California politician touting the 2017 fire storms as being: “The new normal”.

Governor Jerry Brown surveyed the devastation Saturday, December 9th, 2017 in Ventura — the area hardest hit by firestorms that have displaced nearly 90,000 people in Southern California — calling it “the new normal!”

So, let’s take a  minute to look at the affects of fire and  protection/prevention  in HGP and its adjacent Hollywoodland community.

The Hollywoodland residential community consisting of 575 single family homes is one of the protectors of Hollywoodland Gifted Park.  Since 1923 Hollywoodland and its open space  has been integrated by its tract designation (6450) from the inception.   From 1923-1944 the Sherman Company regulated all the appointments in the residential tract like the  putting green, tennis courts, model house, bus, bridle trails, quarry, Hollywoodland sign including all the vacant land ( 444 acres) both in the residential and open space.   There were social and economic events beginning with the 1929-1930 depression that reshaped the original vision of Hollywoodland and its surrounding park land.  Land prices plunged and the uncertainty of another world war made the Sherman Company rethink the burden of the open space.

Document searches from the City archives, Sherman Library, Hollywoodland Homeowners Association archives and Los Angeles Public Library shaped this scenario.

  • A brush fire on July 15, 1941 occurred on the eastern border of  HGP burning over 30 acres affecting residential property on Hollyridge Drive. LAFD and a film crew including actor/ cowboy, Gene Autry assisted in putting the fire out.
  • April 28, 1942 Hollywoodland Improvement Association was formed with this purpose:“to inculcate in the minds of the residents of that portion of the city of Los Angeles which is commonly referred to as Hollywoodland, a desire for orderly, safe and beautiful maintenance of their residences, gardens, lawns, and properties in said general area; and to obtain in connection there with a cooperative spirit in encouraging others to assist therein, and participate to encourage the adoption of all lawful and useful fire prevention practices.”
  • With a shortage of manpower due to World War II, Angelinos needed to become resourceful.  In 1942, much like today,  Hollywoodlanders came to their own rescue.   Because of the threat from fire bombing and brush fires the Hollywoodland association bought its own fire truck and  manned it with residents trained by LAFD.   These protection measures were in place when the open space was owned and operated by the Sherman Company.  Perhaps the writing was on the wall two years later when the Sherman Company realized the liability in protecting this hazardous area.   With little hope of more home development they concluded gifting the land for $1 to the city (in 1944) was a smart business decision.
  • History shows HGP open space is probably just as fire prone today as it was in 1942.  The adjacent Hollywoodland residential community is still advocating more safety measures and there are still people who care about this special and environmentally sensitive space. Maybe Santa will bring a new fire truck to tract 6450 and a volunteer fire team to boot!

  • On a happier note as we enter into 2018 we wish all  our followers and members a fresh new year filled with health, happiness and realized dreams for a preserved HGP!


Chris sig


C. Mills OBrien

HGP is NOT the new “Access Hollywood”                                                               How GPS and selfies are causing chaos at the famous ‘Hollywood’ sign

An influx of visitors to the LA landmark is testing local infrastructure and the environment

November 3, 2017 It is a cloudless, sun-kissed morning in Los Angeles and Gabriel Velasco feels a swelling pride at the thought that he can now strike off one of the items from his bucket list. “I have finally arrived,” says the Filipino student, 20, gazing up at the Hollywood sign from the edge of a narrow, winding street. “I have dreamt about coming here for years.”

So, it seems, have plenty of others. As he holds up his “selfie” stick in front of LA’s premier landmark, several tourists, mobile phones at the ready, get out of an Uber to take pictures. Another vehicle, this time a Lyft, lets out three more phone-wielding passengers, who start posing for portraits in front of the world’s best-known sign.

Until a decade ago, most visitors to LA stayed away from the labyrinthine residential lanes around the white letters, settling for pictures taken from the city streets below. But the advent of GPS-equipped smartphones, coupled with the selfie craze, has created a new breed of tourist, determined to return home with a self-portrait taken directly underneath the icon that has dominated the hilltop for almost a century. “In the era of GPS and social media, the attraction to these areas has been great,” admits Sarah Dusseault, chief of staff for the local council member David Ryu. “And the ‘how to get there’ [information] has been spread far and wide.”

