December

Happy holidays everyone,

Hopefully you all have plans to see family or friends for the holiday season.  I was home over Thanksgiving (Iowa) so I will not be returning for Christmas or New Years. Instead, I am opting to hit the slopes and hoping to avoid the typical crowds.  This will be possible because we have finally gotten some PRECIPITATION IN NORTHERN CALIFORNIA.  The news was predicting the “storm of the decade” and went on for days about preparing to be without electricity and stocking up on food.  In the end, we had one gusty morning and then it drizzled for two days (I was unimpressed).  I was, however, thankful to see the much needed rain.  I think I saw about 8 rainbows in a single day.

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As far as work goes, I am still chipping away diligently on my restoration projects.   I have completed a draft CEQA document on my largest project, and have now begun the NEPA document.  I am simultaneously writing contracts and installing infrastructure e.g. access roads and gates at the project site.

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In between writing these documents, I am applying for a streambed alteration permit, a 401 permit, an endangered species act permit, and a 404 permit.  I can’t eat lunch in California without getting a permit first.  Having spoken to other project managers conducting large-scale restoration projects in California, I have learned that it is not uncommon for the cost of project permitting to be equal to or even more expensive than the cost of the actual project construction.

On a side note, a few months back our small staff at the Preserve constructed a barn that we had de-constructed from another BLM property in the Sierras several months earlier.  We had no instructions, just pictures and a numbering system on the parts.  Here is a final picture of the constructed barn (still standing after the “storm of the decade”).

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