By Miriam Raftery
May 15, 2015 (Cleveland National Forest) – Last month, we reported that the County had begun a major cleanup of dirt dumped inside Cleveland National Forest along Boulder Creek Road, an area proposed for federal wilderness desgnation, following an East County Magazine investigation.
Now County communications specialist Gig Conaughton has provided follow-up information in response to our questions on whether piles would be completely removed, whether the dirt contained invasive or flammable weed species, and whether a similar cleanup would be done following similar grading by SDG&E.
1. We asked if the piles would be completely removed to protect watersheds and views.
The County responds:
In regard to the decomposed granite (DG) stockpiles:
- DPW has completed our road maintenance work on Boulder Creek Road. We have moved all of the stockpiled material to a local pit that DPW uses to store materials for maintenance purposes.
- Before we moved the stockpiles, we took swift actions to implement stormwater best management practices (BMPS) by covering the stockpiles with vizqueen covers and surrounding them with fiber rolls and gravel bags. DPW is adding additional BMPS at culvert inlets along this segment of road to capture any limited erosion that is taking place.
- In the future, DG material will only be stockpiled on site when needed for future maintenance projects.
- DPW will spread native seed mix along the roadway shoulders including areas where stockpiles were removed to promote the natural establishment of vegetation.
Purpose of Work on Roadway
- Boulder Creek Road is a County maintained road and we have received multiple requests from residents in the area to perform road maintenance so residents can get access to their homes. The road project is in response to those requests. DPW is responsible to routinely grade the decomposed granite road to improve the accessibility and safety for road users.
2. We also asked whether the soil contained noxious weeds, invasive and flammable species, as a video provided by an environmental group suggested. The County responds:
- The decomposed granite materials that DPW is using in the road project comes from a local mining operation, and uses soil that you have to dig down below the surface to get, below where seeds would be deposited. For seeds to be present in any substantial amount in the material, it would have to be scraped from the surface rather than dug up. DPW has inspected the material to make sure it is clean and not surface scrapings.
3. Finally, we asked about similar grading done by SDG&E in the area. The County replies,
- DPW (Department of Public Works) will reach out to the US Forest Service (USFS) and share your concerns. DPW will suggest appropriate steps to implement additional stormwater measures for the USFS to address SDGE’s grading activities within the national forest area.