The Hollywoodland sign was erected in 1923 to market a housing development © Underwood Archives/Getty Images

From the residential areas of Hollywoodland beneath the sign, there are no official entrances to Griffith Park and Mount Lee, the steep, brush-covered hill where the sign is perched. Still the influx is so great it is straining local infrastructure and exposing the absence of facilities to cope with the growing numbers. Some days thousands make the journey — causing chaos along the neighbourhood’s tiny streets.

Read the full article here

Autumn in the Park

Zauschneria Cana. California fuchsia ‘Hollywood Flame’

Fall, is a time of changing weather patterns.  The HGP continues to be over run with tourists, traffic and hikers. This dangerous chaos, coupled with studies authorized by city government then meetings, promises and more promises has led to nothing but a lot of inaction.  None seem  to preserve and protect the environment and the Sherman Company’s gift.                                                                                          

A former Councilman was observed picking up trash and then later leading a group of retired city employees throughout the HGP area.  In a conversation with one resident he claimed” the city won’t do anything”. These might be the truest words he ever spoke.  As a long time fixture of the city, he would know.

The city, specifically the Recreation and Parks Department is looking for ways to generate money to support maintenance in the park but they are letting valuable  opportunities slip away. Here are a few ideas:

For several years we have asked RAP management about:

  • Issuing a concessionaires fee to the Chamber and Sign Trust, based on the revenue from the service mark and sign usage. Currently they do not collect any fees from the Trust/Chamber  for using the Mt.Lee parcel within the HGP .  The last signed use agreement between the Chamber and city lapsed almost 70 years ago.
  • Fine people offering paid for tours in the park
  • Increase the trespassing fee into prohibited areas of the park
  • Apply muni code to cars illegally parked off road.
  • Cite campers and oversized vehicles parking off road onto sensitive wildlife corridors and habitat vegetation.   Who could guess the HGP is in ”EXISTING SIGNIFICANT ECOLOGICAL AREA” when little care is given to the wildlife, their corridors and the flora and fauna.

The Native Plant Restoration Plan pictured below will solve the problems of illegal off street parking, unauthorized footpaths and intrusion into the animal habitat.

This plan also creates a safe street by eliminating foot traffic and unauthorized viewing sites.  Enormous benefits for the environment, the taxpayers and visitors alike!

The Native Plant Restoration Plan

We are generating a fund to implement this plan so please email if you would like to contribute.  The city’s latest recommendation is a fence, but that ignores the environmental impact of the animal migration.

HGP supporters have reviewed and submitted their comments about the Hollywood Community Plan to LA City Planning. There are many plan components that affect open space. We hope our comments  will  assure protection  and restoration of the unique conditions identified in HGP.

It seems government refuses to apply laws to their own actions, specifically CEQA approvals.  This is evident in the HGP and its adjacent areas.  The City along with some of their consultants took the following actions without the benefits of citizen interaction or environmental review:

  • Grading of the unauthorized switchback between 3204 and 3400 Beachwood Drive
  • Bollards bordering the western most section of HGP
  • new signage
  • a drop off and pick up area for commercial transport drivers
  • proposed fencing that would continue to foster unsafe conditions  
  • creation of unauthorized trails and pathways

Want to beautify your own hillside with historic native blooms?  The Payne Foundation has duplicated the original seed mix sown in Hollywoodland era 1923.  Contact us and we will provide you with the seed mix to spread our historical message.

Take a peek at the latest Moses Sherman (P-22) Mountain Lion video that one of our Beachwood Drive Platinum Level supporters shared with us.  He is a beauty!  View P22 here!

There is something that can protect this very sensitive and high fire area:  Environmental review and a caring city government.  Your ideas to encourage this might save a very important space.

Most sincerely,

Chris sig



C. Mills OBrien

Our Summer of Illegal Accesss in HGP

Pacific Coast Iris douglasiana (Douglas Iris) hybrid; California native plant in flower

The Summer of Access, Safety at What Price?

All the discussion among the Griffith Park people revolve around access into the park.  They seem to forget what a legal access into a city park is. Below is an inquiry I poised to the GM along with accompanying photos: Email sent to Joe Salaices General Manager Griffith Park on 7/31/2017.  To date no response.“Why is there an inconsistency with this legal entrance at Canyon relative to our  (HGP)unauthorized entrances?

