[an error occurred while processing this directive] Ventana Chapter - RMC runs dozer through the Bonny Doon Ecological Reserve
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RMC runs dozer through the Bonny Doon Ecological Reserve

by Jodi Frediani

In September RMC Pacific Materials (the Davenport cement plant folks) took a bulldozer through the Bonny Doon Ecological Reserve, grading three-quarters of a mile of existing road through the fragile Zayante Sands, removing constructed waterbars, blading off a collection of rare Ben Lomond Spine Flowers, and crushing and uprooting listed manzanitas. All without a permit. Local activists sounded the alarm.

  Bonn Doon Reserve Damage.
A Fish and Game warden, Environmental D.A., a Reserve docent, and representatives from RMC examine the damage to the Bonny Doon Ecological Reserve.

The Bonny Doon Ecological Reserve is a special place. This delicate sand hill habitat is home to a number of unique species of plants and insects. The Ben Lomond Spine Flower, Abrams Cypress, Santa Cruz and Silver Leaf Manzanitas and Ponderosa Pine are among the rare and/or threatened and endangered plants within its boundaries. The Reserve is managed by the California Department of Fish & Game.

In addition to the unauthorized road work in the Reserve, RMC re-constructed a road through their own timberland down to Laguna Creek. They removed twelve-inch diameter trees from the old roadbed which was last used thirty years ago to harvest timber. RMC also dismantled an old log bridge across Laguna Creek without the necessary permits from Fish & Game. The road work, itself, may be in violation of the County’s grading ordinance.

The work was authorized by the Registered Professional Forester contracted by RMC to manage their timber lands. The Department of Fish & Game is requiring RMC to stabilize the sandy road cut prior to winter rains. Fish & Game warden, Dennis Baldwin, is currently investigating the illegal grading project, endangered species violations, and bridge removal. Santa Cruz County Environmental District Attorney, Morgan Taylor, visited the site to see the damage first hand.

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