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By Miriam Raftery

Photo courtesy of Jill Terp, Rancho Jamul Ecological Preserve, looking west toward the preserve from the Dulzura Creek area.

October 27, 2014 (Jamul) – Grading is underway for a waterline project at the Rancho Jamul Ecological Preserve.

After an ECM reader asked about the extensive grading from Otay Lakes Road to the Daley Ranch, we asked Deerhorn Valley Antler editor Kim Hamilton what project is underway. Hamilton received a response from  Richard Burg, Supervisor of the Wildlife/Lands Project South for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife:

I received an email from Jill Terp (USFWS Refuge Manager) regarding concern about a waterline project at Rancho Jamul ER.”Burg wrote. “The Dept. will be constructing a new waterline from our Otay Lakes well to our cement pond which also feeds our main wildlife pond on the property. This project is a result of the Governor’s Emergency Drought Proclamation that requires that the Department repair leaking water lines to conserve water. Water from the cement pond is also used by numerous fire agencies in response to wildland fires in the community and is a very important asset. The current pipeline has had numerous leaks and breaks due to age and vandalism over the years. This project should last approx. 2.5 months. This project is “not” related to the JIV casino project or any SDGE project nor will water usage at the reserve change. We simply need to make sure we have a reliable water source for both wildlife and wildfire concerns.”

Jan Hedlun of Potrero alerted us to the grading, lamented the “scarring” of the valley’s “unadulterated view” in her e-mail asking us to find out what project is underway.

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