We want to give you a brief update on our properties after the recent storms:
Fortunately after significant rainfall, Marks Ranch, located in Salinas within the River Fire burn scar, held up relatively well – especially considering the devastating slides off River Road and in Big Sur’s Dolan Fire burn scar. Our director of stewardship Patrick Riparetti reports:
“In anticipation of winter storms, we performed emergency road maintenance to reestablish a series of several rolling dips for drainage along the main road. This was critical work because it helped to rapidly shed water off the road since the fire left little vegetation or ground cover to soak up and slow down the runoff. These dips did exactly what they were designed to do, and we are so grateful to our science and land management advisor, Tim Best for his guidance. A member of our volunteer land management and science advisory board, Tim is an expert on road construction with a focus on ranch and forest roads. He recommended a specialized design and implementation technique that protects the road infrastructure, reduces maintenance costs, and decreases sedimentation around sensitive riparian zones near the road and adjacent creek. We want to also give special thanks to Brian Willett of BW Engineering for expertly executing on these plans. The bulldozer lines have held up and the water bars that were installed are functioning well. We reseeded the disturbed area and spread remnant vegetation to increase ground cover and protect the soil from rain impact. This work prevents big chasms from forming in the ground, which would be difficult to restore.”
There are small slides at Mitteldorf Preserve in Carmel Valley, and several trees have fallen. The Nature Loop will remain closed until crews can clear the trail. Our COO Rich Hamilton and his son Evan hiked the trail recently and Rich captured their adventure in this video. And we’re happy to report that Glen Deven Ranch suffered no major damage!