Supervisor Michael Antonovich is planning to propose a solution to issues stemming from the closure of Bouquet Canyon Road while the county continues to try to get permits to clean the creek.
Antonovich has been working with the County Road Commissioner, who is head of the Department of Public Works, to find a solution to Postal Service, school pick-ups and bus stop issues that arose after the road was shut down last week, said Antonovich’s planning deputy, Edel Vizcarra.
During the Board of Supervisors meeting on Nov. 15, Antonovich will formally request for the implementation of a window when the road would remain open unless storms are forecasted within seven days.
“They (Public Works) seem open to it,” Vizcarra said. “I think it’s gonna help the folks in the canyon but we’ll still continue to work on the larger project. Our office is working hard to find a solution.”
The larger project being cleaning out the creek.
Antonovich also plans to request more frequent, public updates on the status of getting the permits to clean out the creek, Vizcarra said.
“Sediment built up there over the years and is now higher than the road,” Vizcarra said. “When even a small amount of rain lands, it doesn’t have the opportunity to drain. It just pools (on the road).”
The Forest Service and state regulators won’t allow the county to go in and clean out sections of the creek, as the county planned to do, Vizcarra said. Now they’re asking for a full-blown watershed protection project.
“We (the county) don’t own these roads,” he said. “All the roads in the forest area are owned by the Forest Service. (When) we want to put in a stop sign, they tell us how.”
At the heart of the problem is the unarmoured threespine stickleback, an endangered fish that might live in the creek. The federal government has not allowed the county to perform road or flood-control work for fear of disturbing the fish.
An additional challenge is that the canyon roads weren’t built to handle the amount of traffic they’re seeing today, Vizcarra said. The Forest Service has told the county it was never intended for leaseholders to live in the canyon year-round, he said.