Hatch - City To Rope Off Vernal Pools Monday
In the ongoing drama of who did what to the now-infamous Vernal Pool #6, Friday afternoon Costa Mesa CEO Tom Hatch announced a plan to install temporary ropes around it where it abuts the fence that separates Fairview Park and Parsons Field. He goes on to say that a park ambassador will direct visitors and their parents who use a nearby sports field around the protected area. You can read his entire statement HERE. This is going to be very interesting, since there doesn't seem to be any good way around the now-defiled pool without tromping over a similar area at what is known as Vernal Pool #5.
It's truly unfortunate that the city failed to fulfill its custodial responsibilities and mark the pools more than 15 years ago as was agreed with the federal government. You can read some of the various agreements as listed HERE. If the city had been more diligent in years past it's likely that this whole mess might not have ever occurred because the pools and the required 10 foot buffers would have been clearly delineated. It's too late now.
POTENTIAL MITIGATION MEASURES
In an earlier post we discussed the letter that had been sent to the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) which included several potential mitigation measures for the segment of Vernal Pool #6 that has been destroyed by the decomposed granite (DG) path. You can read the entirety of that communication HERE.
The fact remains that this mess began with a request by Mayor Pro Tem Steve Mensinger to abate weeds along a user-defined trail that ran parallel to the fence in question about four feet out into Fairview Park. That trail encroached into Vernal Pool #6 at the fence line near Jim Scott Stadium. To date, as far as I know, nobody has taken responsibility for the installation of the DG path. However, investigations continue into this matter and it is VERY likely that the identity of those responsible will soon be known. In my view, it would be far better for them to step up, admit their error and offer to assist in whatever mitigation measures are determined to be necessary and required by the federal government.