ATASCADERO — The City of Atascadero is gearing up for the Annual Creek Vegetation Management program for Atascadero Creek, as well as performing a larger debris removal effort along City managed sections of Atascadero and Graves creeks. According to the City, this is a crucial time of year when staff can safely access these areas to remove vegetation and debris, including downed trees and limbs. The following are key details and dates for these work efforts, began on Tuesday, Oct. 3:
Annual Creek Vegetation Management Program (Atascadero Creek)
As part of the Council’s commitment to Economic and downtown Vitality, the City has contracted with a local company to perform vegetation management along Atascadero Creek, stretching from Capistrano Avenue to El Camino Real. This annual effort primarily involves cutting and removing grasses, weeds, and some light pruning to reduce potential fire fuel in the creek within the Downtown Core.
The work is conducted under an annual permit with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW). Staff works closely with an environmental consultant/biologist to apply and oversee the permit, provide training to the contractor’s crew, and conduct pre/post site reviews. Due to state environmental regulations, the work can only occur between Sept. 1 through Oct. 31.
Starting on Tuesday, Oct. 3, this program will last approximately 5-7 business days. During this time, several 40-yard-roll-offs will be placed at key locations for the contractor to discard the collected vegetation. Typically, enough vegetation is removed from the creek to fill three 40-yard roll-offs.
Debris Removal Project (Atascadero Creek & Graves Creek)
In response to the historic amount of rainfall received this past winter/ spring, causing downed trees and vegetation to accumulate in the creek areas, the City has hired a local company to perform a larger debris removal effort along Atascadero Creek and Graves Creek in preparation for the upcoming rainy season.
The local company, A&T Arborist and Vegetation Management, will commence debris collection and removal on Wednesday, Oct. 4. Crews will begin their work in the area of Atascadero Creek between San Gabriel Bridge and Portola Bridge, where a substantial amount of debris has accumulated. Once this area is clear, they will move eastward towards the Downtown Core and then proceed to Graves Creek. Removing debris from Graves Creek will be more challenging due to its topography and limited access points. Due to state environmental regulations, no heavy equipment or machinery will be allowed in the creek. The crews will be utilizing hand tools and chainsaws to cut the debris and will utilize a winch system to remove the material. The material will be separated and taken offsite to a certified disposal site.