Yesterday, I took a driving tour of a ranch along to the Middle part of the Salinas River. It was an opportunity to peer into the thicket of vegetation lining the levee. The impregnable riparian habitat stretched for hundreds of feet from the ranch into the main channel of the Salinas River. The vegetation resembled the twisted jumble of a mango grove and was peppered with discarded furnishings, appliances, large pieces of metal, hunks of cement, and trash. Nothing about it resembled the healthy watershed so touted by regulators. It was a mess. I would hazard a guess that:
- The impenetrable brush prevents free wildlife movement.
- There is limited wildlife feed because of plant shading and competition.
- The vegetation lacked biological diversity.
- The lack of plant diversity means only a few wildlife species are supported.
- All of that unchecked growth continuously transpires thousands of acre feet of precious groundwater.
- The pools that were visible were stagnant and were great mosquito habitat.
Reposted from Facebook, March 10, 2017