November 16, 2005

6:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Pacific Palisades Public Library
Pacific Palisades, California

November 2005 Meeting Overview

On November 16, Jennifer Ruffolo and District Superintendent Ron Schafer conducted a public meeting on the draft Equestrian and Livestock Management Plan for Will Rogers State Historic Park.  Although the plan had been available online for several weeks, no public comments had been received before the meeting, with the exception of comments from Chuck Rogers, Will Rogers’ grandson. 

Turnout was light.  In addition to 3 members of the Rogers family, there were 6 community members, and and 6 State Parks staff, including Chief of Operations Ted Jackson, Southern Division Field Chief Tony Perez, District Superintendent Ron Schafer, WRSHP Superintendent Bill Verdery, and WRSHP Maintenance Chief Dale Skinner.

The Will Rogers Family’s concerns focused on the policy that allows horses to be in the historic stable for day use only.  They worry that this could lead to the return of horse boarding in the barn, and will cause damage to the historic structure.  Other comments were that the Plan needs some mechanism for monitoring and evaluating equestrian activities to ensure they operate within the guidelines of the Plan.  Some clarification is needed also of the provisions for allowing 3-night overnight stays of horses, particularly what events would qualify for this privilege, who would be responsible for the horses on the property, and how many can be accommodated.  And several community members requested the Department to convene a public advisory group to have input on all aspects of park operations, as was requested by the Equestrian Advisory Committee in 2001.  Community members are interested in all facets of the park, and would like to be kept informed and consulted on developing programs, not just equestrian activities. 

Jennifer Ruffolo will edit the draft plan to reflect these concerns, consulting with Ron Schafer in the District and other staff at the park.  A revised plan will be available for a 30-day public review comment and an appropriate CEQA document will be prepared. This will likely be a Negative Declaration or a Categorical Exemption.

At the conclusion of the 30-day review period, the final document will be signed by Director of State Parks, Ruth Coleman.


April 28, 2005

6:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Skirball Cultural Center
Los Angeles, California

April 2005 Meeting Overview

The California Department of Parks and Recreation is implementing an Equestrian Management Plan for Will Rogers State Historic Park (WRSHP) in Pacific Palisades. An April, 28, 2005 public meeting was called to gain input on the scope and framework of the plan.  Fourteen public participants and ten staff attended the public hearing. The plan will serve to support overall Park efforts honoring Will Rogers’ life. A formal draft will be ready in late June or July 2005 and circulated for public comment and an additional public hearing will be held.

The plan will likely trigger requirements to change the park’s General Plan.  In order to fulfill requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act there may be additional, specific public input processes related to the plan. 

Staff provided a summary of documents related to the development of the plan and discussed recent improvements at the Park and what will be needed for the future. The work of the Equestrian Advisory Committee convened in 2002 was also briefly described.

Will Rogers State Historic Park
Improvements Update as of April 28, 2005

1.   Inventory, catalogue, and computerize 5,000 artifacts – DONE
2.   Complete a Master Drainage/Geotech Study – DONE
3.   Repair Historic Flagstone Porch and Walkway – DONE
4.   Restore Historic Ranch House Interior, Install Insulation, Moisture Barrier,
      and Moisture Reduction System for Ranch House – 60% done
5.   Implement Master Drainage Plan Phase I – DONE
6.   Stabilize Hay Barn Phase I – DONE
7.   Repair Historic Stables Phase I – 90% DONE
8.   Rehabilitate Historic Carpenter/Blacksmith shops Phase I – 95% Done
9.   Restore exterior appearance of Historic Guest House/Garage – DONE
10. Replace Historic Rock Wall near Ranch House – DONE
11. Complete an Historic Landscape Management Plan – DONE
12. Install Historic Ornamental Plantings Phase I – SOON
13. Reconstruct historic Jim Rogers’ Barn (volunteers, staff, and nonprofit supported) – 90% Done
14. Complete Visitor Center Exhibit Plan, Exhibit Fabrication & Installation – 60% Done
15. Develop and Audio-Visual Program – Upcoming
16. Install Wheelchair access to the Ranch House – Upcoming
17. Acquire a Getty Grant for student interns to assist with
      research, conservation, and maintenance of collections – DONE
18. Conserve taxidermy mounts, lighting fixtures, blacksmith shop tools – 65% Done
19. Develop and install compact storage for artifacts and archival materials – 50% Done
20. Return Historic farm equipment to WRSHP – to be done in May 2005.

For information about the WRSHP Equestrian Management Plan contact
Jennifer Ruffolo, Project Manager, at 916-651-9523.