Friday, September 21 , 2018, 1:09 am | Fog/Mist 62º

 
 
 
 

Local News

Goleta Obtains Emergency Permit to Cut 29 Eucalyptus Trees at Ellwood Mesa

Removal work will start in coming days and continue through the end of the year

The city of Goleta has obtained an emergency permit from the California Coastal Commission to remove 29 dead eucalyptus trees on the Ellwood Mesa public trails. More than a thousand dead and dying eucalyptus trees stand in the Ellwood Mesa groves. Click to view larger
The city of Goleta has obtained an emergency permit from the California Coastal Commission to remove 29 dead eucalyptus trees on the Ellwood Mesa public trails. More than a thousand dead and dying eucalyptus trees stand in the Ellwood Mesa groves. (File photo)

The city of Goleta has obtained an emergency permit from the California Coastal Commission to remove 29 dead eucalyptus trees on the Ellwood Mesa public trails.

The application — submitted by Goleta Public Works Director Rosemarie Gaglione and planning manager Anne Wells on Sept. 22 — calls for the elimination of trees on four trails starting late-September to Dec. 31. 

Goleta officials say the dead eucalyptus pose a public safety hazard if they aren’t chopped.

The tree removal locations can be found by clicking here.

An environmental monitor contracted by Goleta is expected to oversee compliance with environmental conditions during the removal project, according to the emergency permit application.

Four trees slated for removal are near monarch butterfly aggregation sites, and will be cut before the butterfly migrating season begins.

Removal work after Oct. 1 will take place in coordination with the city’s biologist to ensure aggregating monarch butterflies are protected from the removal impacts.

If tree removal activities continue after Feb.1 — which the city doesn’t anticipate — a biologist will conduct pre-activity bird nesting surveys and monitor nesting sites to ensure the animals are not impacted by the tear down, according to the emergency permit application.

Mark Crane's Tree and Arborist Services will take down the trees.

Five parking spaces off of Hollister Avenue will be reserved for work crews. Removal work is scheduled from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Saturday, though the schedule may vary.

After the removal project, the city plans to develop a “Habitat Management Plan” equipped with public input, various city commissions and agencies including the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, the California Coastal Commission, the Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Goleta staff anticipate preparing the draft plan within a year.

More information about the tree removal project will be presented at the Oct. 17 Goleta City Council meeting.

Public Trail Access

All nine trails on the Ellwood Mesa are closed to the public. 

Trails No.6, No.16, No.18 and No.25 are expected to reopen when the emergency removal project is complete.

The other trails could remain closed for up to three years until the “Habitat Management Plan” is prepared, approved through a follow-up permit, implemented, and safety hazards on the trails are abated, according to the emergency permit application.

The closed public trails would be marked with signs and fenced.

The City Council held two meetings last week to discuss the future of the butterfly preserve and popular open space on the 7600 block of Hollister Avenue.

More than a thousand dead and dying eucalyptus trees stand in the Ellwood Mesa groves, according to arborist studies commissioned by Goleta staff.

View the California Coastal Commission's approved application by clicking here.

Noozhawk staff writer Brooke Holland can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made using a credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Email
Select your monthly membership
Or choose an annual membership
×

Payment Information

Membership Subscription

You are enrolling in . Thank you for joining the Hawks Club.

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.
You may cancel your membership at any time by sending an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >