As candidates run to retain their elected positions they will tout issues they’ve supported to win citizen’s votes. There will be advertisements, slogans and even face mask images that imply the candidate supports certain issues. Lest there be any confusion about what the City of Davis has done for burrowing owls, I’ll recount a few “lowlights” of the city’s inaction and neglect of burrowing owls over my 20 years advocating for the owls.
In 2000 several natal burrows were disked at Mace Ranch housing development (Flatlander and Yolano Flame). The city did not pursue legal action against the developer for disking owlets into the ground.
The city, as the CEQA lead agency, was required to mitigate the destruction of the Mace Ranch owl colony. Mitigation was secured at Grasslands Park. A Burrowing Owl Reserve of 60 acres was established. In 2004, a Burrowing Owl Habitat Management plan (a legal requirement under CEQA) was developed that required the vegetation not exceed 4 to 5 inches, year round. The city never kept the vegetation within that standard height. (Sustain Environmental. Documents provided on request. ) Pam Nieberg and I contacted city council members, the Natural Resource Specialist and the Open Space and Habitat Commission. The city did not comply with the Habitat Management Plan. Pam and I met with then City Manager, Dirk Brazil. He told us if there was no money for vegetation management, it would not happen. When the consultant, Sustain Environmental, consistently found the vegetation height not in compliance with the Habitat Management Plan, the city ended the consultant’s contract. No more breeding burrowing owls at the Reserve or Grasslands itself.