Beginning August 15, Marin Municipal Water District crews will harvest fifteen non-native Monterey cypress trees from an area east of Bon Tempe Lake known as Pine Point. These trees will be harvested with the root structures intact so that they can be utilized in Lagunitas Creek as part of the district’s Lagunitas Creek Coho Salmon and Steelhead Winter Habitat and Floodplain Enhancement Project. Removal of these trees will not only provide logs for salmon habitat enhancement, but will also help restore the native oak woodlands in the area by removing a non-native tree species.
The tree removal project is located between Bon Tempe Lake and Sky Oaks Road, approximately 1.5 miles south of the town of Fairfax and is expected to last about two weeks. The Alex Forman Trail that runs through Pine Point and the area surrounding the cypress trees will be closed to the public where it meets Sky Oaks Road to the north, and at its southern end near MMWD’s storage yard. Signs describing the project and the trail closure will be posted at these closure points.
The cypress trees, to be placed as large log structures in the Lagunitas Creek channel, downstream of Peter's Dam, within National Park Service lands will provide fish with areas to ride out storms in floodplains and backwater habitat where the water flow is not as fast as in other parts of the stream. These habitats will give juvenile fish areas to feed and grow, as well as seek cover from predators. The goal of these habitat enhancements is to help recover fish populations by enabling more juveniles to survive the winter. Adolescent fish are then able to migrate out to Tomales Bay, eventually reaching the ocean and their adult stage. The Winter Habitat and Floodplain Enhancement Project is being implemented with funding and participation from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Fisheries Restoration Grant funds; California State Water Resources Control Board, 319(h) Grant funds; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Coastal Program Grant funds; National Park Service; and California State Parks.
MMWD will facilitate onsite interviews and project site tours for interested media. Please contact Emma Detwiler, firstname.lastname@example.org, (415) 945-1592 to schedule.
MMWD is Marin County’s largest provider of drinking water, serving a population of 187,500 in a 147-square-mile area of south and central Marin County. The district owns and manages 21,635 acres of watershed land on Mt. Tamalpais and in west Marin. The primary source of water supply is rainfall captured in seven reservoirs, providing 75 percent of the water consumed each year. The remaining 25 percent is imported annually from the Russian River through an agreement with the Sonoma County Water Agency. MMWD also operates its own recycled water system. District operations are financed primarily by revenue from the sale of water. The annual operating budget for the district for fiscal year 2015-16 is $66.8 million.