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PRESS RELEASE / ANNOUNCEMENTS Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Public Comments Sought for Proposal to Remove Low Water Crossings

GOLETA, CA, November 15, 2017…Forest Service officials are seeking public comments on a proposal to remove three concrete low-water crossings on Davy Brown and Munch Creeks within the Sisquoc River watershed on the Santa Lucia Ranger District. The proposal includes installation of two free-span bridges on Davy Brown Creek to replace the concrete crossings, and restoration of the Munch Creek crossing to a natural condition. Public comments will be accepted from November 15 through December 15, and will help the Forest Service identify important environmental and social issues to be considered in developing and analyzing the proposed project.

The three low-water crossings have been identified as impediments to migratory species, including federally endangered Southern California steelhead. A concrete crossing near Davy Brown Campground on Munch Creek is significantly raised above the streambed, resulting in upstream aggradation and considerable downstream channel incision impacting stream flow and riparian vegetation. Two concrete crossings on Davy Brown Creek near Sunset Valley Road have also become impaired due to flooding, sedimentation, and debris flows.

All three crossings present significant barriers to native fish and other aquatic life, particularly when flows are reduced during summer and fall, and periods of drought. These changes affect the ability of aquatic organisms to migrate within and among stream networks, thereby isolating species populations. These crossings also present safety hazards to members of the public and vehicular traffic. The proposal would permit unimpeded movement of surface waters, substrate, large woody debris, and aquatic life, including federally listed species. It would also improve safe crossings for hikers, horses, and seasonal hunters.

Comments may be sent via e-mail to comments-pacificsouthwest-los-padres-santa-lucia@fs.fed.us. Written comments can also be addressed to Los Padres National Forest Supervisor’s Office, Attention: Forest Fisheries Biologist Kristie Klose, 6750 Navigator Way, Suite 150, Goleta, California 93117, or faxed to (805) 961-5729. When providing comments by mail, please list the project name (“Davy Brown and Munch Creek AOP”) on the envelope.

An open house will be held November 30, 2017, between 4-6 PM at the Santa Lucia District Office at 1616 North Carlotti Drive in Santa Maria, California. More information is also available on the project web page at https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=52434.

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