Saturday, February 23, 2013

Streambed Alterations made easy!

Over the past year we have been applying for a Streambed Alteration permit through the Department of Fish and Game for Chalk Mountain Golf Course.  All in all this process was relatively painless, but it did take some time (nearly a year) before we were able to obtain our permit.  Robb Tibstra, our Regional F&G biologist, was very helpful and understanding of our situation.  He provided valuable insight into the process and was available to help in any way possible.
The entrance to the easement between the golf course and subdivision

An example of how the willows had expanded their territory

The golf course is relatively void of any houses.  However, we do have homes along portions of holes #2, 4, 6, and 7.  The stream that separates the golf course from the residences on the 4th hole was our area of concern for this project.  The stream provides ample opportunity for the growth of riparian plants and in this case the willows had become extremely overgrown and unsightly along the stretch near the homes.  This was mostly an aesthetic eyesore, but also posed fire hazards during the hot dry summer months.

I contacted the California Conservation Corps and asked them if they could find some time to help us out around the first part of the year.  Luckily, some rain had occurred around the time of our project and although it would not prevent us from finishing our project, it did hamper the CCC's to continue working on their current projects.  I received an email from Mike Anderson, CCC's project coordinator, and he said he had a couple of days worth of FREE labor he could provide if we could get everything put together within a couple of days.  Obviously we made this happen...I mean free labor, bring it!
Limbing trees and clearing brush
Making good use of our chipper to make the debris easier to handle for disposal
The CCC's delivered and brought a crew of 12 for two 6 hour days.  They are very skilled in their services and know exactly what they are to do.  To begin the first day, I arranged to have a training session that was lead by one of our local SWCA biologist regarding protected species.  A past report showed we have habitat that is suitable to California Red-Legged frogs and Western Pond turtles.  Luckily, it was not spring, summer, or fall and none of these amphibians or reptiles were mobile while this project was underway.  The CCC's knew how to handle these situations and the crews' leadership made me feel very comfortable with their ability.
Having fun!
They wasted little time and got right to work!  Given the restrictions of our permit we had to work to mitigate any erosion or damage to the stream and its bank.  This meant no mechanical means of operation other than chainsaws in the area of the streambed.  All of the debris and material was carried out by hand.  This was not an easy task as the area ran the length of approximately 400 yards.  It did not seem to be a problem at all for the crew as they went about their work with no complaints and truly seemed to enjoy what they do.  I can say we truly enjoyed having them and appreciated the finished product.  Have a look for yourself!  I would highly recommend their services if you have a need in the future.  Their staff can even help attain your Alteration permit as they have the staff and expertise to complete these tasks from the very start to the beautiful end.

The entrance area that can be compared with the before picture above.

This area was overgrown with willows previously.

The home owners are thrilled!  Our County Parks' mission of excellence to every customer was achieved!

1 comment:

  1. I wonder how they feel living so close to the golf courses in Calgary? But I'm glad they got everything worked out. The house and yard look great.