TUD to survey ditch flora, fauna



Tuolumne Utilities District will add a $52,000 plant and wildlife survey to its Ditch Optimization Study.

The 4-0 vote came during last night's TUD board of directors meeting. Director Ralph Retherford abstained, saying he could not make up his mind.

At issue was a proposal to survey plants and wildlife as part of TUD's district-wide study of the county's historic mining ditches. Originally built in the 1800s, TUD's 56 miles of open ditches provide most of the county's drinking water.

The Ditch Optimization Study is to detail the best way to manage ditches while protecting drinking water, preserving wildlife habitat and maintaining recreation trails which parallel the waterways.

A Sacramento environmental consulting firm, EIP Associates, was contracted to perform the wildlife and plant study.

When the survey is complete, TUD directors and staff can use it when choosing sites for potential projects, said Tim McCullough, TUD General Manager. If project planners know where endangered species or other environmental hotspots are, they can choose new locations early on. Otherwise, time and money could be wasted by starting a project that might be shut down later for environmental reasons.

Although directors voted 3-2 last year not to fund the survey, McCullough brought the item back for reconsideration.

The Ditch Optimization Study, originally priced at about $450,000, could be labeled as worthless if it does not include a survey of plants and animals living along the ditch, McCullough said.

"We should make every effort to make sure they are counted in order to be an honest broker to the public," McCullough said.

The Union Democrat
This image is copyrighted.

Reach all of Sonora, Calaveras County, Tuolumne, Angels Camp, Twain Harte, & Jamestown with your items to sell.

Ads appear Online and in Print

View Classifieds Place an Ad

Connect with The Union Democrat

Union Democrat Newsstand

Friday October 28, 2016

Read digital interactive editions of our publications

Read Today's Edition Take A Tour

More Publications by The Union Democrat

View All Publications
This is not horse play


Tuolumne County Animal Control on Wednesday hosted the Animal Technical Rescue First ... more

Residents complain about cultivation enforcement


Residents of El Rancho Loma Serena Homeowners Association said they believe Calaveras ... more

Columbia Elementary gets an interim leader


The Columbia Union School Board Tuesday hired Diane Dotson as interim superintendent-principal. ... more

All Hallows Fantasy Faire


Hundreds of people of all ages, costumed and non-costumed, attended the eighth ... more

New oak disease spreads from coast to foothills


A deadly fungus killing oak trees along the coasts of central and ... more