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Biological Resources Will be Damaged by Quarry Development

The County admits there are more than 180 conditions surrounding the project that cannot be mitigated to prevent hazards to water, air quality, health and safety, and environmental impacts to nearby streams and wetlands. 

The Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District Acquisition Plan (SCAPOSD) states that our county hosts 14 different plant associations supporting over 1,416 plant species, one quarter of which are rare and endangered…in addition 61 animal species are listed, candidates for listing or are designated species of concern.  One of the goals of the SCAPOSD is to conserve sites with multiple threatened and endangered plants and animals included (but not limited to) the Santa Rosa plain, Estero Americano, Laguna de Santa Rosa, Bodega Bay coastal dunes among other areas.

Riparian Woodlands

The vegetation along Roblar Road and nearby areas are dominated by grasslands interspersed with stretches of Black Oak, Coast Live Oak and Euclyptus woodlands.  Most of the western half of Roblar Road extends in close proxmity to Americano Creek (crossing it three times).  Seasonal wetlands are present near Roblar Road along what may have been the remnants of the previous natural meander of Americano Creek.   Roblar Road also crosses Gossage and Washoe Creeks.  Arroyo willow riparian woodlands, dominated in varying degrees by several willow species and rushes, occur on Roblar Road aligning with Americano Creek, and at the crossings of Gossage Creek and Washoe Creek.  In contrast, the Petaluma River and Liberty Creek in the vicinity of Pepper Road do not support a riparian woodland.

Endangered Species Found on Quarry Site and in Waterways

Evidence of endangered California Tiger salamanders (CTS) was found at the quarry site.  The portion of Roblar Road between Peterson Road east of the quarry site to just beyond the project site (a distance of about four miles) is within a known CTS breeding area.  In addition, a section of Pepper Road east of Mecham Road, is within the designatd potential range of CTS as defined by the US Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) and described in the Santa Rosa Plain Conservation Strategy (2005). There are no California Red-legged frog (CRLF) breeding sites within 1,000 feet of the Roblar Road or Pepper Road areas, but Americano Creek provides potential aquatic habitat (including breeding habitat) for the CRLF.  Gossage Creek, Washoe Creek and the nearby Petaluma River all provide aquatic habitat likely to support CTS, CLRF, the Foothill Yellow-legged frog (FYLF) and northwestern pond turtles.

The American badger, a California Species of Special Concern, is spread throughout the local project area and use grassland habitat, including that located in the vicinity of Roblar Road and Pepper Road.