Long Bar Restoration Project Comment Period Extended to August 14

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UPDATE: the comment period has been extended to August 14.

The Long Bar Restoration Project aims to restore roughly 50 acres of juvenile salmonid rearing habitat. Previous Lower Yuba River restoration projects have included community outreach meetings to engage with local stakeholders and the community more broadly. These meetings gave the people most likely to be impacted by a restoration project a chance to learn about the project, ask questions, and provide feedback. While that kind of in-person community meeting isn’t possible this year, SYRCL and everyone involved in the project still think it is important to reach out.

The Long Bar Restoration Project video introduces the restoration project occurring at Long Bar. First we hear from Melinda Booth, Executive Director and Aaron Zettler-Mann, River Restoration Project Manager, who provide context for the history of gold mining on the Lower Yuba River, why restoration actions are needed, and how this project is being supported. Avery Scherer at Cramer Fish Sciences who discusses project monitoring and why it’s so important to project success. She also talks about the permitting process. Finally, Sam Diaz the project engineer from cbec eco engineering discusses the planning and design of the project.

The comment period ends Friday, July 31, 2020.
Please submit comments to [email protected].

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  1. I’m all in on the project and its purpose. Great work, sooner the better. I’m also concerned about the entrapment of fish in the a SRI mining site and the environmental disruption by noise, dust production and shooting activities in the site which demonstrate the lack of concern for the economic impact on safety and property values in the neighborhoods adjacent to and within a mile of the Yuba River south of the Parks Bar bridge, particularly by the uncontrolled recreational chaos that takes place, particularly on weekends, on the east side of the river and south into the Gold Fields. Noise and dust from dirt bikes and other high powered recreational vehicles running up and down the southeast side of the river regularly continues well into the night hours. Shooting into the river and the surroundings is another regular activity that often takes place well into the late night and early morning hours as can be verified by the county Sheriff call records. The wild life in the area has been totally decimated since the area from the Parks Bar bridge to the old town of Hammonton on the east side of the Yuba River was opened up to the public. No controls have every been implemented to care for the well being of the environment and what had been a vibrant wildlife area just a few years ago prior to public access. It has now become a hazard and a nuisance and the site of partying and nefarious activities, including murders.

    As well, SRI is causing major environmental and economic impacts on the adjacent neighborhoods particularly from noise and dust production. Though the area has evidently been grandfathered for mining, little concern has been paid to noise and dust ordinances. Neighbors have begged SRI to begin their work hours to meet ordinance requirements as well as to change their back up alarms to the kind designed to be MSHA compliant and neighbor friendly by mitigating excessive decibel levels. Decibel levels in excess of 80 DBL have been measured thousands of feet from the SRI mining area as a result of crashing cobbles and backup alarms, at times beginning as early as 5:30 AM.

    I completely support your continuing effort to protect our beautiful and unique Yuba River environs.

  2. Michael Sheesley says:

    I don’t know much about the Longbar Restoration project. However I do know that current Law allows unrestricted public access to the south bank of the Yuba River, from Dry Creek to the Parks Bar Bridge . It seems to me that policy is inconsistent with any notion of “restoration” on the Yuba River.

    We now allow motor vehicles, off road vehicles (like ATVs and UTVs) motorcycles of all types and kinds unfettered access to the river at any time of the day or night. There are either no restrictions on the use of expansion chambers and other specialized exhaust system —or there is no practical way to enforce those restrictions, if they do exist. The area has become an ad hoc speedway.

    Unrestricted public access also means the river is used as an unsupervised miles long pistol and and rifle range. There has as far as I can tell, been no attention paid to the safety, or environmental impact of that activity. The gunfire can be heard any time of the day or night.

    Unrestricted public access also means that users of the area may set off explosive devices and fireworks at anytime of the day or night—with no regard for the fire dangers presented by that kind of activity.

    I don’t know whether the issues I’ve outlined above will impact the Longbar Restoration Project. But I offer the foregoing as an outline of the actual use of the south bank of this Yuba County Treasure.

  3. Aaron Zettler-Mann says:

    Thank you for your comments Tom and Michael. Hopefully you both get a chance to read my email responses as well. But, as some of your concerns overlap and could be shared by others, it seems informative to respond here as well.
    Unfortunately, the south side of the Yuba River isn’t part of this restoration project, and is outside our scope of control. Having been over there I certainly share your concerns regarding ecologic degradation and land use activities. My suggestion at this point would be to call the sheriff when you see problematic behaviors in the area and perhaps, with enough feedback, patrols and enforcement in the area will increase.
    Thank you, Aaron Zettler-Mann

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