Note: the following was emailed to the Davis City Council and to members of the Open Space and Habitat Commission early this afternoon.
Commissioners – Firstly, I apologize for this late communication so close to your Open Space and Habitat Commission meeting this evening. I just became aware yesterday of tonight's agenda item on the proposed study to modify Putah Creek through the Davis Putah Creek Preserve.
I represent Friends of Putah Creek which is a non-profit corporation formed in response to the disastrous waterway modifications that were made in the Winters Putah Creek Parkway by the Solano County Water Agency. These changes were made during the last decade under the same guise of remediation and restoration of the Creek to a natural "form and function" as is now represented by their employee tonight. The current study proposes to eventually implement many of the same misguided, non-scientific based "improvements" in the Davis Putah Creek Preserve which proved so harmful in Winters.
In response to the obvious outcome shortcomings of that project, Friends of Putah Creek undertook an extensive and quantitative evaluation of the project in terms of the subsequent habitat degradation and decline in plant and animal population in the Parkway. In this study we found substantial failure of the project to meet the promised improvements – even after spending over $7 million dollars on the 1.25 mile project itself and then millions more in subsequent efforts to remediate the damage caused by the project. Even today we are still seeing extensive tree die-back and loss of animal life that has yet to return. This is the worst example of environmental pork Yolo County has ever seen.
In preparation for your meeting tonight, I offer these two attached studies on the Winters Putah Creek Park project for your further review [linked from the next sentence]. One is a Case Study that quantitatively documents the extensive degradation of the creek after the project in terms of loss of habitat and plant and animal life and adverse impacts of groundwater and aquifer regeneration. The second document is a Failure Analysis Report which analyses the failure of the project to adhere to acceptable riparian restoration principles which are now embodied in the Yolo Habitat Conservancy's Resource Conservation Investment Strategy / Land Conservation Plan (RCIS/LCP). This RCIS/LCP was formally approved last year by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (see https://www.yolohabitatconservancy.org/documents and scroll down to download the RCIS/LCP and Appendices).
Please do not be swayed by the rosy projections of improved habitat and "form and function" of the Creek that this study will undoubtedly predict. We have heard them all before with the horrible environmental impacts of the Winters Putah Creek Parkway Project as proof of their falsehoods.
For more information, please visit www.FriendsofPutahCreek.org