It’s no secret that Husband and I own property in the Eastern Sierra Nevada mountains, about five miles south of the intersection of highways 108 and 395. On our property, cliffs of granite come close to or against the hwy 395 road; this is called the Devil’s Gate, for the muddy grief it gave travelers during the pre-hwy-395 years. There are springs there. There’s a Spring creek there. Very annoying water, if you’re trying to take a wagon through the Gate in June, and there’s no hwy 395 to help.
Relatively near the gate, there’s an alluvial fan with a creek that runs for a couple of months in the Spring. We’ve chosen a building spot on the fan, well uphill from the creek, but not so close to the granite wall that it could drop large rocks on us.
Down by hwy 395, there’s a low spot. It wasn’t there before the construction of hwy 395 in the ’20s — the road builders should have put in a culvert — and we got a county permit to fill it in with the excess excavation material from our home site. Then someone complained that we were filling in a wetland.
The expert we hired from an independent firm has not yet released her results, but her preliminary finding was that it was probably not a wetland under Federal law, but might well be under California law.
At this point we’re just hoping we don’t have to mitigate the damage already done to the “wetland”. We have REAL wetlands on our property on the other side of hwy 395, fed by those springs, and we’re as determined as anyone to preserve them. But this is just a Spring mudhole.
Grunble grumble mutter mutter,