Note the following facts shown in these photos: sunrise to sunset, 2 locked gates, a posted phone number to exit if caught behind the gate after the sunset closure time. Joe, you need to clarify these differences, you need to explain to the Oaks folks, FOGP, Gerry and Mr. Gatto the facts.  I look forward to discussing this further, perhaps at the commission.

Hearing Crickets in the Heat!  August and September are our dry, fire watch months, but I keep hearing crickets ?  There is silence to our inquiries for protection of the wild flora and fauna despite our many pleas.   With thousands of unmonitored tourists/hikers, how can this be regulated?  This 1992 memo  discusses various municipal codes still on the books. Anyone listening? Where is the enforcement?

Help us on our journey to preserve the HGP and Hollywoodland by eMailing us at with your thoughts and ideas.  We look forward to hearing from YOU!

Most Sincerely,Chris sig


C. Mills OBrien

Spring Forward

Eschscholzia californica – California Poppy

April and May  bloomed with  invasive intervenors from some people serving on these boards and groups:  Friends of Griffith Park, Griffith Park Advisory Board, Hollywood United Neighborhood Councils, Lake Hollywood Estates, the Oaks Homeowners  and the Federation of Hillsides and Canyons.  In April some of these same people  had a peaceful, but silly protest outside of the easement gate at the end of Beachwood Drive (bordering the HGP). It is certainly their right to express their opinions, but opinions without the facts make a discussion not very credible.  As a follow up to their tantrum,  the intervenors (including the Griffith Family Trust) filed a legal action, asking  to be  included in a March judicial decision made to close of the easement road. In June the judge denied the intervenors request.

The intervenors  lack of facts was puzzling and disappointing.  Their complaint revolved around an untrue  claim that  the 444 acre Sherman gift was part of the original Griffith donation.  We hope the intervenors will continue to enlighten themselves with historical facts and obtain a clearer understanding of the wonderful, unique Sherman Company Gift  and the associated restrictions /relationship it has to adjacent property owners.  Oh, I might add my intervenor friends refute the Sherman land was a gift.  To set the record straight it was given for $1.00 you can decide if that is a gift or not! Help us on our journey to preserve the HGP and Hollywoodland by eMailing us today at with your thoughts and ideas.

We look forward to hearing from YOU!

Most Sincerely,

Chris sig


C. Mills O’Brien

The Sunset Ranch WINS INJUNCTION against the City of Los Angeles!

Hollywoodland equestrians with steeds from the Sunset Ranch Stables , riding on Woodhaven Drive c.1925.
Hollywoodland equestrians with steeds from the Sunset Ranch Stables riding on Woodhaven Drive c.1925.

Our historic Sunset Ranch Stables ride again by winning their injunction against the City of Los Angeles!   On March 13, 2017 litigators for the Ranch and City met before The Honrable Judge Elizabeth Feffer in the City of Los Angeles Superior Court. The Honorable Judge Feffer listened to the facts, reviewed the law and made a decision based on the agreement with  both parties to close the gate that  dead ends from Beachwood Drive to the easement road leading to the Sunset Ranch and their 2 acre parcel.

This is not just about safety, property rights, small business ownership, but also about  the rich equestrian history that has graced Hollywoodland  and Los Angeles.   In the early 1940’s the Sherman Company  (who owned the surrounding 444  acres) gave the Sunset Ranch  an ingress/egress easement (*1) for the purpose of accessing  their property located inside Sherman’s open space.  Then in 1944, Sherman quit claimed  the open space to the City of Los Angeles .  The Ranch’s easement is noted in the quit claim deed, on tract maps  and continues  to be a valid document.

Court discussions regarding the easement and injunction included the safety aspects of pedestrians walking the narrow, winding hillside streets without sidewalks as well as  the negative effects on the Ranch business and adjacent neighborhood.

The guards will be posted at Beachwood where it dead-ends for 4-6 weeks and  electronic signs will be changed to  direct people to Canyon Drive (with its  two parking lots, sidewalks and adjoining hiking trails).

Most Sincerely,

Chris sig

C. Mills O’Brien


(1) A few more points about the Sunset Ranch and their ingress/egress easement.

Hollywoodland equestrians with steeds at the Sunset Ranch Stables Corral. c. 1925

This is an appurtenant easement, which means that the easement is permanent stays with the land. This is important because it shows the Sherman Company’s intent that this easement lasts forever instead of expiring if the ranch ever changed ownership. It also proves that the Sherman Company valued the bridle trails so much, that they ensured that any new owner of the stables would have the same easement rights as their predecessor. It reinforces the original Hollywoodland advertisement, which stresses the importance of the bridle paths and the stables. For the last 90+ years, horses have been a big part of this neighborhood and are an important part of our history.

