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Old Baldy, Canada | photo by Cameron Schaus

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   Conservation Issues of the Ventana Chapter | chapter wide
Santa Cruz group files appeal over Pajaro River Management Plan (June 2002)

In late May, attorney Bill Parkin filed an appeal on behalf of the Sierra Club to the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors, seeking to have approval of the so-called „Restoration and Management Planš for the levees on the lower Pajaro River rescinded and the plan redone. This plan had been reviewed and passed by the Santa Cruz County Flood Control and Water Conservation District (Zone 7) Board in April and by the Santa Cruz County Planning Commission in May.

Despite its title, the plan contains no restoration work and proposes to continue the use of herbicides and pesticides on the levees and within the riparian corridor. The Club is seeking restoration of riparian vegetation and non-toxic removal of invasive exotics. The appeal is based on the proposed plan‚s lack of specificity as required by CEQA, the fact it would legitimize the 1995 destruction of the riparian forest and would have a negative effect on the design of the future U.S. Army Corps of Engineers‚ high water control project. If necessary, the Club may also file a lawsuit.

This Plan will guide the work of the Public Works Department for 8 to 10 years or until a plan to restore protection from high water is developed and approved by the affected communities and constructed by the Corps of Engineers.

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