'CPR' may get minor surgery

Fish and Game spokeswoman says group will likely revise Bolsa Chica plan after commission staff's critique.

March 30, 2011|By Michael Miller,

A spokeswoman for the Department of Fish and Game said her group will likely amend a restoration plan for the Bolsa Chica mesa after a state commission's staff criticized the project.

Karen Miner, a DFG land program supervisor, said her group plans to enter discussions soon with the California Coastal Commission's staff to address some of its concerns about CPR, or Community Promoted Restoration, for the Mesa.

If DFG makes any changes, Miner said, they will likely be reductions or minor revisions, but probably won't add anything.

"If we remove components or reduce them or add mitigation measures, those aren't new impacts," Miner said. "If we have a whole new redesign, it would be a new project. We're trying to do it in the first scenario, where we add new information, we add mitigation measures."


The Coastal Commission staff issued a harsh response to the plan for the lower bench of the Bolsa Chica mesa, calling it potentially harmful to the environment and insufficiently outlined in public documents.

The staff submitted its response March 16 to DFG, which is collaborating with the Bolsa Chica Land Trust on the restoration plan. The public comment period for CPR for the Mesa ended March 17.

The six-page response, signed by regulation and planning supervisor Karl Schwing and prepared with biological technical staff, concludes that the project as proposed will have "significant negative environmental effects" and that the documents provided by the Land Trust and DFG leave too many questions unanswered.

The commission must approve CPR for the Mesa before the project can proceed.

John Dixon, a member of the commission's biological technical staff, said he admired the intentions but couldn't support the project as outlined.

"I think restoration is certainly appropriate, but whatever restoration takes place has to be done in such a way that it doesn't have serious negative impacts on the resources that are already there," he said. "The existing plan, as we said in our letter, seems to us that it could have such negative impacts."

Land Trust Executive Director Flossie Horgan said her group was not discouraged by the staff's remarks and that the Land Trust and DFG were busy preparing a response.

"The comments from the Coastal Commission staff are accepted as constructive and are appreciated," she said.

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