RMC runs dozer through the Bonny Doon Ecological Reserve
by Jodi Frediani
In September RMC Pacific Materials (the Davenport cement plant folks) took
a bulldozer through the Bonny Doon Ecological Reserve, grading three-quarters
of a mile of existing road through the fragile Zayante Sands, removing constructed
waterbars, blading off a collection of rare Ben Lomond Spine Flowers, and crushing
and uprooting listed manzanitas. All without a permit. Local activists sounded
||A Fish and Game warden, Environmental
D.A., a Reserve docent, and representatives from RMC examine the damage to the
Bonny Doon Ecological Reserve.
The Bonny Doon Ecological Reserve is a special place. This delicate sand hill
habitat is home to a number of unique species of plants and insects. The Ben Lomond
Spine Flower, Abrams Cypress, Santa Cruz and Silver Leaf Manzanitas and Ponderosa
Pine are among the rare and/or threatened and endangered plants within its boundaries.
The Reserve is managed by the California Department of Fish & Game.
In addition to the unauthorized road work in the Reserve, RMC re-constructed
a road through their own timberland down to Laguna Creek. They removed twelve-inch
diameter trees from the old roadbed which was last used thirty years ago to harvest
timber. RMC also dismantled an old log bridge across Laguna Creek without the
necessary permits from Fish & Game. The road work, itself, may be in violation
of the County’s grading ordinance.
The work was authorized by the Registered Professional Forester contracted
by RMC to manage their timber lands. The Department of Fish & Game is requiring
RMC to stabilize the sandy road cut prior to winter rains. Fish & Game warden,
Dennis Baldwin, is currently investigating the illegal grading project, endangered
species violations, and bridge removal. Santa Cruz County Environmental District
Attorney, Morgan Taylor, visited the site to see the damage first hand.