An Inside Look at Vulnerable Oswit Canyon, via KESQ

Oswit Canyon, photography by Markku Lahdesmaki

Oswit Canyon, photography by Markku Lahdesmaki

'An Inside Look at Vulnerable Oswit Canyon,' via KESQ News Channel 3 and CBS Local 2 – see below for the text, and the original piece may be viewed here.

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. - The fight to save Oswit Canyon in Palm Springs from development continues and KESQ News Channel 3 and CBS Local 2 has a look at the treasures it holds.

"It's beautiful back there," hiker and Palm Springs resident Peter Thompson told KESQ News Channel 3's and CBS Local 2's Katie Widner. "We went to the top and you see hawks, you know, all kinds of animals."

On any given day on the Lykken Trail in Palm Springs you will find people who come from near and far to enjoy the scenery.

"We've also gone to Florida occasionally, but I think we'd prefer this. It's such a natural setting," said Lesley and Decklan Neary, who are in town from Toronto, Canada. "I think that sense of wilderness goes back to time and memorium. It gives us a great sense of how the world was and some of it should remain."

Jason Bruecks, owner of Distance To Be Traveled hiking club, said the area is vital to the area. He took KESQ News Channel 3 and CBS Local 2 on a guided tour of the canyon.

"I think that as Palm Springs continues on to its future, a majority of the people will be coming into the Valley to have connections to the surrounding environment," he said.

It is a sentiment that he is not alone in sharing.

"If you went by the Indian Canyons over the holidays, you saw that the line to get in there was completely down the road, more than a mile," said Jane Garrison, coordinator of the Save Oswit Canyon movement.

"We need all the space that we can," reiterated resident Peter Bohr.

The view of the canyon from th roadway does not do it justice. The canyon is home to desert lavender bushes, dozens of animal species and even, reportedly, ancient indian petroglyphs.

"The rocks that were looking right through here, were actually rocks that were formed 70-100 million years ago," Bruecks explained.

Bruecks also guided KESQ News Channel 3 and CBS Local 2 to the Chino Cone at the opposite end of the city, where a compromise between the city and property owner left some of the land in it's natural state and some of it is under development.

"There is a portion of it that is now protected," Breucks said, pointing out the landscape. "What we're looking at in these rock formations here, is the grating that's the tearing apart of that canyon."

The movement to re-zone the canyon from residential to an environmentally sensitive area is still in the signature-collecting faze. Organizers need 5,000 people to sign on before it goes before the city council.

An informational meeting will be held Saturday, Jan. 7 at 2 p.m. at the Ace Hotel. More information can be found at saveoswitcanyon.com.