ITEM: CONSENT CALENDAR 7. CONSIDER EXPENDITURE OF BUDGETED FUNDS TO CONTRACT WITH THE CALIFORNIA CONSERVATION CORPS FOR FALL 2009 VEGETATION MANAGEMENT ACTIVITIES Meeting Date: September 21, 2009 Budgeted:  Yes From: Darby Fuerst Program/ General Manager Line Item No.: 2.1.4 (FY 2009-10) Prepared By: Thomas Christensen Cost Estimate: $6,800 General Counsel Approval: N/A Committee Recommendation: The Administrative Committee considered this item on September 15, 2009 and recommended approval. CEQA Compliance: N/A SUMMARY: The Board will consider authorizing staff to contract with the California Conservation Corps (CCC), which will provide a crew of ten workers to help District staff carry out vegetation management activities on the Carmel River during the fall of 2009. Vegetation management this year will involve cutting, removing, and dragging large tree limbs out of the river bed and removing debris from the channel in preparation for potential high winter and spring river flows. The level of work required this year warrants the use of CCC workers. This program is conducted in accordance with the District’s “Guidelines for Vegetation Management and Removal of Deleterious Materials for the Carmel River Riparian Corridor,” which is incorporated as part of the District’s Regional General Permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for Carmel River activities. RECOMMENDATION: District staff recommends that the Board authorize the General Manager to enter into a contract with the California Conservation Corps for help with vegetation management in the Carmel River at a cost not-to-exceed$6,800.

BACKGROUND:      The District plans to perform in-channel vegetation management this fall at five sites along the Carmel River.  Since 1998, the Carmel River has had relatively moderate hydrologic years, which has allowed vegetation to encroach into the channel.  As a result, there is an increased risk of streambank erosion along riverfront properties in several locations if winter flows rise above five-year return intervals (approximately 5,000 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Erosion can occur as high flows are directed away from the center of the channel by vegetation and debris dams into streambanks.

Five areas impacted by vegetation encroachment in the channel bottom are proposed for selected vegetation removal:

1.      Hitchcock Creek Area: a 30-foot section of the channel located upstream of Esquiline Road (Rosie’s) Bridge at River Mile (RM) 15.0; several large trees have fallen in the main channel.

2.      Downstream of Boronda Road Bridge Area: two reaches beginning approximately 20 feet and 100 feet downstream of the Boronda Road Bridge, which is located at RM 12.7, one large tree will have some branches trimmed and its trunk notched, the second section downstream with trees blocking the channel on a gravel bar (150 feet in length) will be removed.  One additional reach about ¼ mile downstream (200 feet in length) will also be trimmed.

3.      Robinson Canyon Bridge Area: beginning at approximately RM 8.4, downstream of Robinson Canyon Road Bridge and extending 230 feet; many trees have become established across the active channel.

4.      Red Rock Area: beginning approximately RM 8.2 at the Red Rock Restoration Project and extending 150 feet downstream; trees blocking the channel on a gravel bar will be removed.

5.      Quail 8 Area: beginning approximately RM 4.2 at the Quail 8 condominiums and extending 80 feet downstream; trees extending out and blocking the channel will be trimmed back. Some branches will be placed in the channel for habitat and the rest will be chipped.

A width of up to 40 feet of open channel is desired.  A total of approximately 965 lineal feet of stream encompassing approximately 0.44 acres in the channel bottom will be affected by the vegetation removal.

Woody species in the center of the channel, including sycamore, alder, cottonwood, and willow, will be cut by hand using chainsaws, loppers, and other hand tools.  As described in MPWMD’s “Guidelines for Vegetation Management and Removal of Deleterious Materials for the Carmel River Riparian Corridor,” a minimum of vegetation will be removed in order to maintain an open passage for flow and debris.

The District has used CCC workers on several occasions in the past when vegetation management activities scheduled for fall have been on a scale large enough that regular staff cannot reasonably remove all the debris and slash created from opening up the main channel.

IMPACT ON STAFF/RESOURCES:          It is anticipated that a ten-person CCC crew at a cost of $1,700 per day will be required for four days. The total not-to exceed amount for the contract is$6,800.  Funds for this work are included in the Fiscal Year 2009-10 Budget under Project Expenditures, Item 2-1-4: “Address vegetation hazards; remove trash from channel” - \$15,000 total, Account No. 4-03-7870.40.  The staff person responsible for administration of the contract and supervision of the work is Thomas Christensen, the District’s Riparian Project Coordinator.

EXHIBITS

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