Although the judge declared that the easement was not exclusive, having a non-exclusive easement does not mean that either party is free to use the easement in any way they want. Easement rights are fundamental property law rights, and neither party can interfere with the other’s use of the easement. The City “unduly and unreasonably interfered” (the judge’s words) with the Stables’ easement rights by allowing thousands of people per month to traverse the easement road, and that is why the judge ordered an injunction and ordered the city to stop allowing access to the park through the easement road.

The non-exclusive ruling is what some people are not understanding.  A non-exclusive easement doesn’t mean the City can do whatever they want.  The Stables have rights to ingress and egress and the city cannot interfere with their easement rights. The City can still use the easement road in common with the Stables, but what they can’t do, is use it for a hiking trail for thousands of people per month. According to all parties involved in the lawsuit, Canyon Drive was the best alternative.

Judge Feffer order, also acknowledged that the easement road was never an officially recognized entrance to the park. “The Board of Recreation and Park Commissioners never approved the Beachwood Gate being an access point to Griffith Park . . . .” Griffith Park entrances of Canyon, Vermont, Riverside, Ferndall  and Forest Lawn were all approved, recognized official entrances into the park with the proper attributes/ amenities (sidewalks, wider roads, bathrooms, etc).  To learn more about the 110 year Canyon Drive entrance please look at headers:   Land, Hollywoodland Gifted Park, 1923-1944, The Quarry

Wondorus Winter!

May the New Year be generous in recognizing the preservation aspects of HGP and give us what was intended by the Sherman Company years ago; a passive open space, peace, unadorned equestrian trails, removal of  hiking directional signs, no trash, no litter, no public urination and defection, a wise city council, and an astute city attorney. Victory is envisioned for the Sunset Stables lawsuit and HBDU’s environmental  battle so the unauthorized opening will be shut in 2017.

Our wishes to you for a happy healthy new year!

Updates and Concerns

There have been no updates from the Committee to Save the Hollywoodland Specific Plan appeal of RAP’s DEIR Circulation Plan or the FAA regarding the October incident of the dangling dummy from a rope propelled from a helicopter attempting to view the Hollywood sign.

There is also no curtailing of the volume of tourists and hikers traversing into a “very high fire hazardous severity zone”  with substandard infra structure and no official/proper safe entrances into the open space.  With parking restrictions the volume of pedestrian and vehicle traffic has increased and mutated into Uber, Lyft, taxis, vans and buses.  It’s like the pea pods in the “Invasion of the Body Snatcher “movie!

The Sunset Ranch lawsuit, upholding  their long standing exclusive ingress/ egress easement has been postponed again.   The tentative schedule is late January, 2017.  Contact us for updates.

Mt. Lee a safety net for the city?

Watch this video and see the negligence of City, particularly the LAPD who manage the Main Communication towers at the the top of Mt. Lee, adjacent to the sign.  That facility houses national and local government agencies for communication, a water fill station for LAFD helicopters, stores thousands of gallons of diesel fuel, generators etc. for back up.  Why isn’t this secure?  Why are people allowed to mill about, unscreened in a severe mountain fire zone?   If you were responsible for the lives of 5 million people would you be this cavalier ?

Gordon Tokumatsu is an Emmy award winning general assignment reporter for NBC4 Southern California.

Beachwood Canyon residents have been complaining about visitors to the Hollywood sign for years, but this week they say the situation has gotten even worse than usual and it’s creating a safety hazard. Gordon Tokumatsu reports on our situation for the NBC4 News at 4 Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2016  CLICK HERE TO SEE THE NBC VIDEO!

HGP  land adjacent to Mt. Lee continues to be  vulnerable.

Communication towers for the City of Los Angeles

That hilltop compound provides important safety components to adjacent neighborhoods and the entire city of Los Angeles.

Here are a few:

  • A primary communication venue for the second largest city in the United States (agencies for federal, state and city).
  • A site-sensitive mountain fire district with 6,000 gallons of diesel fuel underground.
  • Encouraging/promoting the public to traverse this area with limited protection/monitoring
  • Tyrolean tank is the water source for the LAFD air drop water fill system and is the delivery system for the adjacent communities water.
  • A world renown icon visible from 20 miles away advertising awareness.

