Board of Supervisors Award Contract for Environmental Enhancement
For Immediate Release
Date: October 22, 2010
Debbie Kroner, OC Public Works
SANTA ANA – The Orange County Board of Supervisors has awarded a contract to begin environmental enhancement of the riparian habitat within the Peters Canyon Wash area.
The Peters Canyon Wash Mitigation Area consists of a 15 acre reach of Peters Canyon Wash that supports willow riparian habitat. The environmental enhancement work includes the removal of non-native vegetation, such as eucalyptus, palm trees, and other non-native species. Non-native plants must be removed because they crowd out the native plants that wildlife depends upon for food and shelter.
In addition, the removal of non-native plants is necessary for fire suppression. In July 2011, the Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA) hosted a community meeting at Bent Tree Park in Lemon Heights to discuss the unique topography and conditions that exist in the area which result in great fire potential. The OCFA has launched a program called “Ready, Set, Go” to assist residents in hardening their homes and planning ahead. The County believes that the establishment of native vegetation is not only necessary for environmental enhancement, but critical to public safety.
It is the intent of the County to establish a quality habitat by providing increased food and shelter for wildlife species, in particular, the federally and State endangered bird, the least Bell’s vireo. For residents, it will also result in increased opportunities for recreational activities such as birding and wildlife photography.
Maintenance activities for the first five years of the Peter’s Canyon Wash environmental enhancement project will include weed abatement, supplemental planting, erosion control, pest control, trash/debris removal, and storm flow maintenance.
At the end of the five year restoration and enhancement period, we anticipate that the Peters Canyon Wash mitigation area will have over 95% coverage of native species. A few of the native species that currently exist at the site include Mexican Elderberry, Mugwort, Western Sycamore, Mule Fat and the various willow species. Additionally, in the future, the area will be monitored for natural recruitment of native plants. Where voids are observed, OC Public Works will plant up to 32 different native plant species in Peters Canyon Wash, including California Wild Rose, California Blackberry and Coast Live Oak.
In the interest of public safety, temporary trail closures may be necessary during non-native vegetation removals. It is estimated that the initial non-native vegetation removal work will take place between January 10, 2012 – March 14, 2012. The standard work hours for vegetation removal will be Monday-Friday from 8 am to 5 pm. For further project information, please contact John Kort at 714-448-1960 or Vinh Tran at 714-955-0210.