You are encouraged to participate in the advocacy groups being formed to implement Town Plan ideas that Supervisor Bruce McPherson has initiated as a result of meetings earlier in the year about updating the Town Plans originally completed in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s. (The plans are available online at the bottom of this page from Supervisor McPherson’s Board of Supervisor page: http://www.co.santa-cruz.ca.us/Government/BoardofSupervisors/District5.aspx )
The meeting to form Boulder Creek’s group will be held 4 to 6 pm on June 6 at Boulder Creek Library Amphitheater, 13390 West Park Ave., and the meeting to form Ben Lomond’s group will be held 4 to 5:30 pm on June 11 at Ben Lomond Park, 9525 Mill Street. (Felton’s meeting will have happened by the time this e-Newsletter reaches you,, but you can still be involved in it by calling McPherson’s office at 454-2200 and speaking to Robin Musitelli or another of his Aides.)
It will be important that the environment be kept in the forefront of planning. Some have suggested cutting down trees to open up a view of the River in the Covered Bridge Park, a possible threat to the well-being of endangered Coho and Steelhead, and other species, unless the health of the riparian area is made a high priority. (In fact there may need to be a State Fish & Wildlife permit, or even NOAA approval, due to the need to maintain habitat for threatened and endangered species.) Another example is the popular idea of restoring a “swimming hole” in the downtown Ben Lomond County Park, which is potentially doable (if the funds can be found) while still protecting those same endangered species.
Shouldn’t we add removal of invasive plant species a project in each area? Ivy is killing trees throughout the SLV; Pampas Grass and Purple Star Thistle are expanding along the roadsides and destroying habitat; St. John’s Wort and Vinca are spreading into the woods from yards, displacing important species needed for food and habitat for animals and birds. Projects in Boulder Creek and Ben Lomond are making progress but a lot more should be done.
Each town, in fact, has exciting improvements and changes that could bring real benefits to our lives, and it will be important to keep protection of the watershed in mind as we make plans.