Why does the city subject Mt. Lee and the adjacent environs to uncertainties when it provides irreplaceable important functions for every citizen and visitor?

In October/November, the city’s engineering department initiated the Mt. Lee Pumping Station and Pipeline Project.  The purpose was to replace the waterline from the Tyrolean Tank below Mt. Lee  which in turn feeds into the  underground cistern at the top.  This cistern is the fill station for LAFD helicopters, primarily used for water drops during fires.  Five different city agencies were involved in the planning execution and an EIR was conducted by an outside firm.  This is all good.   Reasons for the upgrade is all good, but the lack of transparency and out reach and the inaccurate EIR is not.  Once again, like so many things the city does, the Hollywoodland community and HGP were not informed of the project finding out after the fact.

So why am I nitpicking about not being included in the dialogue?  Two reasons, we live here and care about the affects of the adjacent park land and Hollywoodland residents also get water from the Tyrolean Tank.  Transparent government is a benefit to all and is should be a principle of our democratic process.

Convent girls running through the brothel of bureaucracy

At an August 18 meeting with the council office we were told a trilogy locked pedestrian gate would be installed at Deronda, Mulholland Hwy.  We were also told it would take 6 weeks (42 days), but as I write this we are at 107 days and no gate!

For those of you who believe in the fair and democratic principles of our country please do not give up.

Good honest, citizens will prevail when  truth is irrefutable.  Keep documenting the wildlife andappreciate those beautiful images of the open-space of our mountains, the peace and tranquility they offer to all species.

Help us on our journey to preserve the HGP and Hollywoodland by eMailing us today at with your thoughts and ideas.

We look forward to hearing from YOU!

Most Sincerely,

Chris sig

C. Mills O’Brien

Autum unfolds!

Zauscheria Latifolia Johnstonii
Zauscheria Latifolia Johnstonii

Our fall season includes dormant vegetation, animals preparing for cooler, rainy weather and of course Halloween. That made us think of all the scary things in/or associated with HGP:

The latest scary HGP adventure has been an unauthorized dangling (dummy -like) human, roped from a helicopter on October 4. Adjacent HGP neighbors heard and viewed the whole event; an event staged for a “You Tube” video initiated by a stunt performer. A few thoughts on this: what would happen if he fell? Who would be liable ? Why wasn’t there any reaction from the LAPD main communication tower ? Why was there little regard for the surrounding neighborhood, the gift and its’ flora and fauna?

That intrusion into animal habitat is becoming a 24-7 occurrence. Ridge line neighbors have observed “hikers” with miners lights walking the hills all hours of the night. Who is managing the gift? After hours ranger calls go to directly to the LAPD Mt. Lee station. Doubtful a hiker’s folly has weight over real crime, murders, etc. Thus the late night hike behavior is accepted.

And then there is the latest craze, using snow skis for dry runs on the HGP slopes near the Hollyridge bridle path. We are aware city officials sanctioned unauthorized digging and alterations in the HGP area to create viewing platforms at Mulholland/Canyon and somehow convinced someone to create and ad hoc switchback walking path and 20 gravel parking spaces. Should we assume if one person can create this type of illegal use others feel they can get away with it too? I guess the answer could be: yes, they are doing this and they will continue to get away with it because, the city does not care and the elected officials have a different agenda: promote tourism and hiking, see the Hollywood sign!

Please encourage the efforts of the Sunset Ranch and their fight for the long standing (1940’s) exclusive ingress,egress easement for their property rights of the unimproved roadway/driveway off Beachwood Drive. The court date originally scheduled for October 18, 2016 has been moved to November 16, 2016.

Recreation and Parks tells us they lack funding, but continue to ignore obvious revenue sources. RAP allows the Hollywood Sign Trust and Hollywood Chamber to use the public’s Hollywood sign without charging a concessionaire fee (something that could fund a Ranger or two).

When RAP’s circulation plan went before their commission on September 9 some of us expressed concerns that Mt. Hollywood Drive would not be reopened. Mt. Hollywood is an official, safe, paved 32 foot wide road extending and uniting the northern edge from Forest Lawn to Vermont. Opening Mt. Hollywood Drive could have reintroduced logical traffic circulation, proven effective for many decades, pre 1992. The adopted plan omitted its opening.

