Friday, June 26, 2009
Trail Maintenance on Sibley to Tilden Trail - Environmental Impact?
Back on the EBRPD Sibley to Tilden Park trail after a couple of weeks of absence, and noticed that they have done their annual trail maintenance. A twelve foot wide swath cleared and about six feet of it scraped with a small tractor down to Old Tunnel Road. Bikes are allowed on that section. After that it is about six to eight feet cleared, and not total scraping. After Fish Ranch Road, EBMUD has also done their annual mowing of a big grassy field that the trail skirts along. Still, this entire trail is still one of the most pristine available in the East Bay.
My question - thought is about the effect on the seasonal creek that runs along quite close to the trail for the first mile or so. The creek still has a trickle now, and later in the summer you will notice that it flows in early morning after heavy fog, but is dry in the afternoon. The plowing of the trail pushes berms of dirt right up close to the waterway. Never into it, but a heavy rain would carry a lot of dirt right into the stream. That stream is a scarce resource, needed by salamanders at least in the fall, and by mountain lions, coyotes, foxes, etc. year round.
The timing of the maintenance is good, heavy rains are over for months, and the light puddling of water from the fog will serve to harden the bermed soil and make it less likely to mess up the creek. I would just like a little more care with that tractor when close to the water. I wonder if this maintenance is going on with potential water impact in mind? An aside, we've been getting some unattributed taking of blog content so inserting © 2009 backpack45.com
Even with the temporarily maimed trail, its a good walk, new flowers showing up, old ones going to seed, and the usual piles of scat. The last photo is yesterday's scat - fox, raccoon? Anyone know?