Advertisement

Natural Perspectives: Mea culpa for last column

February 23, 2011|By Vic Leipzig and Lou Murray
(Courtesy Lou Murray )

I made a goof in my last column about the Bolsa Chica Land Trust's plan for the mesa. The error is mine, not Vic's. I said the Land Trust was going to excavate no deeper than 8 feet to bury its 2,825-gallon water tanks in the ground. Actually, the tanks will not be buried. They will be above ground, with three or four tanks at each of the four proposed Terra-Farms on the mesa.

Here's where I went wrong. Their restoration plan is not available as a text document. All of the words of their plan are buried in landscape maps. I have examined several versions. On the version that is available to the public at the Huntington Beach Central Library, the print is too small and blurry to be read even with a magnifying glass. I also worked with an enlarged printout of the PDF files, but even that was blurred and barely legible. On the full-scale maps available at the Bolsa Chica Conservancy, I saw that the text on map L4 read, "Terra-Farm area excavated to 8" depth to form mounds." But the symbol for 8 inches looked like 8 feet.

Advertisement

The water tanks are 7 feet, 7 inches tall, and the very small drawing showed the tanks just below ground level. Because the restoration plan is not spelled out in detail, I assumed that the tanks would be buried. Turned out that the ground level (below which the tanks will sit) was a hill that they plan to build. So the proposed tanks would be above ground, but behind a constructed hill.

In a letter to the editor ("Columnists have it all wrong," Community Commentary, Feb. 17), Land Trust President Connie Boardman and board member Joe Shaw wrote that their planned vertical axis turbine is small. I guess it's how you define small. The head on the vertical wind turbine would weigh 310 pounds and be more than 8 feet tall, sitting atop a 14-foot-tall pole. The design is helical, not a horizontal windmill with vanes.

The marketing claim from the manufacturer is that this type of vertical wind turbine is safe for birds and bats, but no data from studies supporting that claim are provided. Boardman and Shaw state that this model is used at a particular wildlife refuge in Alaska, but there are no bats in that location.

Green technology is great, and I'm thrilled that the library is going to get solar panels. But I don't think that the Bolsa Chica mesa is a good place for Terra-Farms, huge compost piles, solar panels and a nearly 9-foot-tall wind turbine atop a 14-foot pole.

Huntington Beach Independent Articles Huntington Beach Independent Articles
|
|
|