Kudos to the Committee to Save the Hollywoodland Specific Plan for filing an appeal to the proposed RAP circulation plan. READ the appeal here This appeal was supported by HBDU Homeowners on Beachwood Drive, HHA Hollywoodland Homeowners Association Inc. and HGP Hollywoodland Gifted Park. READ the support of the appeal here.

And then finally, the scariest thing is HGP is in a severe fire hazard area. Our mayor and his colleagues continue to ignore this while allowing/encouraging people to traverse through unsafe, unauthorized areas. This is continued poor management, lack of grace and respect for a precious gift and this sensitive environment!

  • What can you do to help save the HGP and its environs?
  • Donate money to the Sunset Ranch or HBDU for their legal expenses associated with the circulation appeal, easements, nuisance suit.
  • Plant some wildflowers reflective of the original Payne plantings and smile knowing you recreated a sense of history and their blooms will foster, insects and butterflies.
  • Sponsor/fund a camera trap , especially if your property borders the HGP.
  • Donate funds to hire a biologist to identify and document the flora, fauna and wildlife in order to create an environmental preserve .
  • Attend/speak at city hall, write letters to promote and educate officials and the public about the precious Sherman gift that is being abused, mismanaged and neglected by the city.

Help us on our journey to preserve the HGP and Hollywoodland by eMailing us today at with your thoughts and ideas.

We look forward to hearing from YOU!

Most Sincerely,

Chris sig

C. Mills O’Brien600px-Green_equilateral_triangle_point_up.svg_-e1450498359893-300x260

Late Summertime in the Park!

Mirabilis Californica
Mirabilis Californica

The end of summer is the beginning of fire season. One neighbor lamented the mandatory brush clearance left his hillside nude and possibly destroyed some of his well documented, original native California flora, but this is a penance for safety. There is little we can do to defy nature and rules. We are reminded how vulnerable this special area is, being the farthest area into the canyon (compared to our other easterly adjacent Griffith Park neighbors). We are also reminded the 1961 fire destroyed significant amounts of brush in the HGP and Griffith Park as well as some of the wonderful historic structures in Hollywoodland , like the Norman Castle, Erte’s Beachwood Drive home and the Aldous Huxley home with his valuable manuscripts.

See the wildfire that threatened HGP this July.

A team of dedicated HGP supporters are documenting all its environmental components. Your help is welcomed, specifically if you have a camera trap adjacent to the HGP space. Photos and videos will show the animal paths, their condition as well as species. They may even show us what the animals are eating; discarded bags of chips, plastics and perhaps even sips of beer? We have a great beginning relative to the flora and butterfly identification, but still need assistance with birds and insects. Please contact us if you are interested and can share data.

Animal observations have been abundant. Animal lovers have reported the sightings of the maimed coyotes. A property owner is using a high powered German style BB gun, targeting the coyotes front legs and ears. Animal Services Officer Dinh has been monitoring this. We hope our animal ID program will document the number of animals maimed while also identifying different coyote packs. Their size, colors and demeanor seems to vary significantly throughout the HGP.

An odd wailing sound has been heard from the Durand Ridge and the Mulholland/ Deronda portion of the HGP. Apparently, it is similar to a woman screaming and has initiated calls to LAPD, helicopters, search teams, etc only to determine it was a lonely, sad, vocal creature. Was she trying to communicate her concerns about HGP’s neglect? A HGP supporter shared this You Tube video that may explain the wails. Please listen and let us know if you agree.


Oscar, the guard at the end of Beachwood reports Mama Bobcat has a kitten. With the hordes of “hikers” its amazing they can even survive in their imposed habitat. I am happy to report             Joe Salices, GM for Griffith Park removed the picnic benches at the end of Beachwood inside the HGP.  Thank you Joe, we appreciate your attention.

The western area of the HGP continues to be tourist driven with little quantifiable monitoring. Oversized, overweight vans crowd the area, all illegal. The natural flora continues to be trampled by foot and auto traffic. There is no attempt to replant or reforest the area despite a wonderful, functional landscape plan that incorporated native plants. This plan was developed almost two years ago by a landscape architect with the purpose of bringing the natural, original plant life back and restoring the unauthorized clearing and footpaths. This plan has been presented many times in the last two years and has been ignored and dismissed without any dialogue. Why? Politics? Lack of concern? Promotion of the mayor’s tourist agenda? Its not money, because we even had that covered !

