Press Release # 358

Subj: Fwd: San Diego Creek Massive Habitat Removal Happening Right Now
Date: 1/5/2004 11:26:18 AM Pacific Standard Time
From: Jon V3
To: Jon V3
Right-click picture(s) to display picture options

Sorry for any double posting. Consider sending emails in opposition to this travesty of removing endangered species habitat at San Diego Creek under the guise of inadequate flood capacity, when the numbers need to be checked under public review and it's not an emergency. The habitat has been building up since 1969 and provides habitat for at least 6 least Bell's vireo's territories.


Jan Vandersloot (949) 548-6326

Suggested emails:


Subject: Oppose San Diego Creek Emergency Habitat Removal Project

Body of email:

Dear Army Corps of Engineers, California Coastal Commission, Department of Fish and Game, and Orange County officials,

I am writing to ask that you oppose the emergency San Diego Creek Capacity project. This project is not an emergency and should go through normal public notice, public review, and environmental documentation. This project does not qualify as an emergency. The project area has existed for many years and even withstood the El-Nino years of 1997-1998 without flooding.

This 2.5 miles of riparian vegetation along San Diego Creek provides extremely valuable habitat for least Bell's vireo, an endangered species of bird, along with four other listed birds that use the vicinity, according to the United States Fish and Wildlife Service.

Please do not let Orange County get away with this improper way of doing neglected maintenance work under the declaration of an emergency. This year is projected to have lower than normal rainfall. The chances of flooding are less than average.

Please do not issue emergency permits and instead, require the County to stop work and go through the normal process.

Thank you.


Phone Number

Forwarded Message:
Subj: San Diego Creek Massive Habitat Removal Happening Right Now
Date: 1/4/2004 11:39:37 PM Pacific Standard Time
From: Jon V3
CC:,,,,,, JWatt4, JSkinnerMD,,,,,,,,,,, Gardner ncy, LMurrayPhD,, Jon V3,,,,,,
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Dear Army Corps of Engineers, California Coastal Commission, USFWS and DFG,

Since my last email to you of December 28, 2003, there has been massive clearing of vegetation in a 30 foot-wide strip to the east of the orange fence, in the area designated as "thinning" in the proposed San Diego Creek capacity project. See photos below.

Have the proper permits been obtained by the County from the Army Corps, DFG, Coastal Commission, with endangered species consultation with USFWS?

If not, I urgently request you issue a stop-work order and have your enforcement personnel come down to investigate what is happening

This is not thinning of vegetation, it is clear-cutting, with many tree trunks of less than 3 inches diameter at ground level being cut down, even 1 inch trunks being cut at ground level, leaving willow trees at 75 foot centers in some areas, as well as the understory for the trees, including most mulefat bushes. See embedded photos below.

If this activity is permitted under the concept of "thinning", and the rest of the vegetation is totally removed, there will be minuscule habitat left for any of the 6 vireo territories formerly seen in this area.

This is not balance, as portrayed by the County. It looks to me like 80% to 90% habitat destruction, occurring without proper endangered species consultation or permits.

This habitat removal is occurring in the mitigation area required for the creation of the flood control channel. The current activities are effectively removing the mitigation site.

I suggest you hurry on down, because all this work occurred in the 3 days before New Year's Day. I expect the County will be there in force tomorrow.

Thank you. See photos below.

Jan D. Vandersloot, MD (949) 548-6326

The 30 foot-wide green area above right is designated "thinning".
More properly, it is being "denuded".

Looking north, all vegetation to the right of the fence cut down.

Looking south, all vegetation to the left of the fence cut down.

Further along the fence.

Clearcutting with nothing but fallen branches.

Massive devastation of habitat.

Nothing but cutup trees.

Trees and understory removed.

If all the trees and understory are removed in front of the
fence, what happens to the willows on the other side of the

Trees less than 3 inches at ground level cut down. What
happened to the 3 inch diameter at breast level standard?

Trunks less than 2 inches cut down.

Trunk at 1.5 inches diameter.

Trunk at 2 inches.

Trunk at 1.5 inches.

Understory at less than 1 inch trunks.

Trunk at 1 inch.

Trunks less than 2 inches.

Another 1 inch trunk cut down.

Trunks less than 1 inch.

Trunk less than 1 inch.

Trunk less than 1.5 inch.

Trunk less than 1.5 inch.

Trunks less than 1.5 inch.

Trunk less than 1.5 inch.

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