Wildlife Impacts of Asphalt Plant

Dutra claims they will ensure protection for species habitat, and that the Egret and Heron nesting sites at Haystack Landing were studied in the EIR and will not be driven out. Statements from these experts appear to contradict that claim:

“Dear Sonoma County Planning Commission,
I was informed about some changes contemplated in the County General Plan, initiated by the Dutra Group, that could have a negative impact (noise disturbance) on the endangered California Clapper Rail (Rallus longirostris obsoletus) in the upper Petaluma River tidal wetlands. We have conducted protocol-level surveys for this marsh bird over the last several years and detected pairs present during the breeding season at several locations in tidal marshlands associated with Ellis Creek, just south of Shollenberger Park. Exact locations are on file with the California Natural Diversity Data Base (CNNDB) and in reports submitted to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Office of Endangered Species, Sacramento. These locations are available upon request from Avocet Research.

Please consider potential noise impacts to the breeding success of this critically endangered species prior to amending noise restrictions currently in place.

The linear marshlands along the Petaluma River upstream from Ellis Creek to the Petaluma Marina also support the state-threatened California Black Rail (Latterallus jamaecensis cortuniculus). This species could also be negatively impacted by increased noise pollution and industrial activity at this location.

Thank you for your attention to this issue.”

Jules Evens, Principal
Avocet Research Associates


"...these (egret and heron nesting) sites may be subsequently abandoned in response to changes in the frequency or intensity of human activity. Therefore...noise, artificial lights, conveyer activity...are likely to increase the risk of abandonment."

John P. Kelly PhD
Director, Conservation Science and Habitat Protection
Audubon Canyon Ranch

“Noise is also a big concern because of a nesting rookery on the northwest corner of the project, said Bob Dyer, senior wetlands docent at Shollenberger. Since monitoring of the rookery began in 2003, Dyer and others have counted about 250 Great Egret, Snowy Egret and Blue Heron chicks born there, he said. “It’s been a productive colony and we’re concerned about the impact of a noisy asphalt factory very close by,”

Bob Dyer – Senior Docent / Petaluma Wetlands Alliance
Press Democrat Article 2/21/08


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