Help us on our journey to preserve the HGP and Hollywoodland by eMailing us today at with your thoughts and ideas.

We look forward to hearing from YOU!

Most Sincerely,

Chris sig

C. Mills O’Brien600px-Green_equilateral_triangle_point_up.svg_-e1450498359893-300x260

Summer has arrived!


Matilija poppy (Romneya coulteri)

Memorial Day traditionally is the beginning of summer, a time  HGP probably has the most wear and tear and abuse.  During May we saw a young hiker stranded inside the Rock Quarry off Canyon Drive watch video #1 here and the next week a man/child perched himself on the letter D of the Hollywood(land) sign. watch video #2 here.This happened while two full time people monitored the sign and its environs with a very precise and sensitive camera system from the Main Communication Tower at Mt. Lee.  This strategic facility is operated by the LAPD and they are the most qualified department to monitor and assure safety to our citizens.   Both incidents created deafening helicopter noise, sirens and all sorts of the media outlets including free advertising for the banner waving, dangling human.  It also translates into an increase use in “hikers”  many clad in flip-flops and beach type garb.  As the old advertising campaign goes:  the more you show or use a product the more awareness it generates and thus the more use and abuse of HGP.  Expect more incidents, expect more use; environment and neighborhood be damned. Something to think about regarding the misuse of the HGP incidents such as these:  what about the environment?  What about the wildlife?  The habitat for P-22 and the bobcats, birds, etc?  We residents can attest to the noise issue of the EMT equipment, imagine the sensitive hearing the wildlife has and the imposition all the noise creates with them.

Another imposing and unsafe concern is the excessive use of drones  particularly to capture a view of the sign.  This action is a complete disregard for others.  One of our Hollywoodland neighbor’s experienced a drone hitting her dog in the mouth and nose.  LAPD Officer Sanchez says he can only take police reports involving humans and drones are perfectly legal in the city. People trying to make this a livable city are fighting the tourist trade that seems to have more validation than the voters who live here.

Griffith Park General Manager, Joe Salaices stated the removal of many of the garbage cans throughout HGP was necessary to eliminate costs of trash pick up.  A group of volunteers are photo documenting the increase of garbage scattered without receptacles.  We will submit a report in late summer.

And finally, we are going on almost two years for those unauthorized picnic benches placed near the Sunset Stables.  We have been assured they would be removed.  It seems our city does exactly what they want.  A sad statement about rules, due process and respect for the community and the Gift.

You will see new postings of some wildflowers, bobcats as well podcast about the first Boy Scout Frederick Russell Burnham  and a recent book review of The Splendid Savage by Steve Kemper.

This is my speculation; I feel Mr. Burnham and his family had an affinity to the open space that Hollywoodland offered and this is why they chose to build two magnificent residences on Hollywoodland’s ridgeline.  These homes  offered a relationship to the HGP land, the reservoir and the city and maybe his world wide affinity for similar visuals experienced throughout his career as a scout.  Listen to the podcasts and imagine yourself living on that ridge with very few homes and a vastness of our HGP, then imagine how we might save the HGP and Hollywoodland.

Help us on our journey to preserve the HGP and Hollywoodland by eMailing us today at with your thoughts and ideas.

We look forward to hearing from YOU!

Most Sincerely,

Chris sig

C. Mills O’Brien


This Spring join us in celebration!

Original Payne flower mix

Seventy one (71) years ago Earl Haskell represented the M.H. Sherman Company gifting Hollywoodland’s 444.5 acres of open space to the City of Los Angeles. That transaction took place at the December 18, 1944 Board of Playground and Recreation Commissioners meeting in City Hall. This was the largest single donation (other than the original Colonel Griffith land, 3,800 plus acres.) This humble gift was given with little fanfare, with little name recognition and yet it holds some of the most precious, eco sensitive land and wildlife in the entire park system.

