Another week is nearly over at the Cosumnes River Preserve and I am happy to say that things are progressing quite well on the Badger Creek Restoration Project. Though, everything is moving forward at a rate which still fits our timeline, I often have the feeling that I am sliding down the blade of an ever-sharpening knife. So far, I have managed to avoid any metaphorical life-threatening wounds.
Our team of biologists finished up their thirty days of trapping, and while they produced some interesting data, as expected, no giant garter snakes were trapped during this cycle. The yellow water primrose in Horseshoe Lake has continued to progress at an astonishing rate. As of my last visit on Tuesday, there were no areas of open water left within the lake. It is rather impressive, yet ultimately quite upsetting, that this lone weed has managed to consume nearly all available water in a 155 acre lake. The photo below was taken just a few weeks ago and in that time the primrose, has now covered the last visible areas of water on the surface.
I am currently working on the numbers to see if it is more advantageous/cost effective to have a helicopter spray the site instead of the highboy or tow behind tractor rig as originally planned. I have contacted local contractors and am waiting for the estimates to come in so we can reach a final decision.
On the positive side of the equation, the joint NEPA/CEQA document I wrote for the project is entering the last days of the public review period, and to this point we have received little to no resistance regarding the proposed restoration. However, I have been warned that comments often come towards the end of the review period, typically on the last day, so the minor celebration for reaching another completed stage will have to wait until next week. If anyone has interest in reading the document (and I say this with a certain level of sarcasm given your busy schedules/lack of desire to read a 70 page environmental document) it can be found using the link below. While much of the content (air quality, water quality, cultural resources, etc.) may seem dull/long-winded/unnecessary, it may be of benefit to those who will have to write documents like this in the future.
Next week I will be meeting with potential contractors who will be bidding on the earthmoving/excavation work which will start (if all goes well) in early September. I hope everyone is having a great time out there in the field (wherever you may be). Since my photos of the project have been admittedly lackluster in this and previous posts, I thought I would leave you with a couple of photos of some of the splendid daily interactions/observations we have here at the Preserve.