairgrounds or the Rose Bowl would be better. He and the society aren't opposed to the idea of a festival, they just don't want it in the park where it could affect the wildlife.

There is also concern about the long-term impact of Angelfest if it becomes an annual event in the same place at the same time this year. He says that could cause these creatures to change their habits.

Festival spokesman Matt Simmons says the environment is also a major concern of the promoters. And, He points to the 300-page environmental impact report that suggested there would be no significant negative environmental impact by the festival. Simmons says, "In fact, it's going to be a festival that supports the environment in the area. That's the intention. And, the Make Good guys are environmentalists themselves."

Make Good is the team behind the festival. They say they'll leave the place better than they found it adding,
"There's money for recreation and parks in putting on this festival. The proceeds will go for funding programs at the park for the environment."

A public hearing will be held April 26th before the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. A decision on whether the festival promoters can use the park will be made after that.

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