So in this season of renewal, think about giving back to our community by reinforcing Sherman’s intent and purpose. Do this by helping us preserve the gift; protecting Hollywoodland’s history her sensitive environment, the existing roadway/water easements and encourage ingress and egress to the gift through the only legal opening, Brush Canyon at Canyon Drive. Encourage the city to remove all the destructive accouterments that were added at Canyon Lake/Mulholland Highway that never had approvals or authorizations and encourage the city to respect the Cultural Heritage designations within the gift, the Hollywood(land) sign, the historic walls and the park itself. The gift should be respected and embraced not abused and destroyed.600px-Green_equilateral_triangle_point_up.svg

When I was a little girl growing up on our Wisconsin farm we occupied time much differently than children living in the city. We walked to our two room grade school encompassing ourselves in nature, explored for wild flowers in our woods, camped out with our horse, and engaged in the domestic arts of cooking and sewing. One boring summer my time occupier was a thread and linen fabric stitchery project.The saying said: “Yours is the earth and everything in it.”

When I decided the public, neighborhood and the city officials needed a better understanding about the history of this magnificent, unique Hollywoodland Gifted Park Land, that simple saying came to mind. This is our earth, we are the caretakers of it for the next generations to understand and embrace . I hope the facts and information I have gathered about Hollywoodland and her Gifted Park Land will generate a new respect and appreciation for the people that shaped her and cared for her. Hollywoodland and her Gifted park Land is a unique, historic and tranquil space in the center of a vibrant city. It is the adjacent 444 acres that makes living in Hollywoodland special.

Hollywoodland Gifted Park
A Designated Significant Ecological Area (SEA) within the County of Los Angeles

SEAs are officially designated areas within the County identified for their biological value. These areas warrant special management because they contain biotic resources that are considered to be rare or unique; are critical to the maintenance of wildlife; represent relatively undisturbed areas of County habitat types; or serve as linkages.

Learn more about Designated Significant Ecological Areas

We hope you will find this Hollywoodland Gifted Park website both informative and educational and in the process have some fun!





















20 thoughts on “California politician touting the 2017 fire storms as being: “The new normal”.

    1. Yes, a seed planting program is currently in development. It will be based on the original plantings from the 1920’s. We are looking for open space meadows and hillside lots that will offer a show. Please check back next week for further information.

    1. Good question Cupcake. I have asked this question at many public hearings including rec and parks commission, meetings for the department and both Councilman Ryu and former councilman LaBonge offices as well as Mike Shull, the RAP
      GM. No one seems to have an answer.
      Most official type openings seem to have this criteria ( my observations): adequate road widith, designated area for pedestrian and bikes, infrastructure to support public use,i.e., bathrooms, parking lots, personnel to monitor, etc.

      1. Amalia the signs are extremely confusing. The people that come to visit are legitimately confused too. They don’t know where to park, where to pee, where to walk. They don’t know that there is no smoking in this area. Many visitors do not read or understand the English on the posted signs.

  1. This website is informative and educational.
    It helps us understand what a wonderful and unique gift The Hollywoodland Gifted Parkland truly is. All of us need to be mindful that we, as the stewards of this gift need to protect it’s fragile environment.
    Thanks to everyone, who helped create this website.
    TJ Escott

  2. Happy to report that I saw four beautiful deer on Monday morning at the Vista of the Hollywoodland Gifted Park! It was at about 4:30 am, and they emerged out of the brush on the lake side and were illuminated by the street light. They were looking for water. I could tell this, cause my neighbors sprinkler were running and they took a sip from the water on the ground. They stayed there for about 1/2 hour and then moved on to the park side of the street. They looked as if they were a family. I also saw a coyote at the same time walking down the street on Canyon Lake. This area is filled with amazing wildlife and I’m so happy to see them after what seems like a long absence of seeing anything. Please share any wildlife sightings here so that we can see what this majestic area has living in it and I’m not talking about the colorful neighbors!

  3. Excellent web sight, educational and well done! Residence and tourists need to be educated on the Hollywood Gifted Parkland, and the creating of the illegal “vista”, which needs to be re-planted with cactus and native plants, and fenced off for safety. Yes, excellent web sight!

  4. Magnificent website, thank you for launching this. Today I was walking my dog on upper Mulholland and Canyon Lake, and was deeply saddened to see the dirt ravine and walkways completely littered with plastic bottles, junk food wrappers, and of course all the cigarette butts. There is no respect for this gifted parkland. Something must change, and soon.

  5. In today’s world where emotionalism and short sightedness often reign, a site like this is welcome. May we together restore tranquility and respect for nature, history, and the rule of law. Thank you for this labor of love.

  6. Chris this is an amazing website with valuable information. Thanks for all that you do to help keep “Hollywoodland” the unique and special place that it is!! The residents living there are lucky to have you involved.

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