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Sacramento County will mitigate the loss of 13 acres of woodlands and grasslands due to a court-ordered tree-cutting project at Rancho Murieta Airport last year by purchasing 26 acres of similar property in the area, according to county Deputy Parks Director Jill Ritzman.

The Sacramento Valley Conservancy will take the lead in locating the land, she said. The conservancy owns Deer Creek Hills, a 4,000-plus-acre oak woodlands and grasslands area adjacent to Rancho Murieta.

"It's some good news out of this whole project," Ritzman said recently of the mitigation effort, which is paid for by the county.

The county cut down about 150 oak, walnut and cottonwood trees and trimmed a similar number on county parkland located between the airport and the Cosumnes River.

The owners of the private airport took legal action to compel the county to comply with Federal Aviation Administration safety requirements after the airport's night operations were suspended in 2001. The county is required to manage the trees and trim them to comply with FAA requirements a minimum of once every five years to keep them from intruding into the airport's safety zone.

Ritzman said it took a while to assess the environmental effects of the project, which began in August. The county sent a letter to the state Department of Fish and Game in January with a proposal to mitigate 7.88 acres of woodland and 5.1 acres of grassland by purchasing two acres for every acre impacted by the project, a total of 26.12 acres.

In addition, 10 acres of elderberry bushes disturbed during the project have to be restored, Ritzman said. The shrubs can be replanted in the area, if water can be provided for them during the three-year mitigation period, she said. The bushes host the valley elderberry longhorn beetle, a threatened species.

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Jerry Pasek's picture
Joined: 12/13/2007
Posts: 135
Post rating: 191

trees

Jerry Pasek

Amazing, the County is forced to cut down trees on THEIR property and this somehow impacts the land on which the trees existed to the extent that a two for one purchase of additional private land is required. AND, this new land purchase can be anywhere. This is another fine example of our tax dollars at work and we evidently can’t believe what we read that the county is effectively broke.  Spending tax dollars to purchase property does not replace the trees, which I assume are needed for replacement of lost habitat and other things trees provide for the environment.   Spending funds in this manner given the present state, questions the logic of mankind since there is talk of significantly reducing critical folks due to a lack of funds. Will someone please protect us from these decision makers?

 

Jerry Pasek

John Kershaw's picture
Joined: 08/07/2007
Posts: 28
Post rating: 51

trees

Jerry, if my memory serves me correctly the trees would still be standing if it wasn't for the insistence of the pilots who wanted to continue night time operations. I'm having a hard believing the real culprit is the County.

John Kershaw

RM.com's picture
Joined: 06/19/2007
Posts: 27726
Post rating: 1387

More about the county action

Jerry,

The acreage will be used for planting replacement trees. In this case, two inches of tree are being planted for every inch that was removed. The mitigation is not discretionary -- it's required under the terms of the permit the county obtained from Fish and Game to allow the court order to be carried out. The county faced fines of $1,000 a day if it didn't move forward with the project.

The mitigation will take place in this area, and the goal is to preserve property that's contiguous to existing open space.

Jerry Pasek's picture
Joined: 12/13/2007
Posts: 135
Post rating: 191

More Trees

Jerry Pasek

Buying land to put trees on it via the mitigation program still represents a waste of tax money as there are likely to be many open areas on existing public lands where the new trees could be planted. As experienced on RMCC property, mitigation trees without irrigation for three years don't do well and getting irrigation water on open space land "somewhere" can be VERY costly if available at all. This project, like most, means well but will cost far more than present estimates and in the end not meet the objective of tree/habitat replacement as desired by the environmentalists and Fish & Game.

Jerry Pasek

Chuck Lentz's picture
Joined: 08/07/2007
Posts: 116
Post rating: 38

Trees

Being a Pilot here for some 23 years and moving here for the Airport, I doubt the recent comments would even try to understand why we wanted the trees cut..  Something like putting a baricade in front of your driveway...  May I ask, was the Airport here before you came????

Ralph Frattura's picture
Joined: 06/18/2007
Posts: 235
Post rating: 248

Who came first?

Chuck, if you decide this on the basis of seniority, I think the trees win. 

Wink

Doug Lewis's picture
Joined: 08/08/2007
Posts: 165
Post rating: 322

mitigation

If the county must plant trees to replace those cut, is there any less costly way than buying 26 acres of land?  The new school could use the trees or if land around the school is available and must be purchased perhaps the county could establish a nature area around the school that would serve as a buffer and would also be an educational asset.  Could such a project qualify for some type of grant?  Although I see the safety need for the tree removal it seems so strange in this time of economic wows to require the county to cut trees on its own property then buy new land to replant them elsewhere.  Seems that there should be a less costly way to mitigate these trees than buying 26 acres just anywhere, or that is already a nature area.

Doug Lewis

 

Doug Lewis

Chuck Lentz's picture
Joined: 08/07/2007
Posts: 116
Post rating: 38

Trees

Ralph:

I told myself not to respond but just couldn't control it.

The Trees were here before the Houses also. 

Developement requiers some alterations and maintaince, as do Haircuts!!

Does that fit?

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