Caltrans Vegetation Management Plan

Thanks to Dave Nelson for the question and for forwarding the answer to me so I could post it.

From Kevin D, PIO for Caltrans:

Thank you very much for your inquiry.  In order for Caltrans to respond quickly to emergency road damage we utilize what is known as Emergency Opening funds that are reimbursed by the Federal Government at a substantial rate of 80 to 100 percent depending upon conditions and timeframes.  With the utilization of these types of funds we are constrained to the scope of work that is required to address the damage so that the roadway can be reopened for use by the travelling public in a timely manner.  This is limited to site restoration and erosion control in order to qualify for federal reimbursement.  Due the definition of Emergency Opening projects by the Federal Government and the extensive timeline for bonding requirements of the contractors, a 5 years monitoring plan cannot be incorporated into these projects.  As it sounds like you are aware from your experience at Rat Creek, erosion control measures are allowed under the emergency response program.  All disturbed soil areas are seeded with native plant species for sediment and erosion control as specified by our Landscape Architects.  Native seed vegetation establishment has the potential to limit the establishment of invasive species from dominating the site.  This effort of erosion control will continue to be implemented at the storm damage locations where work is ongoing once the reconstruction has been completed. If you would like to speak with our Landscape Architect about the specific mix they use at these locations please contact Scott Dowlan.

The Big Sur Byways subcommittee on invasive species is where we look to engage and have in depth discussions on invasive plants along the Big Sur Coast. Jay Karl from Caltrans is an active member of the committee and has engaged with the community on what resources Caltrans has available to help with this concern.  In the past, eradication measures have been implemented to address invasive species growth at turnouts and other areas within State Right of Way where people congregate along the Big Sur Coast.  Please note that Caltrans has been and is willing to help with eradication of nonnative invasive plants within State Right of Way within the allowable resources available to us.

5 thoughts on “Caltrans Vegetation Management Plan

  1. A very good question. Appreciating Cal Trans proactive response. Yet, how do the results measure up? Are areas with five year monitoring doing better than Emergency Opening areas where seeding takes place without a followup plan in place? Is Rat Creek an example?

  2. I don’t believe that caltrans has had a five year follow up plan for any storm remediation for many years. Maybe the JP Burns slide 1983. My request to Kevin D was to implement one for the current storm repair projects but I believe he said their funding didn’t provide for that.

  3. CalTrans doesn’t do much to eradicate non native invasive plants. As a matter of fact, they use plants such as pampas grass to stop erosion! What limited eradication IS done by them is via clearcutting and poison … don’t look to the Coastal Commission for support as they are staunchly on CT’s side given the fact CT gives them $1M/year to cover CCC staff salaries.

  4. This is SO exacerbating! Just between us, does spraying seeds of plants that are “native” and putting straw rolls in place, IN INSELF constitute EFFECTIVE restoration of indigenous, self-sustaining, PERMANENT ecosystems? Or am I mistaken that post-operations site work includes more than my present understanding?

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