C.R.E.W. gets steelhead grant
By Lenny Roberts
What began a few years ago as an idea of
putting kids to work cleaning up the environment has since evolved
into conservation efforts at many levels.
Executive Director Wally McCall announced the nonprofit Concerned
Resource Environmental Workers, C.R.E.W., has received a California
Department of Fish and Game grant in the amount of $122,840 to
be used to restore the southern steelhead trout habitat in Piedra
Blanca Creek in the Sespe Wilderness section of Los Padres National
Forest north of Ojai.
"Our goal is to reduce erosion of soils from multiple trails
that currently exist," McCall explained. "By doing
so, we can reduce the amount of sedimentation that flows into
the steelhead spawning and rearing habitat." McCall added
that the project will reduce hiker trampling and disturbances
to creek by rebuilding the trail and rerouting it away from sensitive
sections of the creek, and that beneficial shading of the creek
will be accomplished by planting native vegetation in areas denuded
The project, which is planned to begin during spring break in
April 2004, will continue during summer vacation and resume in
April 2005. The work will be performed by disadvantaged young
adults from the Santa Clara and Ojai valleys, and starts at the
junction of the Sespe wilderness river trail and leads north
to Reyes Peak, passing through Piedra Blanca, Twin Peaks, Pine
Mountain and Three-Mile campgrounds.
The U.S. Forest Service has promised $10,000
toward the project, that has been projected to cost $158,840.
The balance will come from the Fish & Game and other C.R.E.W.
Grants, McCall said.
"We are looking forward to collaborating with District Ranger
John Bridgewater," McCall noted.
Last year, C.R.E.W., now operating in Ventura, Santa Barbara
and Kern counties, provided work for 130 kids who performed 8,700
hours of paid work. The planned project is the C.R.E.W.'s second
watershed habitat reconstruction program. The first was a similar
project completed last year along the 19-mile-long stretch of
the Sespe Trail.
"These environmental projects augment the significant fire
protection services provided by the C.R.E.W., which has already
built 15 miles of 300-foot-wide fuel breaks at Shelf, Fairview,
Foothill and Sisar roads," McCall concluded.
The Ojai Valley News
to the news